Choosing a domain name for your business is a very important decision, and is one that cannot be easily changed without major headaches. There are many resources available online, many of them free, that will help you find the right domain for your business. Below are 6 tools that I use when searching for a domain name and also for checking to see if that domain name is available on the major social websites.
Before deciding on a name for your business, it is wise to do some online research to see if that name is available to use as a website since the internet plays such a major role for any business.
There are many theories about what type of domain name to choose and I've listed some resource articles at the end of this post so you can do some follow up research.
Google Adwords Keyword Tool
The Google Adwords keyword tool is a great place to start your research. Why? Because if you will be using keyword terms in your domain name you can check to see what kind of search traffic you can expect from people naturally searching Google for that search term. For example, if I had a carpet cleaning business in Denver and wanted to use the domain CarpetCleaningDenver.com, using the keyword tool I would know that there are an estimated 8100 searches a month for that term. This doesn't mean that if you had that domain that you would automatically end up at the top of Google, you still need to create and optimize your website, but it defiantly helps.
Panabee lets you brainstorm for domain names by entering keywords and generating a list of possible ideas. If the domain name for your business is not available, you will probably need to use a modifier in your domain name. An example would be if the domain name KatiesCupCakes.com was taken, you might add a modifier like “Famous” to create KatiesFamousCupcakes.com. Panabee will help you get some ideas for domain names you may not have thought of.
Namechk lets you check to see if your name or vanity URL is available on dozens of popular social sharing sites like Twitter and Facebook. It shows you if they are available and let's you click through to secure those accounts right away. Another great service that is very similar is Knowem.
DomainsBot lets you enter a domain name to see if it, or similar domain names are available. You can also use the advanced search option to specify extensions, status, use of hyphens and maximum domain length.
Just Dropped let's you search for expired domain names and you can even sign up to be notified via email of the most recent domains available that you can purchase. This is a good site as it lets you scoop up domain names that people have let expire.
US Trademark Search
If you will be using a unique name for your business, you may want to check to see if that name has already been trademarked. It would suck if you spent a lot of time and money building and marketing your website only to get a notice that you have infringed on a trademark and must immediately take down your site.
My Favorite Domain Name Tools
So these are some of my favorite tools when researching a new domain name. I'm sure there are plenty of great tools that I didn't mention here, so leave them in the comments below!