With so many websites out there, you often need to be creative to find a domain name that isn’t already taken. Below are five tips on how to pick a good domain name.

  1. The essentials: Be short, catchy and memorable! You should also make your name easy to pronounce and spell.
  2. The unspoken rules: Avoid something too similar to competing domain names and make sure not to violate someone else’s trademark.
  3. “.COM” – The “.com” is the most popular top-level domain and it can be hard to find one that is available. In the past it was taboo if you didn’t have  a “.com”, however there are new, premium domains that should be taken into consideration to widen your  reach. For example, our team at Orpical Group recently built a site for Cure Natural Skin Care and secured www.curenaturalskincare.com and www.cureskin.care. Premium domain names are super hip: dot law, dot pizza, dot ninja…. You’ll be surprised there’s probably a premium domain out there for you.
  4. Discoverable vs. Brandable: What’s your objective for the site? Solely relying on traffic from search engines? Then you should use real words and phrases like SolarPhoneChargers.com that people are searching for to increase your search ranking. If your marketing focus is on paid search listings, banner ads and buzz building, you can be more vague, and come up with a brandable name that people will remember.
  5. Be creative: Most single-word domains are taken and you might need to create your own word. Try compounding two whole words (YouTube), using a phrase (Six Apart), blending parts of two words together (Microsoft), tweaking a word (Flickr), affixing a word with a prefix or a suffix (Shopify), or making up a completely unique name (Odeo).

I love finding domains for clients. It’s like putting the outside border of a jigsaw puzzle together. Everything falls in place afterwards. If you’re not an English buff or creative like me, don’t fear defeat. There are some pretty sweet resources on the web to get the ball rolling.

Tools to help you brainstorm domain names

  • NameStation – Generates a list of available domains based on a submitted word.
  • Domaintyper – Checks domain name availability instantly.
  • Domain Pigeon – See what others are looking to register as a source of inspiration.
  • Domainr – Type a word and it will find “domain hacks”.

You probably won’t get your first pick, but don’t let that discourage you. With a little ingenuity and persistence, you’ll find a great domain name for your website.