How To Find A Great AND Available Domain Name For Your Website

By azfar on December 21, 2016

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how-to-choose-a-great-available-domain-name-for-your-website

So far in these series we’ve covered all elements of starting a blog for your business website.

We started this series with the assumption that our readers would already have a website, but as we discovered in the comments, an increasing number of people are doing all their research up front, and want some advice on the domain name itself.

First off – that’s a smart way to do it. By doing your research in advance you’re giving yourself the best opportunity to succeed first time.

Second – I am more than happy to help you figure out the perfect domain name for your business website, bringing us neatly back around to the start.

73 Blogging Tips That Make Sense

  • 73 Actionable Steps That Many Gurus Do Not Teach
  • Blog Tips That Bring Actual Results
  • It Is Free Tips To Advance Blogging Skills

I understand why people need help with their domain name. Getting a good domain name is difficult – you need something that is both good for your business and currently available at an affordable price.

Having brainstormed more than a hundred good domain name ideas on behalf of clients, I’ve learned some important principles that I’ll share with you today, so you can go about on how to choose a domain name for your business.

Tips For Creating The Perfect Domain Name

  1. Make It Easy To Spell
  2. Find good domain name that is less likely to be misspelled.

    Find good domain name that is less likely to be misspelled.

    There are a bunch of words that even as someone who does content marketing for a living, I’m still not sure how to spell until Word gives me that little red underline.

    Weirdly, something like accommodation -where I’m never sure if it’s one ‘c’ or one ‘m’ when in fact it’s two of both- or even license -where the ‘c’ and the ‘s’ can just as easily be swapped around- can trip people up.

    When typing in a URL, I don’t have a spellchecker.

  3. Make Sure It’s Spelled The Same Way Across Different Regions
  4. Avoid domain names that have various version of spelling.

    Avoid domain names that have various version of spelling.

    If you’re a jeweller looking to market to worldwide audiences, jeweler is how it’s spelled in American. Spelling it ‘wrong’ to a large potential market is going to be a problem.

    Jewelry and jewellery are out, so maybe try words that are always spelled the same, like necklace or diamond.

  5. Make It Easy To Pronounce
  6. Try to find alternative name to explain difficult to read jargon when it comes to choosing a good domain name.

    Try to find alternative name to explain difficult to read jargon when it comes to choosing a good domain name.

    If the words don’t flow trippingly on the tongue, it’s probably a bad idea to use it.

    Even if you are a qualified otolaryngologist, you might be best to think about calling your website headnecksurgeon.com instead.

  7. Avoid Sticky Letter Chains
  8. Consider avoiding complicated intersections when putting words together in a URL.

    Consider avoiding complicated intersections when putting words together in a URL.

    Let’s say you want to show people where the best winter sports vacation destinations are. Please, please don’t use muststaysnowresorts.com.

    It’s horrible, knotty and misleading.

    To my eye, “now” pops as a word, and putting a double ‘st’ in makes me want to gag. Wintersportsresorts is a slight improvement, but the double ‘orts’ is offputting.

    I’d go with wintersportsvacations – hotels would create an ‘sh’, which is a phoneme, making us more likely to think they belong together than to separate words when scanning. ‘Sv’ is not a common pair in English.

    If you’re creating a celebrity gossip site, please don’t consider Theentertainmenttoday.com – clashing vowels and consonants.

  9. Keep It Snappy
  10. Overly long domain names is  just off-putting. It won't fit in your business card anyways.

    Overly long domain names is just off-putting. It won’t fit in your business card anyways.

    When it comes to URLs, the shorter the better. If your company is called Stadtler & Waldorf Attorneys At Law, you’d better not think about StadtlerandWaldorfAttorneysAtLaw.com. No one is going to want to type all that into their browser.

    Sandwattorneys.com
    looks like sand watt, so I’d go StadtlerWaldorfLaw.com is probably your best bet. Get used to compressing your value items. “Who are you and what do you do?” is all there above, just without the filler.

  11. Watch Out For Changed Words
  12. Combining multiple words together in a domain name might give birth to new, unwanted words.

    Combining multiple words together in a domain name might give birth to new, unwanted words.

    Even worse than clumps of similar letters together, you could end up changing the grouping of the letters, sometimes with unfortunate and embarrassing results.

    Kids Exchange seems like a fun name for a business, right? Well in URL form, without the spacing, not so much.

    Kid Sex Change is not the business you want to be running. This happens because of kerning – the spacing of letters.

    URLs have no kerning, so it’s easy for comprehension to go wrong.

  13. Use .Com
  14. .com is still the most recognizable and valuable domain name extension .

    .com is still the most recognizable and valuable domain name extension .

    There are now a huge number of domain name extensions available. You can find one that is relevant to whatever you do.

    You might want to get a .law, .consultant, .fishmonger extension.

    Don’t.

    I say this because after 20 years of constant use, .com is the single most recognizable, prestige extension that offers a greater sense of familiarity, trust and confidence to your users.

    If you can get your URL with a .com extension, you absolutely should.

  15. Include Your Target Keyword For SEO
  16. It's a good practice to include your target keyword in your URL if possible.

    It’s a good practice to include your target keyword in your URL if possible.

    Some people advocate using Exact Match Domains (EMDs) for SEO.

    So if people are searching for “how to make an omelet” you should register howtomakeanomelet.com, and you’ll rank higher instantly.

    Unfortunately, Google have gotten wise to this, and the strength of these URLs is declining. It is still useful, however, to a keyword in your domain.

    In this example, greatomelet.com or tastyomelet.com would still do you some good, so consider keeping it in there.

  17. Make It Intuitive To Understand
  18. A good domain name should be intuitively self-explanatory.

    A good domain name should be intuitively self-explanatory.

    What do you think the business owning the website ohioplumbing.com provides?

    What do you think the website ohiopipemasters.com provides?

    The difference between these two URLs is how quickly you understand what they offer – how intuitive they are.

    The more intuitive the better.

  19. Or, Make It A Brand
  20. Amazon. Google. EBay.

    None of these mean a damn thing when it comes to understanding what they do.

    But we don’t need to understand it from the name, because the brand is so strong we associate it with the industry and service.

    If you can create a strong, succinct brand, you will be in a much better position to become a big-time player than if you stick with longtail SEO URLs.

    Which of these you go for depends on how big you want to make your business in the future.

So, in an ideal world, you could use these tips to brainstorm good domain name for your website. Then you get to registering that domain and, curses! It’s already taken.

Well, never fear, because there are ways you can modify your idea to retain what’s good about it, while still successfully registering the domain.

Tricks To Get The Name You Want, If You Can’t Get It First Time

All the short and good names are usually taken or only available at premium. Here’s how to overcome it.

1. Add A Prefix Or Suffix

Adding prefix and suffix can get you the keyword you want even if it's taken.

Adding prefix and suffix can get you the keyword you want even if it’s taken.

Let’s imagine your great idea for dried seasonal meats, turkeyjerky.com, is already registered by a domain name owner who wants far too much to relinquish it.

There are several things you can do.

One of these easiest is to add a prefix of suffix. Theturkeyjerky.com, myturkeyjerky.com, tastyturkeyjerky.com are all prefixes that may well not be registered.

Similarly, turkeyjerkystore, turkeyjerkyusa, turkeyjerkytime are all good suffixes.

2. Use Hyphens To Break Up Two Words, But No More

Hyphenated domain names are usually not taken and it can help eliminate some of the readability issues.

Hyphenated domain names are usually not taken and it can help eliminate some of the readability issues.

Some people suggest hyphenating as an easy way to get the domain. Turkey-jerky.com is perfectly acceptable, even though hyphens are often sticky when it comes to users remembering them. It’s also annoying if you have to tell people about the site in conversation.

“My business is turkey hyphen jerky dot com” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Customers will have the same problem telling their friends about it. My advice would be never to use more than one hyphen in a URL.

3. Kool Alternative Spellingz

Playing with alternative spelling can get you a taken domain name while giving it a unique identity.

Playing with alternative spelling can get you a taken domain name while giving it a unique identity.

Depending on who you’re marketing to (I doubt Rollz Royz would command the same premium as Rolls Royce, for instance), you may be able to get creative with your spelling.

This may make you cringe, but biz has been used to abbreviate business successfully. Turkeyjurkey.com could unlock the URL you wanted, while making logical sense of why you changed the spelling.

4. Use A Different Extension

Unusual domain name extensions can work at times. Famous examples are bit.ly and del.icio.us.

Unusual domain name extensions can work at times. Famous examples are bit.ly and del.icio.us.

While I did say you should always prefer .com if you can, it is possible that you won’t be able to.

If you’re wedded to your original URL and don’t want to change it, a different extension can unlock the name for you. Turkeyjerky.net, .food or even .nom can give you a professional looking online identity without breaking the bank.

5. The Power of The Portmanteau

Mashing words to form a new one is also a good approach to find good and available domain names. Just make sure it doesn't sound too ridiculous.

Mashing words to form a new one is also a good approach to find good and available domain names. Just make sure it doesn’t sound too ridiculous.

A portmanteau is when you take two words and smash them together to create a new word. Bionic for example is a portmanteau of biological and electronic.

Bromance.

Emoticon.

By combining the words in your URL, you can create new one which is instantly brandable. Verizon is a portmanteau of ‘veritas’ meaning truth in Latin, and ‘horizon’. Turkey Jerky could simply become Terky or Jurkey.

6. Drop Letters

Flickr dropped an E because Flicker isn't available and it became a trend since.

Flickr dropped an E because Flicker isn’t available and it became a trend since.

Flickr was the brand that launched a thousand trendy followers.

Removing letters is a super-efficient way to get your branding back on track, and is arguably a more favourable solution than adding or changing spellings.

If you remove the vowels, Trky suddenly becomes quite a trendy, modern health food brand instead of the fun, playful snack it was before.

Final Ways To Prevent Getting Caught Out

If it sounds too similar to an already established brand, your's might get drowned.

If it sounds too similar to an already established brand, your’s might get drowned.

1. Check It’s Not Too Similar To A Trademark

A frustrating reality of human creativity is that most names have already been thought of. If those names have been trademarks, then the owners of those trademarks have right.

If I decided to register a domain called Werizon, I’d have a hard time justifying that it wasn’t an infringement of Verizon’s trademark.

As such, I may be forced to relinquish the domain to them. If that happened, I’ve just waited my time and money. You can check existing trademarks here.

2. Check Social Media Accounts Are Also Available Under That Name

So we finally have our Trky.com domain, and we’re really happy and excited about getting started on our new business.

Social media is essential to all modern marketing strategies, so we head over to Facebook only to find that facebook.com/trky has been taken. We go Instagram and find the same.

It’s the same on Twitter. And even worse, different trky derivatives have been taken in all of them. We end up with @trkyusa on Twitter @trkyjerk on Instagram, trky.jerky on Facebook.

Now our business cards just got a lot fatter, and people are more likely to forget, misspell or mistake us across the different platforms.

Being able to say social: /trky makes your brand appear much stronger.

Tools To Help You Find Great And Available Domain Names

There are many tools available for free to help suggest a good domain name for your new site.

There are many tools available for free to help suggest a good domain name for your new site.

I understand if you’re overwhelmed. All great marketing is difficult, and requires fulfilling a huge range of criteria to different extents. Finding that balance is what makes great marketers.

Never fear. If you feel overwhelmed by the number of things you have to do, there are domain checker tool available that can help make domain name hunting easier.

1. Lean Domain Search

Lean Domain Search will give you the shortest domains that include the keywords you want. Here’s a comprehensive list of all the available domains for Turkey Jerky.

leandomainsearch

The website is simple and easy to use, and can help you pick the best domain you can find, instead of generating a shot in the dark that may or may not already be taken. This is SEO oriented, so works based on the keywords you want included.

2. Name Mesh

Name Mesh goes a step further, and gives you easy visual categories, colorized for further fun, from which you can choose. These include common, new, short, fun, SEO, similar, mixed and extra.

This domain name generator easily enables you to be able to gain inspiration, and set your own priorities when you choose.

3. Wordoid

If you want a portmanteau for your brand but can’t smash endless words together to see what will work best, Wordoid is your friend. It will create new word-like forms based on stimulus you provide.

You can ask it to start with a certain letter or include a certain fragment. Here are the results it threw up for “Turkey”.

4. KnowEm

KnowEm lets you know if your potential username is available across different social media platforms.

As you can see, TurkeyJerky is taken on Twitter, but surprisingly available on Facebook.

KnowEm allows you to check social sites for availability of your target domain name.

KnowEm allows you to check social sites for availability of your target domain name.

Checking your potential brand word for your URL against Social Media as well allows you to cut out plenty of search time.

5. Domainr

Domainr is the most stripped-back, and therefore fastest domain name checker online. If you’ve already come up with an idea for your brand URL, it will tell you whether it is available for sale or taken.

Domainr is one of the simplest and fastest solution when looking for available domain names.

Domainr is one of the simplest and fastest solution when looking for available domain names.

Trky.com is for sale, but TurkeyJerky.com is taken. However, TurkeyJerky.co is free!

As is turkeyjer.ky (though I wouldn’t recommend this). It also allows you to make an offer right then and there on domains for sale, and even pitch to the owners of used domains, so you can try to buy them out.

Go Forth And Conquer Your Domain

You now have all the tools and best practise required to create a brilliant domain name for your website or blog, and even to brand your business if you’re starting from scratch.

It can be difficult to choose domain name ideas, but trust me, it’s worth it.

Having a great domain, with a catchy brand or strong keyword depending on the scale of the business in question, will have a profound and long lasting effect on your online success.

A great URL is the first step to creating trust and authority – the two most important factors in converting audiences into customers.

If you have any other tricks, processes or workshopping methods you used to come up with your domain, drop them in the comments below for other people to benefit from.

Equally, if you’re still having trouble, let us know in the comments and our online community will do its best to help!

73 Blogging Tips That Make Sense

  • 73 Actionable Steps That Many Gurus Do Not Teach
  • Blog Tips That Bring Actual Results
  • It Is Free Tips To Advance Blogging Skills

Updated: 24 November 2017

Azfar Hisham

About Azfar Hisham

A copywriter with previous experience developing computer simulations, managing websites and being the social media guy. Interested in Google Patents, Knowledge Graph and questioning everything.

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