Domain Name Ideas:
How to Find The Best Ones

How do you come up with great domain name ideas when you're building a web site?

First of all you need to know what a good domain name should do.
How about:

  • Give your web site a bit of a boost with the search engines
  • Tell potential visitors what your site is about
  • Be short and sweet
  • be easy to remember


Taking the time to choose the best domain name is an investment in your web site.

Use Your Site Concept

It's a good idea to use your site concept in the domain name. It tells the search engines and potential visitors what your site is about. What tells you more:  car-pictures-and-posters.com or smithbros.com ?

Take Your Time

You'll come up with much better domain name ideas if you don't choose the name up front. Develop your site concept, research keywords for your site and do some planning before you choose the name. You'll often find that as you work through the process the concept of your site will change.

You may find that your original idea doesn't monetize well so you need to change it a bit, or that the keywords you were thinking of just aren't getting many searches. Your idea may have been too broad or too narrow so you have to modify the original concept.

Do Keyword Research

If you choose your domain name without doing any keyword research you can easily choose a phrase that hardly anybody searches on. With research you may find that ninety percent of people search on “house plumbing”, and ten percent on “domestic plumbing”.

In that case blacktown-house-plumbing.com would be a lot better choice than  blacktown-domestic-plumbing.com.

Keep Your Target Market In Mind

Slant your domain name ideas to suit your target market. If you're going for a young trendy market the name can be more casual. If you're after a mature, conservative market the name should be more mature and conservative.

cool-investing-ideas.com probably wouldn't give a chartered accountant target market a lot of confidence.

Try A Number Of Domain Name Ideas

Don't be satisfied with coming up with one idea for your domain name. Write down ten domain name ideas, so that you have a much better chance of coming up with the best name.

Using Dashes

Dashes can make a long domain name easier to read. Dashes have been controversial though. I've read that you should use them because it's better for the search engines, and I've read that you should never use them because the search engines don't like them.

Success leaves clues though. Site Build It! sites as a group are probably the most successful sites on the internet in terms of targeted traffic, and many of them use dashes in the domain name. The Site Build It! site building guide suggests using dashes in domain names with three words or more. It certainly makes them easier to understand and remember, and the search engines don't seem to mind. What's easier to understand: buildingawebsite.com or building-a-web-site.com?

Domain names with just two words are normally fine without dashes, so you can go either way there.

Using Your Business Name

Sometimes you do want to use your business name as a domain name because it is well known in your town. For the best of both worlds you can use your site concept in your domain name for the website, and have your business name as a second domain name that redirects to your website.

For example, your website could be named blacktown-house-plumbing.com, and you could have a second domain name j-smith-and-son.com that sends visitors to blacktown-house-plumbing.com when it is clicked on.

Check It's Legal

It can be devastating to build up a website and be getting good traffic, and then get a letter from a lawyer saying you can't use the domain name because it is a registered trade mark.

Do a search on checking business names and trademarks to find what you need to know in your country.

Be Prepared To Change

After all the effort you've put into your domain name ideas, why would you want to change?

You'll find that there are so many websites on the net it's likely that your perfect domain name has already been registered. You can check for availability with a domain registrar. If your perfect name has been taken you'll have to try a variation. In fact if you're in a popular niche you'll probably have to try a few variations.

As well as trying variations on the wording, you can try the domain name with or without dashes, or you could see if the .net extension is available. I personally wouldn't use .biz or .info extensions though. They don't look as professional as .com or .net.

Time To Register

Once you've come up with a great domain name its time to register it. Click on the link to learn how to register a new domain name.



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