When you’re starting a blog or opening a small business, building your website is an exciting step. But before you can launch a site, you’ll need to determine a domain name (e.g., www.yourdomain.com). As straightforward this sounds, it can be surprisingly difficult to find an available option. To help, we created a list of tips and tricks to simplify the process for choosing the domain name for your next venture.
You can also check here to see if your initial domain name ideas are available:
1. Use a Domain Name Generator
If you’re trying to choose a domain name and don’t know where to start, a domain name generator can provide the inspiration you need. Even if you don’t use any of the domain names created by the generator, this is a great way to start brainstorming relevant domains. Plus, many name generators make it easy to explore top-level domains—or domain extensions—you may not have considered. Some even provide details about how much each domain will cost to purchase.
For example, here are some results the domain name generator produced for “gluten free bakery”:
2. Try Using Your Business’ Name
Building a small business website is often the first thing people do when getting their company off the ground. For that reason, it’s vital that your website reflect your company or blog’s brand in a way that appeals to your target clients. Among other things, this means choosing a domain name that is consistent with your value proposition and your ultimate vision for the company.
For some, choosing a domain name is as straightforward as using your blog or business’ name. For example, a whiskey curation business named Sip Whiskey uses the domain name www.sipwhiskey.com.
3. Say What You Do
To build a successful brand, it’s imperative that you 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 domain name that is both catchy and informative. For example, UBreakIFix, which doubles as the company’s name and domain, cleverly describes the service while keeping the domain short, funny, and easy to spell. Businesses can also experiment with everything from rhymes to unique visuals or personas that can be incorporated across brand standards.
Here are a few examples of how various companies’ domains might look using this tip:
- Love Crumbs | lovecrumbscafe.com
- The Munroe on 5th | munroehotel.com
- Smith Electric | smithelectricservice.com
4. Make It Memorable
Once you’re noticed, successful marketing requires staying top of mind with those ideal customers. Having a catchy, easy-to-remember domain name, like www.discosloth.com, can help, especially if you’re relying 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 your clients will remember when they’re searching for you online. Sometimes the simplest domain name is the most memorable.
For example, a domain 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” may be intended as a play on words, it’s likely to confuse someone searching for you online. In contrast, the example above (www.discosloth.com) is not only catchy and on-brand, it’s also short and easy to remember.
Here are a few other domain name ideas that were created using this tip:
- Cartagena Coffee | cartagenabuzz.com
- Guru Project Management | getguru.com
- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival | nojazzfest.com/
5. Include Relevant Keywords
If you’re creating a website for your business, you’re already aware of the importance of internet marketing—especially in today’s business environment. The next step is to optimize your online content to make sure it shows up in relevant search engine results. To get your website in front of your target audience, consider incorporating a relevant keyword or two in your domain name.
If you’re not sure what keywords to focus on, try Google Keyword Planner. Just type in a word or phrase that’s related to your business and the tool will provide a list of related keywords that people are actually searching for. Not only will this help you improve search engine optimization for your business website, it can be a great source of domain name ideas if you’re not sure where to start.
Here are a few other domain name ideas that were generated with the help of the Google Keyword planner:
- Hotel Tonight | hoteltonight.com
- Superior Pool Service | superiorpoolservice.com
- New Era | newerapestcontrol.com
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, with over 250 options like .yoga and .shop, it may not even be the most appropriate extension for your business. Using an alternative top-level domain can be an easy way to get the domain name you want without having to add a location, use a synonym, or make other common adjustments.
For a nationwide customer relationship management (CRM) provider like the one above, a business owner may have their heart set on something like www.skywave.com or even www.skywavecrm.com, only to find it is unavailable. Luckily, the .app extension provides an alternative that’s creative and more likely to be available. Likewise, if you choose an available domain name only to discover that it’s more expensive than you can afford, it may be less costly with a different domain extension.
Here are a few other domain name ideas and examples:
- Joe’s NYC Pizza | joespizza.nyc
- Bogata Beans | bogatabeans.coffee
- Elevation Running Club | elevation.club
7. Get Domain Name Ideas 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 a domain name that specifically addresses that need and attracts clientele. Admittedly, this approach may be better suited to startups that are still in the early stage of developing their 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.
If you have a gluten free bakery that’s located in Asheville, North Carolina, for example, you might search for “gluten free bakery asheville” as in the screenshot above. Then, scroll through the local search results to see what might be missing and what markets are already saturated. This can help you home in on a niche or just give you some inspiration for a fitting domain name that will stand out in your location.
Here are a few examples of how a business can gain domain ideas from competitors:
- Competitor: Hoteltonight.com | Available domain: Hotelstomorrow.com
- Competitor: Explorevt.com | Available domain: Discoverva.com
- Competitor: Hostelworld.com | Available domain: Hostelland.com
8. Use a Thesaurus
If you’re like many business owners who chose the perfect domain name only to discover it’s not available—or too pricey—consider possible synonyms. Websites like Thesaurus.com and Power Thesaurus are excellent resources for choosing words that can help your domain name 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 or locally inspired 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 will be able to spell, pronounce, and remember.
Here are a few examples of how a business can gain domain ideas from a thesaurus:
- Landscaping: lawn care, gardening (e.g., baylawncare.com)
- Bar: tavern, pub (e.g., blackhorsepub.com)
- Royal: noble, imperial (e.g., noblevineyard.com)
9. Include Your Business’ Location
Likewise, if you’re set on a domain name that is already taken, consider adding your business’ location. Not only does this convey more information about your company to prospective clients, it can help you show up in more relevant online searches. In the example above, the domain name www.yogahighlands.com reflects both the name of the business and the studio’s location. Not only was this domain still available—where www.yogastudio.com or www.yoga.com was not—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.
Here are a few other domain name ideas and examples which make the location served very clear:
- No Code Web Design | nocodenyc.com
- Smile Dentistry | smiledentistrydallas.com
- Atlas Climbing | Atlasclimbingaz.com
10. Don’t Get 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. For example, even if your business starts as a restaurant supply company, you may ultimately expand into additional services like hotel linen supply.
So 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 the one above (www.perfectgrin.com) might be a better choice.
Here are a few other domain name ideas and examples:
- Farms & Barns Real Estate | farmsandbarns.com
- Fresh Pet | freshpet.com
- Eastern Oil Company | eastern.com
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 totally 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. For that reason, we recommend getting a free domain as part of your web hosting agreement through a company like Bluehost, or by choosing an all-in-one site builder plan with an option like Squarespace, Weebly, or Wix.
Which is the best place to buy a domain name?
The best domain name registrar depends on a number of factors, like your budget, privacy demands, and whether you want to purchase multiple domains. What’s more, some domain name registrars specialize in unique web extensions (think .market instead of .com), while others stand out because they offer domain registration alongside other services like web hosting.
If you have a unique business name, choosing a domain name might be a straightforward process. But often, business owners and bloggers find it difficult to choose a name that succinctly and cleverly describes their brand—or they discover that their first choice for a domain is already taken. Luckily, these tried-and-true tips can make it easier to brainstorm outstanding domain name ideas for your business.