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How to Find a Good Domain Name for Your Internet Business

Keller Hawthorne | May 24, 2010 | 9 Comments
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How to Find a Good Domain Name for Your Internet Business

The world of domain names can easily be compared to finding real estate in certain countries or cities. The fact is, these days it’s difficult to find a common domain name with a “.com” extension. As a result, prices for some domain names have increased exponentially ( was sold for $7 million in 1999). In many cases, it is difficult to find a good domain name that is related to your business. Nevertheless, you can still find a great domain if you adhere to the following rules…

A Good Domain Name Is Short

One word is the best, two words are good, and three words are the limit. More words than that is a bad idea. A simple name will roll off the tongue more easily in conversation, look more professional, and have less of a chance of being mistyped. Conventional wisdom states that a good domain name is easy for readers to remember, easy to spell, and short.

A good domain name should be easy to remember and descriptive. It is important to note that a lot of internet users do not use bookmarks; they may remember your website if there is good content and if the name is simple.

A Good Domain Name Is Easy to Spell

Another important factor (similar to the previous one), is that a good domain name should be easy to spell. Make sure it passes the phone test: if you were to say the domain name of your website to a friend over the phone, would your friend be able to spell it correctly? If not, you’ve failed the test and should find another domain name.

A common mistake comes from double letters, so try to avoid those if possible. Some visitors may also try the singular form instead of plural. The best way to avoid these problems is to create a list of every possible mistake you may find and register domain names which include these mistakes. Make sure you consider spelling mistakes as a potential source of traffic.

A Good Domain Name Is a .COM

Domain names are typically categorized by their extension, which is their identifying code. The three most popular types of Top Level Domains (TLDs), which are domains that are not associated with a country, are:

  • .COM: Short for .commercial. Domain names with the “.com” extension are by far the most popular, and can be purchased by any individual or business.
  • .NET: Short for .network. This domain extension was originally designed to be used by technical Web sites. However, domains using this extension can be registered by anyone.
  • .ORG: Short for .organization. These were originally designated to non-profit firms and any other organization that did not fit under the “.com” or “.net” extension. Any individual or business may now register a “.org” domain name.

The “.com” extension is the most popular, so unless you want to target a specific area or country, you should choose a domain name with a “.com” at the end. Unfortunately “.com” availability is becoming scarce. To find more information about “.com” extensions, you can refer to the following article: The Importance of Your Domain Name Extension

A Good Domain Name Includes Your Keywords

A good strategy is to include keywords in your domain that describe your content, your product or your service. This will help increase your search engine ranking for every keyword used in your domain name.

A Good Domain Name Excludes Special Characters

It is possible to register a domain name with characters other than letters or numbers. You can use hyphens (-) for example. Some domain registrars may allow other characters. Since May 2010, you can use non Latin characters such as Chinese or Arabic… Enjoy!

If it is possible, it is best to avoid numbers and other out of the ordinary characters and expressions. This idea is simple – as mentioned earlier, we want a domain name that is easy to remember and spell. Let’s take an example: If you chose “” people might search for “” or “” and the result is you will lose traffic.

Camel Case in Domain Names

When you choose a domain name with two or three words, a very popular technique is to use Camel case to promote your website. The fact is you can write a URL with camel case even if your domain name is registered as all lowercase. It can really help your visitors to remember your name (example: FedEx).

Four or Five years ago, it was common to use some hyphens to help search engines differentiate each keyword, but today this is not the case. Google and all his friends have become much better at reading domain names with or without any hyphens, dashes, etc… so keep it simple!

A Good Domain Name Should Not Have Direct Competition

Here is the last tip, which is one of the most important. When you choose a domain name, take a look to see which websites have a domain name similar to yours and check if they are competitors. Singular, plural, hyphen, numeral – you should try everything to avoid any unwelcome surprises. Make sure if you have the domain “” that “” or “” are not competitors.

Brainstorming to Find a Good Domain Name

Finding a domain name related to your business is very similar to the keyword research process. The best thing to start is to use Google’s Keyword Tool to find some keywords related to your activity.

When you find an interesting keyword, check if it’s available or not. A lot of websites (such as Network Solutions) give you the opportunity to check and then buy a domain name with a particular extension.

This process can take time as more great domains are purchased every day. To save time, I suggest you use Domains By Volume. Thanks to this little software, you can check the availability of a domain in only a few seconds!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Benjamin Sappey is currently studying to complete his Masters in Business at the ESCEM Business School in France. Benjamin’s internship responsibilities include the development, marketing and promotion of several websites, including a site dedicated to helping small business grow into big business.
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