So you are ready to start your business. Thanks to the internet and social media you need to pick a business name that will also work as your .url /or domain name. You have an idea for a name, but are worried it’s already taken. How do I pick a name for my business if the name I wanted is already taken? It’s important that you get it right from the start.
Today it’s harder and harder to find that easy to remember name that also happens to be available. What happens when the domain name you like is owned by someone else? You could try to buy the domain from the owner. How do you find the domain names owner? You can use Whois to find the contact info, send them an email and ask how much they want to transfer the domain name to you? This can be costly, especially if you are just starting out. So now what?
This is where branding and keyword research comes in. Take a pen and paper and write down keywords related to your business. Think what words would my customer string together in a search box to hopefully find my service or products. An example I like to use is for a landscaping company. When you’re a landscaper and you describe your business, you may use industry terms such as installs, hardscapes, and turf. Now, think about your customer. Are they going to type in hardscapes? Or are they going to type in retaining walls? Are they going to search for installs? Or fire pits and patios? Are they going to look to have their turf maintained? Or will they search lawn maintenance. Think about keywords that your customer would use.
You could use your name. Before we go further with using your name, let’s weigh the pluses and minuses. Is your name an unusual spelling? Mine is. We spell Chace with a c not an s. Everyday someone gets it wrong, they either spell it Chase OR add a n and spell it Chance. It’s gotten so expected I actually considered an email address that was chacewithaCnotanS@gmail.com.
Is your name common? Say your given name is Michael Jordan? You could add a middle initial but what if people forget that initial and come upon the other Michael Jordan while searching for you?
Do you think that you might ever sell your business? It is much easier to sell your business or brand if your name is not tied to it.
Now some think that using their name is a great idea. You could easily change the direction of your business if it is your name only? An example is if you go from health coaching to business coaching you can easily keep your domain name the same.
You could also combine your name with a keyword. For example: Michael Jordan Renovations, or Michael Jordans Gluten Free Diet.
So what if using your name is not an option?
There are tools available to help you find keywords and check to see if the combinations are available not only as a domain but across social media channels as well.
Here are some internet tools to help you pick a great domain name.
Knowem.com – KnowEm allows you to check for the use of your brand, product, personal name or username instantly on over 500 popular and emerging social media websites. Grab your name and secure your brand before someone else does.
Nameboy.com – NameBoy will generate domain names based on the keywords you enter. Find domain names with the best domain name generator for domain name suggestions, website name generator, URL generator, company name generator and domain name search.
Bustaname.com – BustAName is a tool to help find domain names.
I can help you with your research. Download my Find the Best Domain Name Worksheets below.