Registering the perfect domain name is an extremely important decision. A good domain can help you build a brand that will stick in your customers minds and help define your target market. However, coming up with a great business and domain name can be one of the most challenging aspects of starting a new online business. You can spend days, weeks or even months and the brainpower equivalent to a thousand NASA computers trying to come up with the perfect name that's also available to register.
In this post we'll explain why domain name registration is so important, show you some of the best tools for finding the perfect URL, then, we'll introduce you some of the new unique domain extensions that you probably didn’t even realize were available.
Let’s dive in.
Why Are Domain Names So Important
Domain names are one of the first pieces of marketing most of your visitors will see. The right domain can instill confidence and the wrong one can cause alarm. Most importantly, your domain and business name are an important part of your overall brand.
Furthermore, although a controversial topic amongst the search engine optimization community, domain names and domain extensions may be a factor in Google's ranking algorithm, helping you rank better for search terms in search engines like Google and Bing.
10+5 Business and Domain Name Generator Tools
If you've every tried to come up with great business name that has an available domain, you know it can be extremely challenging. That's where online name generation tools come to the rescue. Business name generation tools typically take a word you enter and add additional words and prefixes, showing you only available domains that match.
In a popular past post, we listed ten business and domain name generators that can help you discover your next business name.
Here they are again:
- Lean Domain Search
- Name Mesh
Since then, we've come across five more noteworthy tools that we wanted to share:
- NameJet - NameJet is an aftermarket domain name generator service with exclusive inventory of some of the most desired expired domains.
- DomainsBot - A domain name search engine that will not only give available domain suggestions but also search expired, expiring and for sale domain names.
- KnowEm - KnowEm will search over 500 popular social networks, over 150 domain names, and the entire USPTO Trademark Database to instantly secure your brand name on the internet.
- Instant Domain Search - Instant domain search will show you results in real time, as you type. This allows for you to see ideas before you even finish typing and discover names you may not have been able to catch on other domain search engines.
- IWantMyName - Is noteworthy because it includes many of the new domain name extensions in their search like .boutique and .blackfriday.
3 Tips When Choosing a Domain Name
Those domain name generator tools are a step in the right direction, but you’ll also want to consider the following points when selecting a name:
1. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid): Keep your name short and memorable. One or two words is best. Keep in mind that the top 100,000 websites, on average, have nine characters in their domain names.
You should also make your name easy to pronounce and spell. A good test to use is tell ten people your brands business name and ask them to spell it. Then find another ten people, show them your business name written down and ask them to pronounce it. If more than a few people struggle with either, you may want to reconsider your choice.
2. Avoid Trouble: Be careful when choosing a domain name that you’re not choosing a name too close to someone else’s trademark to avoid problems down the road. That last thing you want is to have to change your domain unexpectedly after establishing your brand online.
Learn more about ecommerce trademarks.
3. Be Creative, Unique and Brandable: Building a distinct brand that stands out from your competitors is no easy task, but it begins with your brand and domain name. Most single-word domains are taken and you might need to create your own word.
You can try merging two whole words like YouTube, using a phrase (Dollar Shave Club), tweaking a word (Flickr), affixing a word with a prefix or a suffix (Shopify), or making up a completely unique name (Odeo).
Registering Country Specific Domain Extensions
After you have registered your main domain, for example www.YourOnlineStore.com, should consider registering your brand with one or more country specific domain extensions, like www.YourOnlineStore.ca.
Registering other domain extensions can be great from a branding and marketing perspective. For example, if you do business and market in multiple countries, having country specific domains can make visitors more comfortable with your brand right from the beginning.
Additionally, Brian Dean from Backlinko mentions that country specific domain extensions can help you rank better for within those countries in his comprehensive report on the 200 factors that go into Google's Ranking Algorithm.
Registering new domains right from your Shopify Admin is quick and easy. Here is what country specific domains are available to register from within Shopify:
New Premium Domain Extensions
Beyond registering your .com and country specific domains, you may also want to consider some of the new premium domain extensions you can now register through Shopify.
Many of these are based based on popular niches (.coffee), categories (.boutique) and events (.christmas) and can be a perfect addition to your business. The best part is that because these domain extensions are all relatively new, there's plenty of inventory, so the chances of getting exactly what you want is much more likely.
Here's a full list of all premium domain extensions you can now register directly through your Shopify admin:
Because these domain extensions are still new, it's still a controversial topic whether domain extensions like .blackfriday will help you rank for "Black Friday" related keyword searches, however, from a branding standpoint there's no doubt these extensions can add tremendous value to your business.
The fact that there is plenty of inventory available for these extensions means it's much easier to choose something catchy and because these domain are pretty specific, they send a definite message to the people that see your URL as to what your business is about.
Finally, purchasing domain like these can also serve to future-proof and protect your brand from others that may try to copy your business or even from domain squatters that purchase domains like this to attempt to sell it back to you in the future for a large amount of money.
For many people, their first impression of your business will be through your domain name. Getting your domain right is the first step to building a long-standing online business.
Utilizing the list of tools in this blog post and the new available domain extensions should help you generate some ideas and assist you in registering your perfect domain name.
What are your favorite tools for finding and registering the best domain names? Let us know in the comments.
About The Author
Richard Lazazzera is an ecommerce entrepreneur and Content Strategist at Shopify. Get more from Richard on Twitter.