The search for your new domain name quickly lets you realize how many domains are already in use. I assume by now all two and three letter words are reserved. The four and five letters words that are left, for sure are not the most useful either. So having a good idea for a good name is a start, but when you go along you have to take certain decisions.
Find a sound name
The name should be easy to remember. Despite all technical little helpers people still have to recognize your domain to find it easily and return again. In case you already have a brand you want to market, it should be included and simplicity might not be a primary factor. However, if you are just starting up your new portal and you have free choice try to follow a few rules:
- Make the name unique so it is not easily confused with similar sites: the name can be used to define your brand and differentiate it from your competitors.
- Make it short and easy to remember: the longer the name, the more can go wrong when manually entering your address.
- Make no wrong promises: the chosen name should indicate what your business is about. In case you are using a fantasy name try to make sure there is now unintended meaning included.
A .com domain please
You can find a lot of discussions about the value of a .com domain on the net. Two major arguments speak for the extra work to find a free one. When users try to search for a brand, the first go is normally with .com. Leading them directly to your site and not to the competition is for sure helpful. Secondly search engines still rate .com domains higher than their respective brothers and sisters and so with .com you gain a bit of momentum.
However, in case organic traffic is not as important for you, other less populated top level domains might be the better choice to claim exactly the domain name you are looking for.
Usage of Key Words
For search engines key words in the domain name are the single strongest indicators for their ranking in the search results. So for example if you run a local photography business on Hawaii and you are based on Maui BellaEvaPhotography.com would be good, but BellaEvaPhotographyMaui.com might be even better. Of course the key words have to be used accordingly on the site as well, but a properly chosen name gives a valuable indication.
Domain name finding tools
If you have narrowed down your ideas, there are quite a few helpful tools to find your dream domain out there:
- Wordoid helps you to create new words you can use for your domain name/brand. By entering parts of a word you want to have included, it automatically combines it with syllables up a given number of letters. Although unfortunately not 100% reliable it also checks if the respective .com or .net domains are still available.
- As you type along the Domain Name Search shows you if a given domain is still up for registration. The beauty of the tool is that once you have decided on a core term you want to use, checking of variations is done in an instant.
- Suggest.Name also is worth mentioning. Although it is a bit cumbersome to fill with data in the beginning, once you are on your way it helps you to create plenty of variations of a name. Selecting a standard set of pre-/suffixes to be used, can also help to focus on a certain area of names.