Finding the right domain name for your business is hard work, and while it won’t make or break you, it can certainly be a massive boost. Here are my tips for getting a great domain name.
Take a piece of paper, or a whiteboard and write your company name, now go through your elevator pitch, or business plan overview and write down all the keywords from those. Pass the paper round your partners and get them to do the same.
Try and think about what people will search for when looking for your product or service, an ex-colleague of mine found some great domains doing this for www.skegnesscaravanholidays.co.uk/ and www.bulgariaskideals.com. This is a lot harder than it sounds, you have to try and second guess your customers, which is tricky on it’s own, but if you give it some careful thought, it is possible.
You can take your list of words and pair them, or string 3 together if they’re fairly short, to produce descriptive and easy to remember domain names. It makes very little difference if you include dashes in your URL or not, but the words must be relevant to your side, that is what matters.
Sometimes it’s hard to find a good domain name using real words, and you might think about using made up words. It can be a neat trick, but you’ll get no SEO love for it. However it might be easier for your clients to remember, if your web site is your main point of contact with your customers, that can be quite important. Make sure it’s easy to remember as well, flickr.com and zoomr.com are classic examples of made up words that are easy to remember. kjfdgh.co.uk & itipvcx.org are not :-)
If you go for a random name, content is all you have to get yourself noticed by the search engines. Content is always king, even with the best domain in the world, if you content is irrelevant to what you sell, it won’t show up against customer searches. I say this because while a domain name is important, it’s not the most important thing, not by a long way.
There are some great online tools to help you with the whole process. Once you have your list of words, you can try feeding them into sites like bustaname.com or makewords.com, they may find you a great domain name or they could even spark inspiration for something completely different.
Once you’ve found your domain name, the next step is to register it, make sure you buy the .co.uk & .com versions of the domain, that way your customers wont get confused if another company (maybe in a completly different market) starts to use the other one.
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