Gone are the days when you could register the first domain name you thought of. The best domain names were scooped up years ago, many of them valued in the millions of dollars today. It’s even difficult to find a good domain using .net, .org and .info domain extensions. You can still find a good one for your website, but there is a process involved in identify what’s available and ideal for your niche/business and then balancing that with what you can afford.
Step 1 – Keyword List
Do you already have an existing business? If yes, then you have a brand name to work with. That’s the first word or phrase to be added to the list of words you will compile before you do your search.
The rest of your list will consist of different common words used to describe your niche/business. Go on over to the Google Adwords keyword tool, select exact match search results and plug in those phrases. The main keywords chosen for your website should have at least 10,000 searches per month. The home page, which is the landing page for your domain name, should target the highest search volume keywords for the entire website. Write down all the results with good search volume for every variation you can think of.
If your business is local, you might end up with a local domain name. Use your state, county, city and town as keywords to add to your list.
Step 2 – The Search
Armed with your keyword list, you will perform a search on a domain listing website and use search filters to limit the results. You will enter each keyword in your list, first sorting for .com results and removing results with numbers and hyphens. Also choose a budget range.
After you’ve exhausted the .com results or have found nothing comes up, move on to .org, .info., .net and .co results. Write down any results you come across that have potential. If you find that nothing comes up in your price range, consider whether you can afford to raise it a bit before having to give in to less desirable domain name results. If you can’t, then continue to search by combining your niche keywords with local keywords and niche keywords with brand keywords. Provided the brand name you chose is unique, you shouldn’t have a problem finding something available. Figuring out how to buy a domain name isn’t the challenge; it’s finding enough results within your budget.
In the event you still come up empty, it makes sense to check results in a higher price range just to see whether you are going to have to move on to another domain extension result. When all else fails, the new gTLDs should be available soon and you should be able to inexpensively acquire a domain name with a niche related keyword as the domain extension.