A choice that will resonate on the internet for a lifetime is the domain name of your website. With endless possibilities, it’s important you understand what is crucial for a site name as well as what to avoid. From new companies, new brands, and current brands that you want to take viral, to musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, and anything in between and around, a website is the most necessary tool for furthering your endeavors. If you are interested in learning about domains, check out this excellent infographic “101 Fascinating Facts You Didn’t Know About Domain Names”. Domain names offer a wealth of connections that impact your brand and your online marketing. When it comes to type-in traffic, brandability, click-through rate, and more, having a great domain name will produce better results. It will be how clients discover, recall, and spread your content.
Focus on making your domain name brandable. Remember that the domain name will be how clients discover, recall, and spread your content. A brandable domain name is creative as well as unique, but most importantly stands out from other competition. During its infancy, a store called the Sound of Music struggled to avoid bankruptcy. However, after changing its name to Best Buy, the store had remarkable profits to follow. Their name is catchy and suggests to clients that they have quality items for the lowest price. So if you're struggling with ideas and finding the perfect name, don't worry, you’re in good company with some of the biggest names in business. Get to the point of what you do and be creative with it! Companies like Google and Apple used names that weren't directly related to their products, but offered numerous branding opportunities. Take some time to look at the top branded companies and how they used their name to grow to a business empire.
Pronunciation and Length
Pronunciation matters because of processing fluency. If you're not familiar with this term, it's simply a cognitive bias that suggests people prefer things that are easy to say or talk about rather than the hard stuff. Makes sense right? If you have to explain the spelling of your domain name more than once, then it's too complicated and you should try to find something more memorable. Having a simple domain name also makes it easy for visitors to share your name via word of mouth or social media. According to a study done by Gaebler, the top 100 most popular websites averaged a domain length of 6 characters. The top 1000 most popular websites averaged a domain length of 7 characters. Be concise and cut to the point.
Top-Level Domain Extension: “.Com”
When you chose your domain extension, you should try and use .com because research shows it is the best option. Referring back to the cognitive bias known as processing fluency, .com is the most comfortable and the simplest to remember. This will help with branding and make your website reach a larger audience. While there are still multiple, fortunate websites that have the extension .net or .org, you’ll likely do better if your name is followed by .com.
Think Long Term
Your domain is one of the largest components that outlines your business and brand for years to follow. If you decide to change your name down the road because you have expanded, it will cost you money, branding, and SEO rankings. It's a problem that you could avoid by thinking ahead. For example, if you're a company that sells hats that you created yourself, you could make your domain name something like, “handmadehats.com.” However, if you think there's a chance that you could make gloves, shoes, or anything that isn't hats in the future, then it would be wise to rethink your name. If you think you have the means to expand beyond what you are originally doing then keep your long term vision in mind while picking a domain name.
Look, if you can get a keyword in your domain that will explain what your website is, then by all means go for it. However, there are so many websites out there that the odds of that happening are slim to none. For example, if I had a website that sold hats, handmadehats.com or buyhatsonline.com would be an acceptable domain name; However, a website with the domain name, cappello.com, would be a great alternative.
The name cappello.com to be a great example because “cappello" means hat in Italian. This would be a great choice for a website because it offers a unique and a fun translation of what you are selling. Think about some of the most popular website domains such as, google.com and yahoo.com; these website names have no association with what they are. These are very well-branded and don’t have a strong presence of keywords.
Domain Name Generator
Hopefully, at this point, you have a general idea of some possible words to enter into a name generator. But, some of these names may be taken or just don't have the sound you were interested in buying. These domain name generators can turn your general idea into a fresh AND available domain. These are a few of the best generators to try out:
- LeanDomainSearch.com. This resource allows you to enter your keyword or keywords and generates a list of available domain names.
- Bustaname.com. This resource offers a more specific generator where you can choose the character limit, see similar keywords, as well as filter by multiple extensions.
- Shopify.com/tools/business-name-generator. Despite the name, this tool does more than generating business names. It produces domain names from just one keyword where you will be shown over 100 options to call your website.