Get this, the Cars.com domain name is valued at over $850,000,000.
Domain names are a big deal.
That should give you some insight into how important it is to find a domain name that matches your business.
There are over 334 million registrations of domain names out there. That means one word: competition.
So, how do you navigate buying the right domain name? What steps can you take to make sure you buy a valuable and relevant domain name?
Here’s how to find domain names right now.
What’s makes a successful domain name?
You can think of your domain name as a marketing tool. It’s a means for people on the web to find you and access your service. Therefore, it’s important to have an eye-catching name.
When considering a domain name that will accrue clicks it’s worth thinking about the tenants of memorable titles:
A small trick to creating an effective domain name: choose one that doesn’t translate poorly to other languages.
If your website is relevant to more than one language-speaking region it’s important that you pick a domain name that doesn’t translate to something that doesn’t make sense.
One way to avoid this is to pick words that are universal.
Universal language can be described in proper nouns that all parts of the world relate to.
This allows for your domain name to apply to a wider audience and doesn’t dampen your chances of being discovered.
Integrate any professional social media account with your domain name. There are billions of users that use sites like Facebook and Twitter and many of them go to social media looking for business.
This leads to an additional point: if you can, introduce your brand to multiple outlets at once to get a sense of your audience.
By trying out your domain name on Facebook, for example, you can get a sense of how popular your website might be.
One of the easiest things you can do to ensure your domain name works is to make it sound friendly and trustworthy.
This is possible by including a reference to your target audience in your domain name. Such examples include:
This is social engineering. If you can make your domain name sound trustworthy internet users will think its safer and less likely to be a scam.
Although you’re marketing to users on the internet and not in person, you still might have word-of-mouth customers.
Even if you don’t, when someone is looking up your website if they can’t pronounce your name they might associate it with spam.
Be sure to use common characters and correct spelling. This should resolve your issue and prevent confusion between regions.
Let’s say you’re making a website called: BestTearDrops. If it’s not already taken, you’ve done well choosing a short and memorable website name relevant to your business.
But, what if you want to add more websites to your brand?
If you want to start an online brand through the internet it’s wise to start general. If your domain name is broad enough yet specific to an idea then over time you can add more websites to your online ecosystem.
If you go through a normal domain name search you’ll notice that many domains that describe strong nouns, such as any domain related to a well-known topic, are already taken.
This is because successful site owners know when a potential user goes onto their browser they type in the service their looking for by keyword.
For example, if I’m looking for a solution to a plumbing issue I’ll search “x solution to this plumbing problem, or plumbers near me.”
This “crowd-sources” the potential results that come up, narrowing them down to the specific idea a user is looking for.
So, before you jump into domain name registration, ask yourself: What does my business do? How can I include that, in simplest terms, to my domain name?
A subset of this involves looking at trending keywords for your desired field.
You can play SEO before you even upload your first content.
For instance, if you’re building a site that has a strong political message, you may want to find the most common search results for your business, and make that your domain name.
But, don’t rely too heavily on specific words, but rather the groupings of ideas. This means, don’t just pick a few words that are popular but try combining unique and over-searched sequences of phrases.
For instance, if you’re trying to gain attraction in technology, you could pick a few high-result keywords. Or, you could create a sentence that captures the same idea but flows easier.
A good example of this can be found in DigitalTrends.com or TheNextWeb. These are two websites that take advantage of concepts rather than random combinations of popular words.
Take a moment to look up any kind of service and see how many results pop up.
Let’s say you’re exploring SSL Certification (since you’re thinking of starting a website already) and you get 40 million hits.
That’s a record of over 40 million people who’ve expressed interest in SSL. Better yet, that’s a load of internet users who found a website or two that answered their call.
You can be that business that gets the search if you adapt your domain name to the most popular search results for a given area.
Still, remember that the specific keywords you use aren’t the point. The point is your brand. When you’re coming up with a domain name based on trending keywords try exchanging the idea “keyword” for “business brand”.
That brand will be the way the internet finds its way to you.
So, when you’re thinking of how to get people to visit your site, use search engines as your resource to figure out how brands are searched syntactically.
Hyphens are often a warning flag for internet users and marketers. They often indicate spam.
Besides this, hyphens can create loads of typos for your website. If you’re choosing to hyphenate your domain name because your competition got to a title first, go ahead and try something else.
TLD’s (top-level domains) are the ending letters after the “dot” in your URL.
Each of these is differentiated by region and type of business.
For instance, “.org” stands for an organization and “.ie” stands for the websites in Ireland.
But, how should TLD influence how you choose a domain name?
Internet users associate TLD’s with different concepts. Of the TLD’s available “.com” is still among the most popular and recognized.
Choosing a recognized TLD can affect how others perceive your domain. For example, many people still think of “.org” as being short for a non-profit organization rather than a type of company.
This all means, when you’re deciding what kind of domain name best fits your business try figuring out what category your business falls under.
The more TLD’s that you can buy the better your chances are of being discovered.
Let’s say you found a great domain name under “.net” as your top level. Someone else can choose the very same name and just adjust the TLD.
To avoid this, try buying multiple TLD’s that each corresponds to a part of your business.
Your domain name should apply specifically to your business. It should not overlap with other purchased companies or ideas.
You can find more about trademark infringement but performing research of the laws in your region and search for trademarks that are similar to your domain name.
There are some domains that will look fresh and new but many of them have been given up by their previous owners.
This could mean trouble for your business as domains with shady backgrounds could be trailed back to you.
To avoid this, there are name history tools that can solve your problem at the start.
The WHOIS tool is a great one. WHOIS is well-known for having tracked domain history for over a decade and keeps tabs on most domains that have ever been registered.
Searching back in time like this also prevents future cyber-security threats to your online business.
That is, any illegal online operation previously attached to your desired domain name can become stark to you before its too late.
Domain name generators are a quick way to find great names.
So why is this an option you should try out?
Frankly, there are a ton of names out there you won’t have the chance to buy. If you find a domain generator that checks domain name availability, you’ve immediately found one that works and is open to you.
Often you’ll open up with a name query that will find a domain listing for you. Meaning, once you’ve thought of a dozen names that work for your business, you simply plug them in and get results.
Once you’ve done this you can select the name nearest to your websites concept.
After this, you can find a web host and registrar to hook you up!
Before you jump into registration try checking your domain name availability.
Here are some options for researching your domain name:
Put simply, a domain registrar is a collection of servers that keep a record of your domain.
When you’ve come up with a domain name your next step is to find a registrar.
At this point, you can register your website and find reliable hosting.
This is a quick tip to remember: regardless the name of your domain your business model is what matters.
Don’t overthink all the countless ways you could make a perfect website when all you need is something simple and memorable.
Since there are many thousands of new domains being registered every day, you need to act fast before your idea is taken.
Now that you know how to find domain names that work: this is your chance to break into the web.
Go for it, get a sense of what makes a website popular and be true to your audience. Create a name for your self and your business before it’s too late!