A Beginner’s Simple Guide to Choosing Great Domain Names
By Tom Seest
How Do Companies Choose Good Domain Names?
A good portion of a company’s budget is spent on establishing a marketing brand and associated domain name. It is maybe one of the most important projects a company has when it is in its startup phase. So, if you’re starting a company, and you think this is important, you’ll find yourself asking: What domain name should I use?
A Domain Name Should Make the Company and the Domain Easy to Remember
There are many factors that can affect the decision you make when choosing a domain name. Some experts say to keep the name simple so that people don’t have trouble spelling it and finding your website. Others would say choose a great brand word; something like Yahoo, Google, or Facebook. Others say to avoid punctuation, numbers, the plural form of words, slang, and hyphens, which all make it more difficult to find your domain and website. Others would advise you to keep the name short and use keywords for your market. You will find lots of advice and direction from many experts, and most of it is probably good advice. But, many experts feel that the domain name should make both the company and the domain name easy to remember.
Why Should a Domain Name Be Easy to Remember?
It is important for a domain name to be easy to remember because people are exposed to a variety of different domain names, brand names, and company names throughout the day. People already have so many details of their days to remember that, if they have to remember a specific domain name or even your name or your brand name or your company name, it can be very difficult. So in my mind, it’s important for the name to be catchy and easy to remember, something that sticks out; something that they’ll remember.
Are Social Media Names Important When Picking a Domain Name?
While there doesn’t seem to be any consensus amongst experts, I feel it is important that you should select a domain name that has potential matching social media usernames and page names. If the social media names and the domain names matched the brand and are all easy to remember, then your customers and your potential customers will be able to remember and locate you on all the social media platforms and on your domain. All without having to go to search engines, trying to find your company, and then being exposed to other companies or potential competitors.
Where Can I Go to Find Social Media Names with Matching Domain Names?
When I try to find social media names with matching domain names that are available on the open market, I like to use a tool called namechk.com which is a domain name, oddly enough, designed to help you try and select names for your domain, brand, and social media sites. The makers of the namechk.com site will allow you to type in the name that you potentially want to use, and it will show you a list of available domain extensions, and it will tell you if that name is available on social sites. If you are having trouble coming up with names or similar names, I recommend the use some type of online thesaurus to look for potential matching verbs, pronouns, adjectives, and nouns that you can use when trying to select a good name.
How Do I Search for Domain Names on Namechk.Com?
When the namechk.com site finishes loading, you can type the name you wish to search for in the box to the left of the “Magnifying Glass” icon as pictured below. After you type the name, without any spaces and without any domain extensions, click the “Magnifying Glass” icon. The screen will refresh, and any of the Domain extensions at the top of the screen displayed in green are available for purchase at sites like GoDaddy.com, Namecheap.com, and other domain purchase websites. At the bottom of the screen, under the Usernames caption, you’ll see icons displayed in green for any Social Media sites where that same name is available as a username for that social media site. In this example, CardGameHub.com is NOT available and CardGameHub can not be used as a Username on Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, or Reddit. To run another search, you need to use the browser button and reload and refresh the page so that it looks like it did on the previous screen.
What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing a Domain Name?
It really depends on what is important to you when establishing your business. If you already have an established company name and brand, then you will likely have less flexibility when choosing the domain name. But, you will likely want to keep the experts’ suggestions in mind that I suggested earlier in the article. In any case, if you feel that you want to have a strong social media presence that matches your domain presence and brand on the Internet, then I suggest you use an online thesaurus and the namechk.com tool when selecting your domain names.
Choose a Domain Name That Works Well for You and That You Like
While I think things are important like the rules suggested by the experts early on and while I like domain names that are easy to remember, that might not actually work for you. The bottom line is when you choose it and you choose the brand and you choose how you use it on the Internet, you’re the one that has to live with it and be happy with it. So choose the name and be happy with it.