Finding a Good Domain Name – Don’t Worry, There’s Plenty of Them Left!



Darn, I Totally Missed Out on ALL the Good Domain Names!

Common wisdom says that all the good domain names are gone and that if you didn’t grab your domain in the mid 90’s or early 2000’s then you’re out of luck. This is just nonsense. There are figuratively tons of good domains left if you understand what a good domain name is and isn’t.

What ISN’T a Good Domain Name?

Thanks to Google giving a boost to keyword matches in domain names people now think they need to have a keyword rich domain name. While I won’t deny it will help a bit, the real question is; are you willing to sacrifice your brand to it? Now some people don’t have a brand. Nor do they want one. It’s all about selling lots of units of a particular consumer product at slim margins. They use pay-per-click and aggressive SEO techniques to inch their way up the SERPs. The goal is to grab a little slice of an over saturated market full of identical options. Basically they offer a commodity and their emphasis is on price, price and price. If it doesn’t work out they’ll close shop and sell something else.

Now if this is you, yes, go for the keyword rich domain. However, most people think of their brand and this requires a different naming strategy. This is also where you can still find endless options for a good brandable domain name.

What IS a Good Domain Name?

A good domain name is one that rolls of the tongue. It’s memorable, looks good written out, and above all encapsulates your brand. Recently I registered two great domain names. The first one is SpamDiary.com. Easy to remember isn’t it? It looks good written and reads well. But above all it explains exactly what my site is about in a clever, memorable way. Spam Diary is a snarky collection of my favorite email spam. Yes, I have favorite spam. When you get about 500 pieces per day you tend to develop favorites. The domain cost me $7.50.

Another one I just registered is BeatsDiggingDitches.com. This is the domain for the blog you are reading right now. Although I chose to set up this blog as a sub directory of my main design business domain, I grabbed the URL as well. This allows me to move it to its own domain latter if I choose too or set up a permanent 301 to redirect to this blog. Either way it’s a win for me. What makes this domain good? Well, it’s a fun name that leverages a popular phrase. Beats digging ditches is a phrase used to describe any job that well, beats digging ditches. It’s often used facetiously or as shorthand for “it could be worse”. In either instance it’s a clever term to use for a blog about being a graphic designer because although the public may think I just sit around all day and “express” my “artistic” side, those in the know understand that this is a tough business with its own built-in set of problems. It’s rewarding (if design’s your thing), but it’s hardly glamorous and some days it does feel like you’re just digging metaphorical ditches.

Be Creative, Act Fast.

Good domain names often hit like a bot of lightning. You’re just sitting around and a phrase suddenly pops into you head. Other times it’s the result of brainstorming and trial and error. No matter how the domain comes to you, make sure you grab it right away. At GoDaddy, you’ll spend a whole $9.99 to secure it. That’s cheap. Almost free. If you change your mind later, just don’t renew it. You can even try to sell it. Either way you’re good, and that’s always a good thing.

2 comments


  • Wish I clued into the game of choosing keywords for URLs long ago. Instead I stockpiled cutesy & cool names that have zero value. SmileFX.com -oooh… aaaah… (delete)

    Joe

    September 21, 2010
  • Real instructive and good body structure of written content, now that’s user genial (:.

    March 14, 2012

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