How to Choose the Perfect Domain for Your Business

5 Tips & Tools for Picking an SEO-Friendly Domain Including AI

Choose the Perfect

DOMAIN Name

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make as a business owner is choosing a domain name. First impressions are key, and your domain name is one of the first impressions online visitors have with your brand especially if your domain name will be different from your business name (which is sometimes the case for different reasons).

You want to set the right tone from the start, stay on brand, and make it easy for people to get to your website. Choosing a domain name requires some creativity and planning, but don’t stress – we’ll give you some tips to help guide you through the process of choosing the perfect SEO-friendly domain name. After you read these tips, we hope you feel more confident in selecting a domain name that’s just right for your brand.

First, let’s set some goals.

Domain naming goals for you

Choose a name that is –

  1. Unique & Creative
  2. Short & Memorable
  3. Easy to type
  4. SEO-Friendly
  5. A reflection of your business/brand/mission

Tip 1 – Take a Moment to Brainstorm

You might be tempted to do a name search right away. Before you jump into your domain name search, set some time aside for brainstorming. Whether you already have a registered business in need of an online presence or you have a new idea you’re ready to create your website, these tips will give you a framework to make the process easier.

Make a list of words and names that represent your business name and brand. Consider any words that are important to your visitors. This is your chance to be fun and creative so don’t hold back! You may even want to consult your online thesaurus if you get stuck thinking of related words. A mind map is a useful tool to help you see connections that might not be so obvious. Incorporate word association tools and strategies as these help your ideas to flow more freely revealing related themes. Organize your list, narrow it down to your 5 best names, then choose your top 3. Remember – you can always revisit your list later, and you will have notes to help you remember your thought process.

Tip 2 – Keep It Simple

Long and complicated domain names can be hard to remember and have a negative impact on your SEO. Don’t leave room for typos or hinder visitors from finding you online because a name is too hard to remember or type. If you can, stay away from including special characters such as hyphens and stick with simple letters and easy to remember numbers.

Your visitors will appreciate a simple domain name they can easily access on the go from a mobile device. Also, consider using a top-level domain (TLD) like a domain name ending with “.com” so visitors can get to your domain with no hurdles. There are creative TLD’s that sound very cool, but at the end of the day you want to create a great experience for your visitors and part of that begins with their process of accessing and recalling your domain. Now, if “.com” is not available there are some easy to access TLD’s alternatives like “.net”, “.co”, “.org”. If you are an accredited degree-granting educational institution you can look into using “.edu”.

The most important takeaway here is keep it simple.

Tip 3 –  Use Naming Tools & AI

Now that you have your top 3 domain name ideas, let’s use some naming tools to confirm our short list, see other possibilities that might be available and make sure the name you want to use is not already taken. Domain naming tools can help you build on your ideas and see additional possibilities you may not have thought of. Perform SEO analysis on your name ideas to see how they rank in Google search results.  Play around with a few of our favorite name tools to see what cool and creative SEO-friendly names you can come up with.

Listed here are some of the tools we like

  1. Domain Wheel
  2. Google Keyword Planner
  3. Whois Name Suggestion
  4. Related Words
  5. Word Association Network
  6. AI Tools like ChatGPT or Shopify Business Name Generator

Tip 4 – Do Your Research

We cannot overemphasize the importance of doing research at this stage. Of course it’s important to check that the domain name you want to use is available as we did in step 3. It’s also very important to check that your desired domain name is not too close to a competitor’s name. You’ll also want to make sure the domain you choose does not cause brand confusion or accidentally lead your online visitors to another company’s webpage. Do your research to ensure legal compliance by not using a trademarked name in error. You want to avoid infringing on someone else’s brand identity.

If you don’t already have a registered business name, you will need to perform a business entity search as well. If the business name is available, check whether the domain is available as well. Another important step to add to your checklist is to verify the social media handles you want to use are not similar to taken or too similar to another brand. Conduct a check on the social platforms you plan to use, to see if your desired handle is available. If you plan to operate in other countries, you will also want to check that the name or phrase you choose does not have an offensive meaning in another culture. If the domain had a previous owner, remember to check the history to ensure a clean track record.

Resources to Help with Your Research

  1. Perform a business entity database search (by appropriate state) –  (Search New York Entity Database)
  2. Trademark search
  3. Domain availability lookup
  4. Norton Safe Web
  5. Internet Archive Wayback Machine

Tip 5 – Take Action to Choose Your SEO-friendly Domain

Once you have decided on a domain that’s unique, easy to type, memorable, and you have done your research, you are ready to secure it! We recommend that you buy the domain in your name so that you are the official owner. You can then point your website to the domain (your platform host/provider/web developer can help you with this). This will protect your brand in the event you change hosts, platform, web developer, or web administrator.

If the option is available, choose to auto-renew your domain annually (or a few years) so you do not lose the domain if it expires before you remember to renew it. Use an email address of a mailbox that you monitor so you can be notified with important notices concerning your domain. We would not want you to lose your domain because you missed an email communication. This happens to some business owners which can create unnecessary stress. Stay on top of your domain registration by setting a reminder a few weeks prior to the renewal date. A good domain provider will notify you way ahead of the renewal date, but it can’t hurt to set a few reminders just in case.

Last but not least, we recommend you add domain privacy to protect your personal contact information from being displayed publicly in the domain registrar. This is important for keeping your personal information private and out of the hand’s of solicitors, scammer’s and individuals with mal intentions.

Next Steps

We hope you enjoyed reading this and feel empowered to come up with the perfect domain for your business. Let’s wrap this article on a high note. After reading this, you now have a framework to choose the right domain name and resources you can add to your toolkit to simplify the process for you. More momentum and less overanalyzing. So what are you waiting for, let’s get this checked off your to do list.

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