Picking a domain name is always the start of an exciting business idea and the bottom line is: It’s a process. What prevents any good domain name idea from taking hold is AVAILABILITY. Despite your best effort, more times than not, your best domain name decision will be taken.
So what do you do now? I’ll walk you through some steps in the decision-making process before you start hammering out names in the search bar.
1. Think about your business. Is your existing company name reflective of your brand and the products/services you’re selling? For example: If your company name is “John Smith Innovations Inc.” but you sell consumer electronics, perhaps JohnSmithInnovationsInc.com isn’t a good domain name. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of using the company name for a domain name in many cases; but if you don’t have an established audience or brand strength attached to the name, then you should change your strategy.
2. Think like your target audience. What words would your customers use to search your website? Now we’re talking about keywords. A good start is to do a keyword research to establish which words have the most chances of being used. There are plenty free keyword tools out there, but the best is Google Keyword Planner. You’ll have to open a Google Ads account to use the Planner, or you can use a free word tools – just search for “Free Keyword Planner”. Be careful of free trials that charge you later. A good keyword name can help your site rank higher in search results and clearly identifies your site’s focus.
3. Now you’re ready pick some names. Here are some things to think about:
a. Short is good. Think of something that is 2-3 words long, max 15 characters. If you can think of a one-word name that is available, that’s ideal.
b. Make it easy to type. Avoid long and confusing names that can be forgotten.
c. Think of something that’s easy to remember. Memorable names have the best chance of being retained and it’s easy to use in advertising.
d. Avoid using slang or questionable words. It may be creative and cute but it can stop turn off visitors to your site.
e. If your target market is Canadian, use “.ca”. While “.com” is still the most recognizable domain extension in the world, .ca is clear indication that you are a Canadian company doing business with Canadians. That’s a good thing.
f. Use Domain Name Providers to find out if the name is available. It’s not enough to verify if the domain name is available by using the Google search bar. A domain name can be unavailable, but not in use, so try Go Daddy or Blue Host to confirm availability.