It’s All In A Name: Pick A Domain Name For Your Business

Domain Name

A good domain name is very important to the success of your online business.

It’s the first impression to your visitors, and it also is how your website will spread by word of mouth, so it is very important that your name is catchy enough for people to remember.

Once you’ve figured out the right niche that you are going to make your website in, you have to sit down and think about what the domain name will be so that you can create great content and start making money!

Here are some things to consider when you pick a domain name for your business.

Make It Your Brand

If you brand your website properly then people will know what your website is about before they even navigate to it.  Keep in mind that it should be something relatively short and easy for someone to remember.Branding

Try to keep away from words like “best” or “top”….let your content speak for itself and it will show your visitors that you are the best!

Some things to consider with branding would be what your logo will look like as well as a potential color scheme.

Speaking of your logo, check out Graphic River for some inexpensive logo design templates.

Here’s an example: Lets say that your niche is about coffee.  A great brandable name could be something like “Coffee Bean King”.  Right off the bat it makes sense to go with a brown/beige color scheme, and your logo could use a bean or crown…maybe a coffee bean wearing a crown!

Use A Catchy Name

The domain name of your website is the first thing your visitors will see, so you want it to be catchy and memorable.  This is the part where you get to have some fun, so be creative and whimsical!

If you’re struggling with coming up with something creative, here are some things you can do to hopefully help get those creative juices flowing:

  • Write down some of the main things your website is about, sometimes seeing the words makes all the difference
  • Go through the alphabet and find words that rhyme with, or sound similar to, the words you wrote down
  • Jot down some adjectives for the words you wrote down, use a thesaurus to help you find similar words
  • Do a Google Image Search with those words, the images/clipart might trigger an idea or two

Try not to overthink it, if an idea doesn’t come to you then get up from the computer.  Go for a walk or watch tv.  Do something to get your mind off it and then come back at a later time!

Make It Intuitive

When someone looks at the domain name of your website they should beGear Mind able to know what it is about.  You should try to make it as intuitive as possible so that someone who does a search will want to click on your website when they scroll through the results.

Lets say that someone does a search for “cuban coffee brands”.  Hopefully your keywords got you on search result page 1 so they will see coffeebeanking.com.

Right away you know that is a website by someone who knows a lot about coffee, so you’ll likely get a click!

.com Or Bust!

When researching your potential domain name, you might come across the acronym TLD. It stands for Top Level Domain, and all it is referring to are the letters to the right of the “dot” in a domain…so for instance .com, .net, .org, .biz, and so forth. Domain TLD

It’s no secret that the most common extension for websites is .com, and it’s not even close.

In most cases, the audience for your website is mostly non technical people so they are pretty accustomed to seeing websites ending with .com.  So, what do you do if the domain name you like isn’t available with a .com TLD?

Don’t worry, there are some things you can do.

  • Slightly change the spelling. Use this cautiously because if the user can’t spell it then they can’t get to your website
  • Use numbers where you can
  • Hyphenate in between words.  Confession: I’m not a huge fan of this but I wanted to list it as an idea
  • Come up with a similar domain name that is available

If you’re deadset on not changing your domain name then you can always use one of the less common TLDs (.net, .org, etc)

No Trademark Infringement

One of the big no-nos to consider when choosing your domain name is to include a trademarked name in it.

For instance, lets say that you are in the speaker niche and you love Bose, and everything about it.  Don’t go with a domain name like allaboutbose.com or even something more catchy like bosebigshot.com.

There are 2 main reasons that this is not a good idea.

First of all, you run the risk of alienating a good portion audience. Perhaps I’m in the market for a speaker but I don’t want a Bose system.

I wouldn’t be inclined to click on the link for a website with the word Bose in its domain name. Even if I don’t want Bose initially, you still have a chance to change my mind once I read your content.  If you scare me off before I even get to your site, then you have no chance at all.

You also run the risk of potential legal action.  Since Bose is a trademarked entity, you aren’t allowed to just freely use it to make money like that.

If Bose were to pick up on your existence, then they would have the ability to go after you legally and wind up having your website taken down at the very least.  We definitely don’t want anything like that to happen.

Comments 18

  • It took me two weeks to come up with a domain name. I did what you said though, I chose one that was memorable/catchy, and with the .com.

    I believe its okay to get a .net or .org as well. I’m shocked about what you mentioned about trademark infringement. I had no idea that they could take legal action on you like that. I thought it would be okay. I will keep this in mind. Thanks.

    • Hey Jonathan,

      Yes, the process of picking a good domain name can sometimes take days, or even weeks, as you mentioned…I hope the tips in this post help make it easier for some people to figure theirs out!

      As for the trademark, I’m not a lawyer but you do have to be careful when using trademarked names…..honestly though, it’s really not a good idea to have such a specific name in your domain anyway because you wind up pigeon-holing yourself.

  • Hello there,

    What a great explanation about the importance of choosing wisely one’s domain name.
    It is true what you say that it should be catchy and intuitive, also easy to remember.
    I see why I liked so much the name of your website 🙂
    I have also heard that the com domains are more likely to please the search engines for rankings than the .org, net or .info domains for instance.
    Is it true?

    • Hey Asen,

      A catchy name that people remember is definitely something that will help with word of mouth traffic….it can be difficult to think of but well worth it if you do!

      The search engines definitely like the .com names, but I don’t think that having a .net address will affect your SERP ranking. Typically, though, most folks searching on the internet are most comfortable with a .com address.

  • Hi Matt,

    This is great info for someone just starting out with their new website. I found it very helpful! I really like the tips you gave for coming up with a catchy name. There are so many instances I find myself stuck on the creative aspects of business, but it seems that you have proven there is no such thing as writers block, it simply is just a matter of putting in a little extra research.

    • Hey Alison,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      Writer’s/Creativity block is one of the biggest obstacles that a blogger can face. I really find that the best cure for that is to walk away and do some sort of exercise….go for a walk/run, go on a bike ride, do some situps or pushups…anything!

      It really helps clear the mind. 🙂

  • Hi Matt
    I get this question a lot too. people just seem to agonize over it. I have no idea why. The advice you gave on keeping it short is spot on.

    You should definitely take your time and be smart about it because as I found out you can change your name but not the url.
    What would you advise someone do if they make that mistake?
    Dot com names are the best to use for world wide exposure, so I try and pick a dot com that’s available. It is unbelievable how much time you can spend trying to find an available name.
    Thanks for this, really well done. Keep up the good work!

    • Hey Peter,

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

      I definitely hear the question of changing domain names a lot, and the short answer is that once you pick a domain, you are unable to change it unless you register a new domain. The answer about what one should do depends on the age of the site.

      If you’re just beginning and don’t really have any content built up yet, then go ahead and just register a new domain and call it a $12.99 mistake! If your site has been around for a while, honestly the best advice would be to just live with it and make it work.

  • I was looking for some tips to come up with a domain name when I discovered this blog post. The challenging part here is whether to go for brandable OR keyword-rich domains.

    I was told that if you have keywords in it, you’ll get more traffic. Is that true? But then, how do people who use their own names as domains achieve higher rankings in the search results?

    • Hey Cathy,

      That’s a great question and my advice would be to always go with something brandable. No one can really say for sure that keywords in a domain name helps rankings, and like you said people use their name as the domain and still rank really well.

      The content is what truly drives your ranking do I would point you in the direction of making your domain brandable

  • Great post. Thanks for these usefull informations

  • This is great advice! Thanks so much for sharing! I am in the process of coming up with a new domain name for a new website and can’t settle for anything!

    • Hey Christine, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and I hope you find the information useful when picking your domain. You definitely shouldn’t settle, and if you keep trying domain names long enough then the right one will come along!

  • I think the point about the trademark is very important.
    Indeed a domain name needs to be thought through before it is chosen because it becomes hard to change it with time
    Thanks for sharing theses useful tips

    • Yes, it is very important to not infringe on a trademark with a domain, as well as with images.

      While it is difficult to change a domain name, you should generally never do it. If you do then you run the risk of losing some of your traffic.

  • Great post and informative! Thank you…

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