5 ‘Ks’ to Domain Name Perfection 2016-03-16

domain-name-thinking

Unless you already have an established brand name (one that’s available with a .com extension) you’re going to have to do some brainstorming to come up with a domain name that will serve to identify and establish your brand or business. There are a few things to keep in mind when trying to come up with a domain name that will represent your brand and stand the test of time.

Here are five rules of thumb to help you throughout the domain name development process:

  1. Keep It Short— Some of the most valuable website names are words that are under 4-letters long. According to WhoAPI, you can no longer create a 4-letter domain name. All possible 4-letter combinations (of which there are 456,976) have been used. If you are determined to use a specific 4-letter domain, and it doesn’t appear to be for sale, contact the registered domain owner of the domain you’re interested in. You can check ICANN’s WHOIS.
  2. Keep It Relevant— You wouldn’t own an ice cream parlor but call yourself something that alludes to being a massage parlor or car dealership, so why would you do it to your website?
  3. Keep It Memorable— Make a FB poll on your personal FB page or join a creative ‘think tank’ (where people bounce all sorts of creative ideas off each other) either via online forums or at a local library. Think of sites like etsy.com or picmonkey.com. Etsy is simply a fun word to say. It’s whimsical and perfect for a website offering homemade crafts. PicMonkey creates a great visual of a monkey holding a camera. Again, a great fit for a website that offers easy photo edits that anyone of any age can do (‘even a monkey can do it’).
  4. Keep It Spelled Like It Sounds (Phonetically)— The last thing you want is for someone to have trouble finding your site due to forgetting how to spell the word. If you own a fish store you wouldn’t want to have a domain name such as ‘freshphish.com’, no matter how cool you think it looks. If you are dealing with a business, industry, or brand name that is difficult to spell, but is your proper name, consider a 301 redirect with the phonetic spelling.
  5. Keep It Legal— Watch out for trademark and brand infringement. You can actually run a trademark and patent search online, here’s how you do it in the US. This will obviously vary depending on the country you are doing business in.

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