This article is part of a larger series on Small Business Websites.
Building a website is a crucial task when starting a small business. But before you can launch your site, you need a domain (e.g., www.yourdomain.com)—and domain name ideas for business websites aren’t always easy to come by. Unless your business name is extremely unique, your ideal domain is probably already taken. To help, we created a list of tips for choosing the perfect domain name for your business’ website.
If you already have some domain name ideas in mind, see if they’re available here:
1. Generate Domain Name Ideas for Business Websites
Unless your business’ name or concept is wildly unique, you might find that the first ideas that come to mind are already taken. There’s a lot of competition when it comes to domain names (especially with .com or .net domain extensions), so it’s best to start the process with a long list of ideas for potential website domains.
If you don’t have a list like this, you can generate a variety of domain name ideas for business websites using a domain name generator. Plus, many name generators make it easy to explore top-level domains (TLDs), aka domain extensions (e.g., .com, .net, .store, and so on) that you may not have considered. Some even provide details about how much each domain will cost to purchase.
The generator will tell you if your domain name ideas are taken, offer more suggestions for both the root domain (i.e., “rootdomain” in the example rootdomain.com) and top-level domains (i.e., “.com” in the example), and the cost to purchase each one. The search is completely free, and since both are registrars, you can purchase your chosen domain in just a few clicks.
Pro tip: Looking for expert help choosing a domain name for your business’ website? Hire a branding expert from Fiverr. With prices starting from $5, freelance professionals are ready to help you brainstorm potential website URLs to help you find the perfect one.
2. Use Your Business’ Name in Your Domain
Building a small business website is often the first thing people do when getting a company off the ground. For that reason, it’s vital that your website’s URL reflects your brand. Among other things, this means choosing a name that is consistent with your value proposition and your ultimate vision for the company.
Almost always, the best domain name ideas for business websites include the company name for the simple reason that it’s the most memorable representation of a business. Including your business’ name in its website URL makes it easier for prospects and customers to find your website and for your marketing to be consistent across the board as well.
An example of this is Delta Air Lines, which uses www.delta.com. Not only is it memorable and easy to find, but they also keep it consistent in social media by reserving the handles (e.g., Facebook) under the same name.
3. Say What You Do
To build a successful brand, it must stand out to potential clients. Depending on what kind of business you have, this likely involves providing high-quality goods and services and nurturing an excellent reputation among clients. However, as more and more businesses move online, having a domain name that stands out to customers is more important than ever.
Get noticed by potential clients by choosing a name for your website URL that is both catchy and informative. UBreakIFix doubles as the company’s name and domain in the example below, cleverly describing the service while keeping the domain short, funny, and easy to spell. You can also experiment with everything from rhymes to unique traits or the ideal customer persona that is representative of your brand.
4. Include Relevant Keywords
Another way to come up with the perfect URL for your company is by coming up with domain name ideas for business websites that include keywords. Although search engines like Google don’t put as much stock on keywords in domain URLs as they once did, it’s still a great way of telling your audience the kinds of services you provide. It can also help you find an unregistered domain name if your brand name is already taken.
If you’re not sure what keywords to use, try free keyword research tools. Just type in a word or phrase related to your business and the tool will provide a list of related keywords people are searching for. Not only will this help you improve search engine optimization (SEO) for your website, but it can also be a great source of ideas for your domain URL if you’re not sure where to start.
5. Make It Memorable
Once you’re noticed, successful marketing requires staying top of mind with your ideal customers. Having a name for your domain that is catchy and easy to remember can help, especially if you rely on advertising or word of mouth to build your business.
The same goes for spelling. While it’s tempting to use your name or a unique spelling, consider whether it’s something prospects and customers will remember when they’re searching for your business online. Sometimes the simplest domain name is the most memorable.
For example, a URL like www.KowalczyksKomputerRepair.com includes the owner’s name and describes the business, but some may find it difficult to spell, pronounce, or even remember. And, while the spelling of “Komputer” is a play on words, it’s likely to confuse someone searching for you online. In contrast, domain name ideas for business websites that are less than 15 characters long and spelled correctly are much easier to remember and find.
6. Consider Other Domain Extensions
Although .com is traditionally the most common—and most popular—domain extension, it’s not your only option. What’s more, it might not even be the most appropriate domain extension for your type of business. Extensions give information about your business, so if you’re not using a .com, make sure you choose the right extension based on your business type and industry.
Here are some common extensions and their industries:
- .com: Stands for “commercial” and is appropriate for all kinds of commercial entities
- .org: Stands for “organization” and is meant for use by nonprofits and charities
- .edu: Stands for “education” and is meant for use by educational institutions
- .net: Stands for “network” and is most appropriate for businesses in the technology sector
- .store: For any type of retail store, online store, ecommerce business, or online marketplace
Aside from these popular extensions, there are location-based extensions like .us (USA) and .ca (Canada) and niche extensions like .yoga and .shop. Using an alternative TLD extension can be an easy way to get the root domain you want without using a synonym or making other common adjustments. Likewise, alternative domain extensions are often less costly than their popular .com counterparts.
Did you know?
Domain names were free until 1995, but now cost about $14.99 per year. A premium domain, however, such as marvelous.org or incredible.net, would cost $7,500 or more for year one before dropping down to a regular renewal price of $15 to $20 per year (source: IONOS.com domain name generator).
7. Get Ideas for Your Website Domain From Competitors
When choosing a domain name, researching your competitors can serve two purposes. First, competitor research is a great way to get a burst of inspiration and kick-start your creative process. Then, once you’re in a more creative mindset, competitor research can help you identify blind spots in your marketing or niches that might be worth exploring in your business.
From there, you can craft some domain name ideas for business websites that specifically address the needs of your target audience. Admittedly, this approach may be better suited to startups that are still in the early stage of developing a value proposition. But even if your business is well-established, it can still help you choose a domain name and perhaps learn something new about your industry.
For example, if you have a gluten-free bakery located in Asheville, North Carolina, you might search for “gluten free bakery asheville.” Then, scroll through the local Google Business Profile listings to see what might be missing and what markets are already saturated. This can help you hone in on a niche or get some inspiration for a fitting domain name that will stand out in your location.
8. Use a Thesaurus
If you’re like many business owners who chose a perfect option only to discover it’s not available or is too pricey, consider possible synonyms. Websites like Thesaurus.com and Power Thesaurus are excellent resources for choosing words that can help your website’s URL stand out from the competition.
Where a simple synonym won’t do the trick, you can also play around with unique alternative spellings or add a relevant adjective. Some business owners also choose to expand their search beyond English to secure a domain name that fits the bill. Just make sure it’s something customers can spell, pronounce, and remember.
9. Try Domain Name Ideas With Business Locations
If you’re set on a name that is already taken, consider adding your business’ location. Not only does this convey more information about your company to prospective clients, but it can also help you show up in more relevant online searches.
For example, the domain name www.luxurycleaningny.com reflects the name of the business, what the business does, and its service locations (i.e., in NY, or New York). Not only does this set the company apart, but its local clients are more likely to find it in an online search.
That said, if there’s a possibility your business will change location or expand to multiple offices, this may not be the best approach. Take some time to consider your long-term goals before going local with your domain name.
10. Get Specific, But Not Too Specific
It’s important to use a domain name that reflects your brand, but choosing a domain name that is too specific may not serve you as your business continues to expand and evolve. Aside from being too specific about your location, including a highly specific value proposition in your domain name can work against you.
For example, the domain name www.restaurantsupplync.com tells your customers your business is a restaurant supply company based in North Carolina. But this domain name will no longer be relevant if you ultimately expand into additional services like hotel linen supplies.
Likewise, while choosing a domain like www.bracesonly.com may seem appropriate for an orthodontist, it’s also so specific that it makes it sound as if the dental practice offers no other dental services. For that reason, a more general domain name like www.perfectgrin.com might be a better choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the website address your customers type into the search bar to find your business online. Because this is the specific location of your website online, choosing a domain name is a necessary part of creating a website and building an online presence. It’s also an important element of your branding strategy. Domain names can be acquired for free, but if you choose to buy a custom domain, it will likely cost between $12 and $15 per year.
Which free domain is best?
There are several ways to get a free domain name, but the best option depends on your primary goals. While free domain registrars are available, these can look unprofessional and are often more susceptible to hackers. Instead, many web hosting companies like Bluehost offer free domains as part of their contracts. You can also purchase plans from all-in-one site builders like Squarespace or Wix to get a free domain name for a year.
How can I buy a domain name?
Once you have the perfect domain name idea for your business, the next step is to head to a domain name registrar. While it doesn’t really matter where you register your domain, the best registrars give extra features like cheaper prices and domain privacy. Some domain name registrars also specialize in unique web extensions (e.g., .yoga), while others stand out because they offer domain registration alongside other services like web hosting.
If you have a unique business name, choosing the right domain for your website might be a straightforward process. But often, the first idea that pops into your head will be taken. You might find it difficult to choose a domain name that succinctly and cleverly describes your brand and which isn’t already registered. Luckily, these 10 tried-and-true tips can make it easier to brainstorm ideas to help you land on the perfect one.