Creating a Domain Name

5 Tips on Creating a 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 most cases, you should favor a ”.com” however if you are planning to sell in a specific country only you should consider a country specific domain such as “co.uk” for the United Kingdom.

4. Discoverable vs. Brandable: What’s your strategy? Solely relying on traffic from search engines? Then you should use real words and phrases like TopTvMounts.com that people are searching for to increase your search ranking. If your marketing focus is on paid search listing, banner ads and buzz building, you should come up with a brandable name like Insiders1.com 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).

Make sure that the domain name doesn’t confuse potential visitors. Strive for a site name that sounds exactly like it’s spelled so you don’t need a search engine to find it. A quick trip to Alexa’s Top 100 U.S. sites shows there are few exceptions to this rule. With most basic words already spoken for, be prepared to get creative, mixing words together or coming up with an appropriate onomatopoeia.

Try to come up with an original name that is catchy enough to be passed along at the water cooler. Look no further than domain names Yahoo or Google. While these names really don’t reveal much about two of the web’s most visited sites, they’re easy to recall and short on syllables, making it easy for first-timers to find.

Commit to securing a “.com” name. It only takes a quick trip to Alexa to discourage any thoughts of settling for less popular “.org,” “.net” or “.info.” Of the Top 100 traffic-ranked sites in the United States, only 10 ended with something other than “.com.” At the end of the day, why argue with 90% of the country’s most-visited sites?

Cross check the domain name quality with others and consider their opinions. You may discover that what you thought was a great domain name idea is actually not so. If you are very secretive about the domain name, use Domometer in private mode and check the domain name quality grade. Anything above C+ is usually considered a good domain name.

Head over to your favorite domain name registrar. Don’t get too discouraged when you discover the fabulous names you’ve painstakingly researched are already spoken for. This is your opportunity to recruit family and friends to get involved by emailing them your naming guidelines. Don’t be surprised if someone who isn’t invested in the project suggests the perfect, available name.

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