Choose a Domain Name

How To Choose Original, Appealing Domain Names

If you're just starting out, choose a domain name with care. I'd be very rich if I earned a dollar each time someone complains that all the great domain names have already been taken.

Effective Domain Name

It's not true, however. Even in a highly keyword competitive industry, you can think up original, appealing domain names by using naming tactics that few people use, such as:

Use a variety of real words
"Google's name is a play on the word googol, which refers to the number 1 followed by one hundred zeroes," says the Press Center of the world's most successful search engine.

"The word was coined by the nine-year-old nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner" - providing another hint for creative naming: Consult a kid.

Focus on results
What is the outcome or end result that people want to have from buying a certain product or service? How do they feel when they have finished the transaction?

Look for puns
Make a list of relevant keywords, say each out loud and play around with the sounds. Puns are much less likely than other kinds of names to have been registered because their component parts are not actual words.

For instance, the name "Sitesfaction", for a web design company, was a finalist in a naming contest - and an available domain at that time despite tens of thousands of web design firms in the English-speaking world.

Think slang
Let your imagination and memory fly around for pleasing-to-the-ear expressions. As of today, the domain "" for an online toy store is unregistered, as is a domain for its sister store "".

Go symbolic
Suppose you're an expert on the horror genre and want to start a paid online community for horror fans., and are all taken, but as of today, the less obvious and more vivid "" is not.

What's the purpose of the domain name?
Are you planning on using this name as the main website for your company, as a one page sales letter site, or squeeze page site? If the domain name will be your primary company website, try and find the closest version to your company name that you can.

If you're just starting out, choose your business name and domain name with care.

If the purpose of a domain is for a one-page sales letter site or a squeeze page, think ahead as to how you might promote this site.

Because content is king in today's internet marketing world, there's little chance that either of these types of sites would be picked up by the search engines on content or keywords.

Therefore, your best promotion strategy is PPC, or "pay per click", where you're buying keywords for placement in search engines.

If you're buying keywords from Google, for example, you want to be sure that the domain name and info displayed is compelling enough to get someone to click and visit your site. Brainstorm a list of ideas of the problem you're trying to solve or the solution that you have.

For SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes, it helps to have your keywords in your domain name. A domain name that clearly indicates what you do, a problem that you solve, or a solution that you have to a problem will give a visitor a fairly clear picture of what they can expect to find on your site.

What I typically do is go to my domain registrar and just start plugging in the names I'm brainstorming until I come up with 3 or 4 that are available.

If the domain name that you select is taken, the service will come up with 10 or so alternates for you to consider. I found this alternate listing quite helpful in picking names of sites that I want to create.

For instance, Marla Regan who's a professional organizer has put two keywords in her domain name, "". Before buying your domain, make a list of keywords that someone might use to find you online.

This list could include your industry, your target market or niche, a problem your target market has, or a solution that you can offer.

Shorter is better, if it's to be your primary domain. If the domain name is going to be your primary domain where your primary email address will be housed, you want your domain name to be as short, catchy and memorable as possible.

After a few times of spelling out your lengthy email address to people, you'll come to appreciate the beauty of a short domain name.

Purchase your given name as a domain name. I typically tell my clients not to try and brand their given name as their business name, as that takes many years, much money, and lots of hard work to have the name recognition of Oprah, for example.

However, it can still pay to purchase your given name as a domain name for branding purposes, as I have done with "". You can also redirect it to your primary website.

Buy the .COM version of the name if it is available. When people hear a domain name, they "hear" .COM whether it's .NET, .BIZ, .ORG or whatever. It pays to find a .COM domain name if possible. If you just can't get the name you want, try a hyphenated version of the .COM name.

Many SEO specialists state that search engines like hyphenated names and many online business owners use hyphenated keywords in their domain names to be more attractive to search engines.

Some domain name owners may be willing to sell you the domain name that you desperately want. You can find out who owns a domain name by checking the WhoIs Registry.

Consider owning other versions of your primary domain name.

If you are registering the .COM version of a domain for your business, you may also want to secure variations of the name, alternate spellings and the .NET, .BIZ etc. versions of your domain and redirect them to your main site to keep them out of the hands of your competitors.

However, do exercise some restraint in your purchases and don't go crazy with purchasing every single variation of your domain name.

Your domain name is the beginning of the establishment of your presence online,  Take some time and put some thought into the process so that the domain name serves you well in the years to come, and is an effective tool for helping you get more clients online.

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