I’ve got clients who, literally, spend weeks or months trying to come up with the perfect domain name for their new website. They probably lose sleep over it. I always say, yes, try to come up with a good (or great) domain name, but don’t stress yourself out over it!
Occasionally, I’ll help a client come up with a name. One of the best, in my opinion, was www.locktheknee.com. That was for a yoga studio, in which the owner/teacher would, during a particular pose, always say, “Lock the knee!” So, I thought, what a great name for her website. And she and all her students loved it! Very catchy and memorable. Of course, it doesn’t mean much to non-students of that studio, so we also came up with a second name (www.bikramyoganewwest.com), which makes sense for others and gets automatically forwarded to the site.
There’s a mindset that having keywords (i.e., words that you want your site found for in a search) in your domain name is very important in getting your site picked up by Google. Jill Whelan – the SEO guru, in my opinion, of www.HighRankings.com – consistently says she’s seen no evidence that this is true. And I agree; I have seen none either. I did a test search for “chiropractors” on Google. The #1 result didn’t have the word in its domain name. In fact, I counted only two out of the top 20 that did! (There were a couple “chiro’s” in there.) That says something to me.
Here are some tips for coming up with a good domain name:
- The shorter the better. Try to keep it to a maximum of 4 words.
- Make sure people can spell it easily, otherwise they might end up at your competition’s website. If your name is difficult to spell or there are multiple spellings (e.g., Brian/Bryan) use something else.
- If it works, go for a name about the business you’re in, in general. For example., if you’re a plumber, rather than mcneilsplumbingservices.com, how about something like thegreatplumber.com?
- Better yet, if you can come up with something cute and catchy, people will remember it – e.g., nomoredrips.com.
- Remember, you can always get a second domain name (cheap!) and have it forward (or mask) to your original name.
- Stay away from –‘s if possible. People want easy!
- If at all possible, get a .com, rather than .ca, .net, .biz, or whatever. I still find that people think .com no matter what you tell them your domain name is. Having said that though, if you’ve got a great name and it’s not available as a .com, you might consider one of the alternatives.
As with many things, coming up with a good/great domain name is a balancing act between thinking up something unique and memorable and one that is easy for people to spell. Use your imagination and inspiration and you’re bound to come up with a good one. But don’t lose sleep agonizing over it!