- Oct 08, 2018
- by Paris Backston
Your domain name is more than just the title of your website. It will be the first thing many potential visitors encounter, and it helps them decide whether or not they’re interested in what you have to offer. Therefore, it’s crucial that you put time into planning your domain name carefully.
If you’re in the process of choosing your domain name, there are a number of helpful tools you can use to brainstorm ideas. This includes everything from high-tech domain name generators, to a simple online thesaurus. These solutions can help you pick a domain name that sticks in your target audience’s minds, provokes interest, and even improves Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
In this article, we’ll go over what a memorable domain name should include, and introduce a few tools you can use to find the perfect one for your site. Let’s get started!
Why Your Domain Name Matters
Your domain name is the ‘face’ of your website. It’s important to put time and thought into picking one, especially since it can be hard to change. In particular, you should never rush into choosing a domain name if you have any ambitions for growing or monetizing your site.
In addition, the domain name will have an effect on how people remember your site. It sets the tone for their first impressions. If it’s unprofessional or unmemorable, people might not remember it long enough to make a return visit.
On the other hand, a strong domain name will keep your site in visitors’ minds a lot longer. This is also important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which favors user-friendly and memorable domains.
4 Tools to Help You Pick the Perfect Domain Name
Once you understand the importance of choosing the right domain name, it can be natural to feel a bit intimidated. Thinking up domain name ideas can be challenging, especially since yours will need to be both unique and available.
If you’re already drawing a blank in the brainstorming process, don’t worry. There are a number of tools that can help you generate possibilities. Let’s look at four tools that will help you think outside of the box when finding a domain name for your new website.
1. A Thesaurus
Domain name tools don’t have to be high-tech. When in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to get back to the basics. In other words, a helpful first place to look is an old-fashioned thesaurus.
A thesaurus can be extremely helpful when brainstorming domain names. You can start with a few words related to your website’s focus or niche, and create a list of similar (but more unique) terms.
While you can stick with a physical thesaurus, there are plenty of solid online options. For example, the Visual Thesaurus shows you a web of interrelated words for easy browsing:
In addition, look for terms with alliteration, assonance, or consonance when possible. After all, people tend to like words with a bit of internal rhyme or ‘similar’ sounds.
2. Domain Name Generators
Another helpful solution is to use a domain name generator. These can help to ‘brainstorm’ a list for you, using smart algorithms designed to pick the best names.
In most generators, you can enter a phrase or subject and get a range of potential ideas. You can even enter multiple subjects one at a time, create a list of your favorite related words, and use those as a jumping-off point for your own brainstorming.
If you haven’t yet named your business, it can be useful to title it in tandem with your domain name:
Anadea’s business name generator is one tool that can help you find a unique, memorable business name that’s likelier to have a matching available domain name.
3. Keyword Research Tools
Keywords are frequently searched-for words and phrases. Popular keywords tell you what subjects have already caught your target audience’s interest. If you can find a keyword that matches your business’ niche and build a domain name around it, that can help customers find you more easily.
There are plenty of helpful tools for finding keywords in your niche. Google’s Keyword Planner enables you to enter in a word or phase, and see a list of related terms ranked by popularity:
Using keywords may also help your site’s SEO. There’s a correlation between Exact Match Domains (EMDs) and search engine rankings. This means that if your domain contains keywords people often search for, it may come up slightly higher in results
When looking for keywords, you’ll want to focus on those that are closely related to your focus or niche, but still generate some search volume. For example, if you’re running a restaurant, something generic like burgers.com would have very high competition.
However, if your fast food business makes the best Mediterranean gyros in Philadelphia, then a domain like PhiladelphiaMediterraneanGyros.com might help drive business your way. Specific phrases like these are called long-tail keywords. Since they’re so targeted, they’re less likely to have competition – making it likelier that you can grab the top spot in search engines.
4. Domain Checker
As you try out the tools listed above, you should be jotting down a list of names that you like. Once you have a selection of possibilities, you can use a domain checker to test your preferred names for availability.
A2 Hosting’s domain checker, for example, will show you which domain names are taken and which you can purchase:
In addition, it will generate a list of alternative names that are available, so that if your domain is taken, you can scope out other options. Finally, you’ll also see the price for each domain, so you can work within your budget.
An outstanding domain name will pique people’s interest, encouraging them to visit your site just as if you’d handed them a business card or personally invited them to have a look. It will also be memorable enough that repeat visitors will remember the correct name to type in – keeping them coming back.
To choose a domain name with ‘sticking power,’ you can use one or all of the following resources for ideas:
- An online thesaurus.
- A business name generator.
- Google Keyword Planner (or another keyword solution).
- The A2 Hosting domain checker tool.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.