Over the years, experts have said “Content is the king”, but is that true? It definitely is, but a king simply cannot rule a nation without his Queen and other important advisers. The nation in our case is our website, as both well known experts and not so well known experts have said content is the king and the queen being our site’s name (the attraction of every nation including our site)! Your site’s name is definitely important, but how important? I’ll ask you a few questions after which you will get an answer to all your questions; I will answer all of them myself anyways. So you can just go through the questions and avoid thinking too much :/
- Q1: When you visit a site, what do you first notice? The logo right?
- Q2: Is it the site name?
- Q3: After you are done reading, assuming that you’ve had a good experience and if you plan to visit it later, how do you plan to do it? Forget bookmarking, lol ;)
- Q4: If you like some random site on the web, how do you tell your friends about it? Do you go about telling “I read a site today! The writers are awesome and all the articles are a mixture of humor and technicality”? That’s the description right?
Neglecting Yes & No answers, the common answer to most of the above questions is “a domain name” don’t you agree? Name of your domain is that important my friend!
& the answers
A1, A2: After visiting a site, the first thing we unknowingly notice is the logo and then the site’s name. However in most cases the logo itself reveals the site name.
A3: After reading a couple of articles there and enjoying them, we bookmark the site and in some exceptional cases, what do we remember? The domain name!
A4: If you want to recommend a site to your friend you’d definitely not describe the article, the author and his qualifications but you’ll instead just name the site and then leave the rest to him!
Did you notice that though the questions changed, the answer in all of them remained the same! You site’s name aka the domain name is that important!
So how can you get a name worth mentioning, a name which can be remembered easily, a name which people will love to talk about, a name which matches your niche and yet sounds amazing? Easy buoy! I’ll tell you!
How to Find a Domain Name?
Try out automated tools
Do you know that there exist automatic tools which are capable of generating domain names all by themselves? These are called domain name generators. I’ve compiled a small list of some such tools which you can check out here. There are several of them available for free use. I’ve listed a couple of them in the previous link. I’ve always enjoyed using those tools not only because they are fast, but because they require less hard work and less man hours. Had it not been for tools like Wordoid & NameThingy, I would’ve spent months looking for a good domain name! You can’t count on these tools always, after all they don’t come with a brain like we do! So use them when you’re totally blank.
Run a Domain Name Contest
I’m not sure if you’ve heard about domain name contests, but I’ve had a very good experience with them. I’ve run a couple of domain name contests for my clients and all of them were satisfied with the outcome. For an amount as less as $50, you get a good name for your website. These sites run on a simple concept which goes like:
- You start a contest (similar to a new thread you start in forums). Pay a certain amount upfront which ranges from a few dollars to $50.
- Post details about your project and a keyword if you’ve one.
- People start suggesting names.
- Contest automatically closes after 15 days or so. You can even close it early.
- You choose a winner.
- The winner gets paid. You get to use the domain name!
Short single word domains like sports.com, news.com were taken long back and now they’re either parked or on sale or is already a popular news site or magazine. There’s no point waiting for these domains to expire. They’ll never expire! It’s time you start looking for other domain names. While choosing another TLD is an option, I don’t recommend doing it because to rank anything apart from a .com in Google is pain in the ass!
You can search for synonyms on Thesaurus.com or Merriam Webster or any other site of your choice. Type your primary keyword and they’ll show you synonyms (related words). Ex: A search for ‘blog’ will give you diary, journal, website, etc.
In most cases even the synonyms might not be available, so you might be forced to merge two words to get your name for your site. Easy. Choose your primary keyword and add a necessary word before or after it.
PRIMARY KEYWORD + MAKE SOUND GOOD KEYWORD
Ex: Tech+Crunch=TechCrunch, Blog+Tips=BlogTips, Lifestyle+Store=LifestyleStore and more. You can decide a primary keyword and find the word to be attached using Thesaurus or a dictionary. Words like good, best and their synonyms often look good before or after the primary keyword.
Begging is bad, asking for help isn’t! Simply ask your best friends to suggest you some names
If not that, join a couple of forums and ask for suggestions there. There are several forums for webmasters and bloggers alike. You can try out forums.digitalpoint.com, wjunction.com, webmasterforums.com, v7n.com/forums and others. Don’t post threads there just for gaining links. In fact avoid posting your link. Forum links aren’t beneficial like they used to be 2-3 years back. These days having a lot of them might actually sandbox your website!
If not that, may be you can join some active Facebook communities where people actually spend time to answer your queries! A few such communities you should consider joining are AhemAhem and Techism. The first community is new while the latter is quite old with around 12 thousand members! Definitely worth a try!
Not many people recommend doing this, but I’m fine with it if it brings me a good domain name. Imagine having thesport.com or thetimes.com. Adding “the” isn’t bad always. You might lose some traffic to the site without the “the”, but you’d still own a nice name!
Apart from the technological advances, rise of internet usage and the way it is used, web 2.0 also brought for us a few changes in the way we register a domain! Previously people would never consider registering a domain with a typo or a spelling mistake, but now they do. Even some popular sites like digg.com, flickr.com have made use of this principle! Dropping a vowel, adding an extra alphabet without affecting the pronunciation is actually a nice way to find yourself a nice domain name!
But take care while you make use of misspellings. They don’t always work. I had a very bad experience with exklaim.com. The site did run well initially, but later on I lost most of my traffic to exclaim.com. Later I decided to get rid of that domain! Don’t put yourself in situation like this.
Not many make use of this. And there’s a reason behind it. Phonetics have always taken an important part in naming…because as far as possible it’s advised to ignore domains with the letters x, z, etc. If you play scrabble, you already know the importance of letters q, x and z! They’re the letters with the highest points. And that’s because words with these letters are hard to find. Not only that, they’re also difficult to pronounce and remember. So while choosing a domain name, keep letters like z, x away unless they’re a part of your keyword. Don’t go for a domain like songz.com. You’ll lose majority of your traffic to songs.com.
Well that are just a few ways to find a domain name. Some other ways include – hiring a freelancer, posting on your blog (if you already have one) and ask your visitors for suggestions and give a prize to the one whose suggestion you choose!
How to Choose a Domain Name?
After each step jot down the domain names you like. After you’ve a list of some 10-15 names, it’s easy for you to choose a name. You can either choose one of them yourself or start a poll on your site (if you’ve one). If it’s your first domain, simply ask your close buddies to choose one. Don’t make the list public. The world is bad, someone may register one or all of them without even letting you know!
Once you’ve chosen a domain name, it’s time to register it and here’s how you can do it!
How to Register a Domain?
- Go to InstantDomainSearch.com
- Search for the name.
- If it’s available, just go ahead and register it using the links provided on the site. Or alternatively use GoDaddy.com or other domain registrars.
Well it definitely isn’t easy and you’ll find finding and choosing a domain name time consuming but then as I said earlier, it’s the Queen ;)