What's in a name? When it comes to your brand, a lot.

Choosing the right domain name for your company is so important — ultimately, it's how your audience will find and remember you.

A custom domain will help your website stand out from the crowd and possibly even boost your SEO. But with over 360 million domain names registered, it can be hard to find one that is unique.

If you are having trouble brainstorming or finding that all of your domain name ideas are already in use, you're not alone. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to help craft the best domain name for your business or blog.

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How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Business

If you are ready to establish a presence online for your business, you'll want to choose a domain name that matches your brand. This way, customers can easily find and trust your site. There are a few steps you can keep in mind when choosing your domain name.

1. Use a .com extension.

You've surely visited many websites, and it's not hard to see that the most popular domain extension is .com, while other trusted or common options include .org and .net.

But options range widely, and can include everything from .xyz to .co to .cafe to .pizza. But be careful choosing a more whimsical option, as they can come across as unprofessional or untrustworthy.

If .com is available, go with it. If you are set on a domain but its .com variant is unavailable, .org, .net, or .co are also decent alternatives.

2. Keep it short and simple.

If your domain name is long, it'll be harder for people to remember, which could spell out less traffic for you. WebsiteSetup.org recommends a domain name that is 6-14 characters in length.

Beyond that, a short domain name isn't helpful if it is hard to spell or pronounce, as users will likely lose their way when trying to type your website URL.

3. Avoid hyphens, numbers, and doubled letters.

Each of these elements is another hurdle for users to attempt to jump just to access your website. It's not exactly intuitive to keep these characters in mind, and doubled letters can make the domain name messy and hard to read.

Not to mention, all of these elements are susceptible to becoming typos as users try to search the internet for your business website. If you're sharing your website via word-of-mouth to clients, it's also much harder to convey the domain name clearly when it is jumbled with hyphens, numbers, and the same letters back-to-back.

4. Stay unique, specific, and on-brand.

With all of these things to keep in mind, it can be hard to brainstorm a domain name that is clear and concise while also remaining unique and true to your business.

But it's certainly doable. Keep your business name and what you sell at the front of your mind, and dig into your niche to make sure your domain name is also attracting the online audience you want.

5. Add keywords.

Without going overboard — remember, we want something short and sweet here — do some keyword research to help direct your domain name.

When you hone into keywords, you'll also benefit from an SEO boost from your domain name and your brand. As you brainstorm keywords, look for options with low- to medium- competition so you have a chance to rank, and make sure the keywords will reflect your brand.

6. Do your research.

Aside from keyword research, there's nothing worse than dreaming up what seems like the perfect domain name only to find yourself in hot water for unknowingly infringing on a trademarked domain.

Ensure your chosen domain is truly original to you to avoid dealing with legal troubles and the painstaking process of finding yet another unique, SEO-friendly domain name.

How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Blog

Like finding a domain name for a business, choosing a domain name for your blog has many similar steps. But because businesses can start offline, you might not even have a name chosen for your blog yet!

Luckily, this means you have a better chance of finding a blog name and domain name that are a perfect match, but you'll need to put in some elbow grease to find something unique. According to Blogging.org, there are more than 500 million blogs on the internet. But don't be discouraged! Here are some steps to help you find the right domain name for you.

1. Consider domain extensions.

As stated above, .com is the top domain extension for you to consider. For a blog, you might want to get creative with some of the newer, creative options, but your content will be easiest to find if you stick with a classic, common domain extension. Go for .com if you can, then move onto other popular options like .net or .co.

2. Avoid vague or generic options.

While you want to have a clear, easy-to-remember domain name, you also don't want it to be so basic that it is lost in the shuffle. Opt for something that is catchy, memorable, and brandable.

3. Ensure your domain is unique.

Outside of just being punchy and memorable, your blog domain should be unique. Make sure it represents your brand and content while also standing out from competitors.

For example, HubSpot is certainly unique and comes to mind quickly. It's easy to type, spell, and pronounce. It might not have succeeded with a more generic name like marketinghub.com, marketingonline.com, or marketinginformation.com. In fact, if you search "marketing," HubSpot is one of the top options — but more generic domain names are nowhere to be found.

4. Capture keywords.

If you'd like an SEO boost right from the start, you can incorporate keywords into your domain name.

Of course, make sure this doesn't sacrifice the length, originality, or brand integrity of your blog, but if there are keywords that would play well with another short, unique word or two, consider adding them to your domain name.

5. Make it easy to type and pronounce.

Sure, your blog name is unique, but if no one knows how to pronounce it or type it as a URL, your traffic numbers might suffer as a result.

If a domain name is confusing, it's more likely that users will have typos and get lost as they try to find your blog. Make it easy for them, and avoid hurting your traffic numbers, by choosing a simple, clear domain name.

6. Move quickly.

With millions of domain names online today — and additional names getting registered every minute — once you've decided on a domain name, don't hesitate to register it.

You can learn more about setting up a domain name with the free HubSpot course, "WordPress Training Course: Learn How to Build a WordPress Website Using Elementor," which can help you get your website established and your domain set up quickly and simply.

Domain names are hot commodities, but they are also pretty affordable. As long as your idea isn't trademarked or already in use, grab it before it's gone! You can always change it later if you decide it just isn't working.

Domain Name Generator

This is a lot to digest, we understand. But just as there are generators to help you find excellent hashtags and keywords, there are also tools to help you find domain names.

You can take some of the keywords and brand-related words you've brainstormed through the above tips and add them to a domain name generator, which will use those words and related words to create lists of available domain names.

Even if you don't pick a domain name exactly from the generator, it can help inspire your team to find a domain name that is perfect for your business or blog. Here are some of the top domain name generators to try.

1. Wordoid

If you have one word that you just keep coming back to, try typing it into Wordoid, which will give you ideas that contain that word. Wordoid also focuses on domains that are around 10 characters, although you can set a character limit from five to 15 if you have a length in mind.

2. Looka

Looka's Business Name Generator can generate dozens of business names by abstract idea (like creativity) and industry. It will automatically check if domain names and social names are available — and if they're not, offer alternatives. It will also include a few logo ideas so you can get your website up and running as quickly as possible. 

3. Nameboy

The oldest domain generator on the internet, Nameboy is a trusted, popular source for finding an original domain name. Enter one or two keywords, and Nameboy brings up a list of unique options to choose from. Nameboy also has specific generators for blog names, brand names, and business names, among others, all of which could work hand-in-hand with your search for a domain name.

4. IsItWP

The IsItWP domain name generator is a simple, straightforward, and fast tool to help you turn a brand name and keywords into a unique and effective domain name. It's also integrated with BlueHost, so if you find a domain name you love, you can register it right away for free if you use BlueHost to host your website.

5. Instant Domain Search

Instant Domain Search is another easy-to-use option that starts generating ideas as you type. This domain generator will show available domains as well as taken options that are available for sale.

Establish Brand Identity by Picking the Perfect Domain Name

Your domain name might seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of creating a website, but it reflects your business to potential customers or audiences right away.

If it's long or confusing, many people will never be able to find your business or blog site. If your domain name doesn't match or at least complement your brand name, it can come across as unprofessional or even spammy.

On the flip-side, a well-researched and thought-out domain name can boost your rankings in search engine results and provide audiences with a clear idea of what to expect when they visit your site. As such, it's important to take the time to find a domain name that is just right for you.

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Originally published Dec 28, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated October 14 2021

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