One question I find that I always encounter is what makes a good domain name. Although there are many factors, one may consider, I feel that those discussed below are the most vital. Whether you are or an entrepreneur in need of a name for your business that jumps right at your target audience, or probably in the domain name industry looking to get a variety of portfolios of names, the following tips will help you find the one’.
Keep the words and syllables at their minimum
Everyone knows a shorter name is easier to remember. It works the same when your name has fewer syllables. Most of the names in my portfolio consist of compound names with 1-2 keywords. I always make sure these keywords make sense with each other. In addition, a majority of them are 2-4 syllables. Examples from my portfolio are:
The first has 9 characters along with 2 syllables and is meant to be for a food – savvy online audience, but doesn’t have to be limited to that. We can replace the word food’ with many different verbs, adjectives, or nouns and still make a great name with crowd. Consider the following: GreatCrowd, FunCrowd, StyleCrowd and so on. These names are easy to remember, short and have that punchy effect many people look for in a domain name. When you use easy to spell words that end up being memorable, your domain names can end up turning into a family of domains.
The second one, StartCircle.com, has 11 characters and 3 syllables and sounds like an online community of entrepreneurs. Here, we can replace the word start’ with many words and still keep the word circle as the base. A few great examples would be: SupportCircle, WinnersCircle, LaunchCircle, etc. You can try this with some of the names you have chosen for your domains, but make sure you keep them as short as possible.
Keeping characters and syllables to a minimum is crucial, especially when you purchase names ending in ly, able, sy, etc. Many of my sales that usually contain these endings have up to 3 syllables and sometimes fewer. Some examples are:
Don’t avoid 4-5 syllable names containing these endings. I own many such as expansively, uniteable, introducely, etc., but I always register them and pick them up for less than $50 in auctions. Like any domain, I am all about short, awkward, simple, and beautiful, long, and a dose of complicated.
It’s usually spelled just like it sounds
This guideline can be bent, but you usually want domain names that people can easily spell when they hear. This can be accomplished with made up names. You won’t find a lot of made up names in my portfolio, but a couple I’ve used include Lunio.com and Bambora.com. Obviously, these two aren’t real words. However, anyone walking by who hears this name can have a good idea of its spelling. I also have misspelled English words and formed a name out of them. One example I like to use is Chemyst.com. This word works great as an alternative spelling for many reasons. One is that the word myst’ is actually a real word and, lucky for me, pronounced exactly the way mist’ is pronounced. Also, I never have a hard time explaining its spelling. I say, it is spelled like the word chemist’, but with a y. A person who spells chemist as Kemyst’, has a long time explaining how it is spelled even when one can easily pronounce it.
Spelling something how it sounds can be a bit problematic. I admit, this has been a challenge for me at one point. When I began dabbling in domain investing a few years ago, one of the first names I thought would be a great choice to hand register was Eatcy.com. I thought Eatcy.com would get me mid dollar range and that I would finally strike it rich. Needless to say that did not happen.
Where did I go wrong? If you were walking by and met someone telling you about their great new company Eatsy with a C, would you have an idea where to place the C? Since Eatsy is nowhere near a real word to begin with, here I was assuming people know how to spell a fake word that has an altered spelling. My problem was that I made too many assumptions.
After my zero dollar Eatcy idea, I thought it would be clever to register Coazy.com. Here I was thinking I had a golden five letter idea that is pronounceable and worthy of fetching me millions of dollars. Well, it turns out that after you add an a to the word cozy’, you get the word CO-az-Y when people read it. This is definitely not one of the best branding statements out there.
When I thought of a new one called MXSR.com, I immediately thought of mixer. However, people saw it differently. My biggest mistake was adding the S since there is no S in the word mixer’. A better version of MXSR.com would be Mixr.com.
- Make sure you look for names which have less than 13 characters
- Your maximum syllables are 4
- If you aren’t sure your name is pronounceable, ask your friends and see what they think.
- If you want alternative spellings of words, make sure you choose those that can be properly explained in a sentence. (Refer to the Chemyst.com example).
You can use spreadsheet programs to create names, suffixes and prefixes, etc. if you like.
Do your research well when it comes to the keywords you use. Follow Michaels tips and your gut when it comes to domain name related things. Money spent on domain registrations, auctions and drops can be minimized if you follow the right advice.