So you've chosen a name for your business, and you're ready to make that move into the digital sphere. And just like picking an office space or a building site, you've got to mark out your space in the internet landscape. And where does that begin?
That's right. Your domain name.
Your domain name is your bit of cyber real estate, and the old real estate adage "Location, location, location" applies doubly here. Not only is this the spot where your companies website will sit, it is also the name of the face of your whole internet presence. That means you'll want to choose a good name.
Call me Ishmael (dot com)
It may seem intuitive to simply go for the "YourBusinessName.com" domain. In some cases that works, but not always. First and foremost, most of the best domain names are take. Definitely anything under 6 characters is gone. Seriously. Just try to find one on https://instantdomainsearch.com/. Even past 6 letters, if it's a word (or two [or three]) it's probably gone too. So unless your companies name is something insanely specific like "Alex's North Dakota Roofs and Gutters" you are probably out of luck. And even if that is your name, I wouldn't recommend taking that name, as it is likely too long of a domain name.
If your name says quite simply what you do, then that is nice and good and all, but consider the domain name as another place to show off your company. Make the name meaningful. Take a minute and scribble 10 or 20 words that relate to your company. Take a minute with each one and sound out names centered around that word. You might end up with exactly what you want immediately, you might not. Just take the time to consider related phrases. This brainstorming will at least get you an idea or two.
DJMIAA (Don't just make it an acronym)
If you simply acronym-ize your name, nobody is going to remember the name of your website, or the name of your business. The first is bad because they won't be able to get to your site, and the second is way worse because they won't be able to look you up. Very rarely will a bunch of random letters be beneficial.
There's an exception here if your name is an acronym itself (and one that is easily memorable). You might be at benefit here, because it's possible that the name isn't taken.
Don't be boring
Your name doesn't have to be exactly what you do. Back before the advent of search engines, people just typed random URLs into their address bar (often with surprising results), and so a website name like "cars.com" or "books.com" or anything generic like that was desirable for companies. Nowadays, though, names like that simply conjure blandness in the minds of consumers. Have a name that is exciting! Have a name that is fun! Don't make me go to "doyourtaxes.com", make me go to "TaxHeroRescue.com" or "TaxFormDestroyer.com"! If you find a name which your potential customers want to type in, then they're much more like to.
Just like coming up with your name to begin with, this can take time. Don't rush into it, and maybe even consider doing both at the same time. This is an important step, and you can definitely find the right name with a bit of work!