What’s in a name? Well, a lot, actually. You’re right to be hung up on trying to come up with the perfect domain name for your new website since having a bad domain name can tank your latest gig before it even gets off the ground. With all of the big companies out there buying up the “good” names and selling them at premium prices, coming up with a clever, memorable, and relevant domain name has become one of the most daunting tasks for new website owners.
Don’t be discouraged. There a lot of great tools out there to help you brainstorm and come up with a domain name that works for you. Let’s dive in:
Decide What You’re About & Be Relevant
Unless you want to spend thousands of dollars on a branding campaign to explain to the Web what your domain name means, you need to pick a domain name that reflects what you do. Succinct and witty are nice, but not at the detriment to clarity. Visitors should be able to understand exactly what kind of site you are just by looking at your domain name in the search results page. If they’re confused and not sure you’ll meet their needs, why would they click through? If you’re a bakery that specializes in cupcakes, the domain name doodlefrost.com isn’t going to build much confidence. Make it relevant.
Use Keywords When Possible
It’s great if you can find a way to slip a relevant keyword in to your domain name. Don’t lose sleep over it if you can’t, though. If you haven’t come up with a name for your new site but know roughly what you intend to write about (travel, furniture, outdoor power equipment, etc.), you can use a tool like Name Mesh. They will match your keyword(s) or categories against their database of over six million words and kick back a list of results that will help you get some ideas flowing.
Use a Generator
Having a tough time coming up with a naming concept? Try out the Business Name Generator tool by Shopify. It’s free and will automagically combine the word you enter with other words to generate a robust list of available domain names. It’s the perfect tool if you’re looking for a little bit of creative inspiration and an available domain to match.
Keep it Simple
When in doubt, don’t overdo it. If you already have a business name, then stick to that name when possible. If the exact name for your existing business isn’t available, try adding extra words to the end like the city, state, the word “online,” etc. So say your company name is Only Cupcakes but onlycupcakes.com isn’t available. Is OnlyCupcakesFortWayne.com available? Sure it’s not a ‘sexy’ name, but it’s who and where you are. It’s easy to remember, it has local cues (important to search engines!), and is more likely to be available. It’s easy to over think it when tasked with trying to create a domain name, but typically the simplest solution is the best.
Now that you’ve spent all this time crafting a domain name that works, you want to safe guard it! This isn’t an essential step, but it is important if you’re trying to keep your newly-minted brand protected. Most domain registrar companies offer discounts on bulk domain registering, and you should use that opportunity to go ahead and register for .com, .net, .org, and .biz. That will keep any cyber poachers out and make for a happier website without brand confusion.