First impressions are important. Your domain name is your online business’ first impression, so you want to be sure you take the time to consider a few of the domain name rules.
“Domains have and will continue to go up in value faster than any other commodity ever known to man” — Bill Gates
Domain Name Do’s and Don’ts
- Consider syllables. I typically try to stay around 2-4 syllables. For Example: bookface.com (2 syllables) vs communication-internationalism.com (12 syllables)
- Consider words. I recommend using only 1-2 words in your domain. It’s almost impossible to catch a single-word domain these days. So, try to keep it a 2 words max.
- Consider hyphens: I recommend you don’t – unless you never plan to say your domain out loud. You’re going to have a hard enough time getting someone to remember your new domain, adding the hyphen makes it that much harder to convey. For Example: “My website is Littlefile.com” vs “My website is Little, and then there’s a hyphen and then File. It’s like, Little File, but with a hyphen in between.”
- Consider the .com: Almost 100% of the time, I would recommend getting the .com version of your domain. Similar to the hyphen, it’s not always easy for people to remember that you just said .co or .net instead of .com. For Example: Many less tech-savvy people, still don’t really think about there being different domain name extensions. When you mention your domain is a .biz or .net, they’re just not going to get it as easy as they should. Using extensions other than a .com is really just creating an unneeded hinderance.
- Consider singles: Many times a decent (keyword) domain name will come up, but it will be the “plural version”. These too can be confusing to people. You want a domain that people hear and immediately understand. For Example: amazonprime.com vs amazonsprimes.com – this keyword-rich domain may look tempting, but it’s much better to go singular when you can.
There are lots of other rules, but these are the basics.
Where To Find Your Domain Name
There are a ton of resources to help you find the perfect name. One of out favorite tools is called expired-domains.co. This site looks for domains that have expired in the last 1-31 days. Why would you want an expired domain name? I’ll tell you. People, like yourself, put can put in a lot of time finding the right name. They may hold on to it for a year or two and then just let it expire. This is where you come in. You can get the shortlist of domains that have already been vetted by people out there. It’s like someone started your domain research years ago and now you can pick up the expired domain name for just a couple of bucks.
Here’s how it works. You go to the website: expired-domains.co. You’ll want to search for a domain relevant to your core offering. In this example, we’re going to pretend we have a denim company that needs a fresh name. We’ll use the keyword “denim”.
You will see lots of boxes pop up, but we usually stay in the Full Lost of Expiring & Dropped Domains. This is where you will find the least expensive options for your new name. Click the title and you will see a comprehensive list of every domain name that’s expired in the past 31 days that contains the term “denim”.
Now, you’ll want to use the column on the left to begin to filter down to find something special. Using some of the rules above, we can take out domains that contain numbers or hyphens, we can remove everything but the .coms and even limit the length of the domain name.
Using the filters, you will knock out most of the crap and get down to nice short names. After browsing through just the first page, we came across a great domain name for our new denim company. ChicDenim.com. This domain is just 9 letters, 3 syllables, and just so happens to be a .com.
TIP: One more thing we like to do when vetting a new domain name is to check the Estibot. This will let you know what the domain is worth, as well as give you a little insight into the search metrics. You only get one free lookup per day, so choose wisely.
To check your domain go to, estibot.com, and type your domain name. You’ll see that our estimate is almost $400 for this domain that is only going to cost a couple bucks to register.
This isn’t to say your domain has to be “worth” anything, it’s just a good way to get some unbiased feedback of how the internet might view your domain.
If this is interesting to you, this is actually a business in itself. Earlier this year we found a great domain using these methods. We purchased the domain for $7 on Godaddy and resold it just a few months later for $750. Domain flipping is a real business.
What If That Doesn’t Work?
Anyway, back to your domain for your business. If you’ve found something using the Expired Domain website, you’re all set. If not, you might also want to check out panabee.com. This website uses your keyword to add minimal prefixes or postfixes to find you a short and memorable domain name.
Once you find “the one”, go grab it. I’ve had lists of domains that I’ve watched, only to see my top picks get taken one-by-one. Usually, you can find a deal on Godaddy.com to get your first domain for just a buck or two.
Get Your Social Handles to Match
After you’ve registered the domain, you might want to see if you can get the matching social media handles. There is a super easy way to check all of the platforms at once. Checkout namecheckr.com. You can enter the account name you’re after and see what’s available where. Even if you aren’t planning on using the accounts right now, it doesn’t hurt to set everything up and have your name reserved. You can see in our case ‘chicdenim’ was taken on most of the big platforms. However, you can add something extra to see what other options you have. We added ‘the’ and had everything available.
Hopefully this has given you some good ideas on where to start with your domain name. Want some help or suggestions? Feel free to message us or leave a comment. We’re here to help!