You have a niche picked out but are stuck on choosing your perfect domain name. I’ve been there and I am here to help.
You only get one chance to pick your domain so it carries a lot of weight and pressure.
Articles are so much easier. Write an article and it sparks an idea for a future article, no big deal, write it. But choose a domain name and start building your website and an article sparks “that perfect domain name” but it is too late.
So you need to spend time and research before choosing one, but then you have to hope it is available OR you have to start all over again. (You can buy new domain and redirect old one, more about that at a later date).
The domain name becomes your identity and the name of your website. Just think of Yahoo and Google. You know exactly what those domains are. What their identity or “brand” is.
Don’t be afraid to spell it a little different. Take for instance “Froot Loops” a well-known name but spelled in its own way.
There are people who buy up domains and resell them at at high profit. Two big names in the business, Mike Mann and Yun Ye made millions just buying and selling domain names. So you may not find what you are looking for available right now or it is for sale at a high price from “Domainers”.
Digg and Flickr are spelled the way they are because they had low-startup funds and the regular spelling was already taken and the price was too high. Hence, the variation was born.
They are easy for people to find. Simple, not a lot of words to remember.
The rule used to be that your domain had to be an exact match domain (EMD) in order to rank in google but not anymore. Such as if you site is about dog breeding it would have been www.dogbreeding.com. But the rules have changed and it does not have to be exact but you should still aim for it as best you can.
With the millions of websites now operating your search may be more difficult.
The following steps hopefully will help you to choose your perfect domain name. One that you will live with for the rest of your life.
Think of Yahoo and Google again. Simple, easy to remember, and easy for people to find. Just type one word.
Your domain is how people will find you and remember you. Your name, if available, is good if you are creating a blog that is informational. However, it is not good if you website is going to be about candlemaking or dog breeding however there are ways around this.
Your name domain is great if you are an artist, writer or sharing your knowledge on a general subject that is personal. Such as, your personal travel blog.
It is always a good idea to buy your name if it is available anyway so you own it and no one else can buy it. Keep it for down the road until you want to use it because later on it may not be available.
Some people even buy their kids name so in the future they pass it on to their kids to use.
Fanatics will not name a child their first or second option name choice if their name is not available as a domain name. But while some say fanatics, some say ingenius.
You can also use your personal name domain as a catalyst for all of your projects. People can type your name and go to your page and have a personal page to ALL of your sites like Joel Runyon. He uses his domain to showcase his projects. In essence, it can be a hub for multiple sites you own. (This is where your niche specific sites and all come together, such as the example above – dogbreeding).
You can also use that domain name as your domain on other hosts without even have personal webhosting and a website. You can incorporate it into shared hosting like Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress.com. These sites all allow you to add a custom domain name to get rid of the sub-domain when using these sites. i.e.
The best personal website calling card should include a great profile picture, a call-to-action and any features that you have been seen in, such as, tv spots, websites, interviews or testimonials.
After your personal name a good rule of thumb is to make up a word. While Yahoo was a word it was not a mainstream word and of course Google was not so much a word but variations were.
So you take the subject of your website and play with it. Dog breeding may turn into breedup or pupbreed and many more. (Not sure if they are real, didn’t google it. Just throwing ideas out).
Of course, this can be difficult so you can get other people’s input. Friends and family, maybe a Facebook post asking for ideas. It is amazing the response you will get on a Facebook post like this.
2. Use A Domain Name Generator
If you are still stumped or just not happy with your ideas so far there are domain name generators, of course. (There is a website and a service for almost anything you can think of).
Just plug in what you have so far, say dog breeding (I used Domain Name Soup) and it shows taken and available domains related to your keyword.
There are quite a few domain name generators out there so here are a few to get you started. Because really how many generators do you need?
3. Easy To Remember, Pronounce And Type
How many times did you go to a website and forget a few days later what it was and you cannot find it again? You should pick a common word that people will remember. Make it easy to pronounce, although that is amibiguous. Not every one has the same grasp of language.
For instance, I am from Philly so I say “wooder” for water. My daughter born and raised in Florida says “whater” for water so don’t focus on this too much. What you mean for the word and what people do with the word or two different things.
So we now go back to the Google example.
Easy to type? Yes
Easy to pronounce? Yes (I never heard anyone say it different)
Easy to remember? Yes
4. No Special Characters
I learned this the hard way and it was too late. Only letters and numbers, but preferably just letters in your domain name. Remember del.icio.us? Yeah, they changed that.
I picked www.wah-workathome.com before I new that it was no good. Eventually I will buy a new domain name and redirect it to the new domain for all those who bookmarked that one.
5. Remember To Focus On Keywords
As stated above the search engine optimization (SEO) rules used to be that you had to have the keyword and the domain be an exact match to rank. That has changed but do your keyword search first, then domain generator then take those into your keyword search tool.
Get it as close to your actual niche focus and main keyword as you can.
6. Use A Different Extension
.com is still king. Followed by .net and .org. Choose those if you can. If not then you go back to square one.
domain name generator
Then plug it in again until you get one of those. They will show you the others available also and if you have starting capital it is best to buy them all before someone else does.
Also big name companies buy the variations of misspellings so people will not snag it and use the misdirected traffic thereby taking your business. There are those who will search for similar, misspelled names and offer up similar products and ride along on your coat tails making a good chunk of change from typos.
7. Keep It Short And Simple
Going to change it up here and use a different example. Amazon. Short and simple. One word is the best choice for short and simple but they are the hardest to find.
Name Cheap is who I use to search domain names. Go ahead and search a one word domain right now. I dare you. I did “muffin” (my dog). Not a single variation available.
So then I typed in www.muffin.com and got this useless page.
It is not in use. This is probably an example of a domain speculator buying it and sitting on it until someone wants it.
Chances are you can go to Uniregistry to check and see if it is for sale and how much. Some do not show price though, you have to inquire.
There are many sites to buy domains which I will have in another post.
8. Protect It – Research It
Check if the domain was owned before. If you buy a domain that was misused in the past it will reflect bad on your site. They may have been labeled dangerous by virus software due to risky links being added to site. Check to make sure Google has not labeled it unsafe or spammy.
You can use a few free tools to search the history. Waybackmachine.org which does not give a lot of details but is a place to start because it shows you how far back that domain was used if it ever was. Then you can go to Hoster Stats for more details related to the domain.
Check to see if it is already trademarked by a company or person. This will land you in a whole lot of legal trouble if you name your domain after something someone already owns. Like “frootloops.com”.
I use KnowEm to check domain names. This will give you all kinds of information on the name. Social media accounts, domains, trademarks, copyrights. They have hundreds of sites you can check. Bookmarking site, music, photo and so much more.
9. Stay Specific To Niche
If you site is going to be about candle making then research something specific to that. Maybe you have a certain technique you are promoting or a certain style candle. This is where you will want to do your keyword research.
10. Go Local
If you are starting a site for a local business as opposed to a worldwide website. If you are starting a site in Philly about a business in that area try adding area to name. i.e. www.phillydogbreeding.com. Perhaps the one you wanted is taken but add a city or state to it and voilà you have your domain.
So there you have it. Easy, peasy!
Get cracking. Buy that domain before someone else gets it.
Two of the top domain name registrars with great prices are
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