Every week, I help entrepreneurs come up with creative domain names for their startups, apps, and new ventures. It's actually easier than ever to brainstorm domain name ideas. And you don't need a whiteboard and sticky notes to generate innovative ideas.
As a naming professional, I rely on a range of creative solutions to find available domain names. (There are millions of good .com domain names available, including ones that contain vowels and are intuitive for people to spell and pronounce.)
You can use the same trusted tricks and tools that I use to come up with creative domain names that work for you. Here are five tips that can help you create a memorable .com domain name.
Tip #1: Try a Catchy Phrase
Creating a clever phrase related to your business can make people smile and help them find you if they can't recall your business name. It happened to me a few weeks ago on a flight to Los Angeles. One of my favorite holiday traditions is paging through Oprah's "Favorite Things" in O magazine. It's a dazzling array of treasures and delicious delights.
My firm is named Eat My Words, so we like to send our clients gifts they can eat. I flagged at least a dozen delicious treats in the magazine. Then, in a moment of forgetfulness, I left the magazine on the plane. Later, when I desperately tried to remember all of the goodies, I couldn't recall the company name Greenberg Smoked Turkey, but I absolutely remembered feasting my eyes on their domain name,.
Here are some other catchy phrases that are used as domain names:
- (realtor Kimberly Schmidt)
- (Lumina condominiums)
- (Mann Packing)
- (Paramount Coffee Company)
A catchy phrase can be a great alternative to having the name of your company be your domain name. To spark ideas, look at dictionaries of phrases and idioms.
Tip #2: Make Your Domain Name a Call to Action
- Just Do It
- Think Different
- Be All You Can Be
- Have It Your Way
- Don't Leave Home Without It
A strong call-to-action tagline in an ad campaign can inspire people, move them to purchase and build brand affinity. You can achieve the same effect by using a memorable call-to-action as your .com domain name.
Tesla could have considered a call-to-action domain name such as the emotionally-charged. While limits the company to vehicles, a domain name like could scale into space and beyond. It could also evoke the company's relentless innovative thinking.
Other call-to-action domain names that caught my attention include:
- (Embassy Suites)
- (TAG Heuer)
- (Charles Schwab)
You can use a call to action as your primary domain name or a secondary one to drive traffic to your site, such as the three listed above. Think about the actions you want your audience to take, say it in an effective way, and turn it into your domain name.
Tip #3: Try A Longer Domain Name
A longer, descriptive domain name can be more memorable. For example, RentTheRunway.com is 10 characters longer than but RentTheRunway gets far more mileage. It conjures up striking visual imagery and is endlessly meaningful and memorable.is nice and short, but it doesn't convey anything to prospective customers or evoke any images to help people remember it. And there are no recognizable words in it for a search engine to pick up.
Here are some longer domain names that don't fall short:
It doesn't matter how many letters are in your domain name. What's more important is that your domain name is memorable. That's the long and the short of it.
Tip #4: Use A Modifier
I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone tell me they dismissed a perfectly good brand name because they couldn't get the identical .com domain name. It's maddening because I know they could have simply added a modifier word or two instead of giving up. If you think that no company you've heard of has ever done this, think again. For instance, top beauty brand Bliss has been been sitting pretty for years at BlissWorld.com.
Up until February 2016, if you wanted to check out the latest Tesla car models and typedin your web browser, you would have landed on a website that was (pardon the pun) "parked." If you were looking for the car company, what would you have done? Give up your quest? Of course not. You would have added another word to your search and quickly found the site you were looking for, which, since the company was founded in 2003, was .
What other rapidly accelerating businesses use a domain name modifier? I found quite a few on the 2017 Inc. 5000 annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America. They include Alley (SwellBottle.com), and Edge ( ).), S'well (
The lack of the exact domain name you have entered in a search is not a speed bump. Adding a modifier in the form of an extra word or two can help you find an available domain name and help your customers find you online.
Tip #5: Use a Domain Name Suggestion Tool
One of the easiest ways to come up with domain name ideas is to use NameStudio.com, which combines many of the above tips into one free online domain name suggestion service. All you need to do is type in a few related words and a list of relevant options is automatically generated for you to choose from.
When I named a company Viper Lock, the .com domain name was parked so I registered:
- and used NameStudio to brainstorm a list of more names.
NameStudio can also help you find keyword-rich domain names, which can make it easier for prospective customers to find your company online. It's a smart idea to pick up a few of these and redirect them to your main website.
You don't need to torture yourself trying to come up with a great domain name. You just need to be willing to get creative. Don't be afraid to add a modifier, use a catchy phrase, create a call-to-action, or go longer. And if you really want to end your frustration, let a free online domain name suggestion service, like NameStudio, do the work for you.
Author of Hello, My Name is Awesome... How to Create Brand Names That Stick, Alexandra Watkins is an outspoken authority on brand names. Founder of the naming firm Eat My Words, her clients include countless startups as well as established brands such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, Disney, Frito-Lay, and Google. She was most recently the Author in Residence at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center.
The views and options expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Verisign. This article and its content are in no way sponsored by, endorsed, administered by, or associated with any of the referenced third parties. All third-party trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners and are subject to all applicable license terms and restrictions.