Woman searching for a domain name for her online business.

How to Search for a Domain Name That Grows Your New Online Business

Your search for a domain name for an online business may feel monumental — and kind of scary.

I’m here to make it easy, my friend.

My step-by-step process will help you go from …

“What should I name my online business?” to …

“Is the domain name available?” to …

“Check out my new domain name!”

… in no time flat.

First, let’s get a few questions out of the way.

What should I name my online business?

You’re in luck — I’ve written about this topic a lot.

In the early planning stages you’ll be deciding what to call your online business.

Your domain name and your business name need to be similar (if not identical). This article will help you find the best domain name for your business once you’ve decided what business name to use.

Get help choosing your business name in these articles:

Should I name my business first — or pick a domain name first?

When you’re starting an online business — in a perfect world — you would do these simultaneously.

Here’s the thing …

If you want people to transact with your business in this online environment, you need to own your business name on the web.

So if you’re starting completely from scratch, think about your business name and your domain name at the same time.

You’ll be happy you did.

It takes some extra effort but it will be well worth it.

Do I need to own the .com version of my domain name?

In short, yes.

When people search online, the default naming convention is .com. Owning the .com version of a domain brands you as the “original” domain owner.

If someone else owns the .com version of the domain name you want to use, don’t use an alternative like .net, .life, or .info. Instead, search for a domain name where you can own the .com version.

Why?

Because people will type in .com to find your business.

And if the .com version of the domain leads to someone else’s business, you’re sending business someone else’s way.

Finding a .com domain name that’s available — and that you like — is challenging, but not impossible.

Does my domain name need to include keywords?

A great question!

Domain names that included keywords had an advantage in the early days of the internet, but according to Search Engine Journal, this has not been the case for years.

They quote John Mueller of Google saying, “…just because keywords are in a domain name doesn’t mean that it’ll automatically rank for those keywords.”

It’s more important that your domain name tell people what your website is about — not search engines. Remember, search engines take their signals from what people do online.

What’s the best online domain name checker?

I have used a handful of domain registrars, and of all of them, I prefer Namecheap (affiliate link).

I like to search for a domain name using Namecheap because:

  • Their domain search process is comprehensive and fast
  • Their domain registration process is simple
  • They offer free WhoisGuard registration, which protects your personal information
  • They don’t tack on a lot of added fees
  • They send handy reminders before a domain name expires

For all the reasons above, I use Namecheap to demonstrate how to search for a domain name later in this article.

I think you’ll see it’s pretty easy. And finding the exact right domain name?

Well, that’s a moment that sends chills down your spine.

How to search for a domain name in 3 easy steps

First off, take a deep breath.

Finding the perfect domain name may feel like a daunting process.

Today, though, we’re going to make it fun. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and settle in.

How to Search for a Domain Name That Grows Your New Online Business 1

I wasn’t kidding about taking a deep breath! Stop and …

Ready? Let’s search for a domain name you’re going to feel proud of.

Step 1: How to start the online business name search

First off, type the service or product you plan to offer into a search engine and take a good look at what’s already available online.

Don’t be discouraged. It may feel like “all the good domain names are already taken.”

Never fear — I’ve got a workaround in the next step.

For now, just see what’s out there. Get a feel for the environment your domain name will exist in. See if there are obvious holes that can be filled — variations of words that haven’t been used yet.

Make a note of what you see.

Let’s keep going.

Step 2: How to come up with domain name variations

Visit Namecheap.com (affiliate link).

Under the search field, click on the “Get started with a .com domain” link.

How to Search for a Domain Name That Grows Your New Online Business 2

Let’s say you want to build an online business where you coach high school theater students using video.

Great idea!

Type the first domain name option you think of into the search bar and add .com onto the end for good measure.

How to Search for a Domain Name That Grows Your New Online Business 3

On the next screen, Namecheap will let you know if that domain is available. It is!

But it’s expensive.

How to Search for a Domain Name That Grows Your New Online Business 4

Yikes.

Time to keep looking.

Here’s how to find other domain names to try.

  • Use words your ideal customer uses. Be sure to avoid jargon or industry-specific words in your domain name. Instead, think about how your ideal customer talks about your topic and use their own words to come up with domain name variations.
  • Consult a thesaurus. Look for alternatives for your descriptive words by typing them into a thesaurus and stringing them together in different combinations.
  • Get specific. Going back to our example, since you want to coach high school theater students, why not specify that in the domain name? Try adding modifiers that talk about who you serve and how you serve them.

Getting specific will help your domain name meet the rule mentioned above:

Choose a domain name that tells people what the site is about.

Next, you try this domain name:

How to Search for a Domain Name That Grows Your New Online Business 5

And voila! You have a winner:

How to Search for a Domain Name That Grows Your New Online Business 6

Your new domain name:

  • Tells people what the website is about
  • Tells site visitors who the site is for
  • Is easy to spell and pronounce
  • Is memorable
  • Is available in .com form at a reasonable price

Time to register your new domain name!

Step 3: How to register an online business name you love

Before you register the domain name you found, make sure it ticks all these boxes:

  • It’s easy to say — the words don’t run into each other when you speak them
  • It’s easy to spell — it doesn’t use any tricky words
  • It’s relatively short — remember, some people will be typing your domain name into their phones with their thumbs

You may have found a domain name that checks all the boxes, but before you claim it for yourself, check in with your gut.

Are you feeling excited about the domain name you chose?

If you can’t wait to share your new domain name — and your gut is saying, “Grab it while you can!” — then it’s time to proceed with your online business domain name registration.

Click the Add to cart button:

How to Search for a Domain Name That Grows Your New Online Business 7

On the next screen, if you want Namecheap to automatically renew your domain name before it expires, click Domain Registration > Auto-renew. Make sure WhoisGuard is enabled, and click Auto-renew here, too.

How to Search for a Domain Name That Grows Your New Online Business 8

WhoisGuard adds a layer of privacy to your domain registration and Namecheap offers this extra protection for free, so take advantage of it.

Warning: Try not to search for a domain name too often

Now that you know how to do it, you might find yourself wanting to claim a domain name for every idea that crosses your mind.

It’s tempting!

But for the sake of your bank account, try to maintain a small list of domain names.

Owning domain names you don’t use can become expensive. Getting constant renewal reminders by email just adds to the clutter in your inbox.

Happy searching!

If you want to know more about building your online business, be sure to check out my free workshop, How to Build Your Online Business with “Relaxed Focus.”

To see all the tools I use to run this website and online business, visit my Tools of the Trade page.

How to Fit a Powerful Brand Style Guide on a 3-Inch Sticky Note 9

How to Fit a Powerful Brand Style Guide on a 3-Inch Sticky Note

The most powerful brand style guide template isn’t a multi-page document that you glance at a single time.

It’s not an overwhelming brand blueprint that you save deep in the recesses of your hard drive and never review again.

After you read and do the steps in this article, you’ll have a brand style guide that’s simple enough that you can capture it in a single glance.

And it’s small enough to stick somewhere you can see it every day.

My goal is to make it easy to apply your branding elements consistently every time. Consistent application is the #1 secret to a memorable brand!

Let’s dive in so you can put this simple brand style guide template to use today.

Read article …How to Fit a Powerful Brand Style Guide on a 3-Inch Sticky Note

Branding 101: 7 Business Name Traps to Avoid 10

Branding 101: 7 Business Name Traps to Avoid

Today’s post is about seven pitfalls to avoid when you create a brand and business name.

Your business name is an important element that’s directly linked to your ability to grow.

Your business name can make your brand or it can break it.

Don’t hinder your progress by painting yourself into a corner with a name that will hold you back.

Learn what to avoid and what to do when you create a brand and business name by avoiding the seven traps here.

Read article …Branding 101: 7 Business Name Traps to Avoid

5 Ways to Make a Genuine Connection with Your Virtual Community 11

5 Ways to Make a Genuine Connection with Your Virtual Community


You’re a good person. I’m a good person.

But how do we know that about one another?

How can you build trust across the virtual divide that separates us?

If you can’t reliably connect with the prospects you want to reach, you don’t have much hope of building a profitable online business.

Over the years when I’ve met readers for the first time, they’ve said, “I feel like I know you!”

That reaction happens because somehow my work at Big Brand System has connected with them.

Genuine connection in the virtual environment takes time. It’s not simple or easy.

But it’s a worthy goal.

Here’s how to make community connection happen …

Read article …5 Ways to Make a Genuine Connection with Your Virtual Community

Find your brand personality

Why Your Brand Personality is More Important Than You Think


What brand are you?

Having a memorable brand identity helps you stand out from the competition.

But it’s not easy to develop, is it?

It’s tough to put together branding elements like words, colors, fonts, and images in a way that fully expresses how you’d like the world to see your business.

I recommend a simple starting place — discovering your brand personality.

And today, I’m bringing you an easy (fast) way to find your brand personality and begin expressing it to the world.

Read article …Why Your Brand Personality is More Important Than You Think