Many people imagine the creative marketing genius passively ruminating until the right idea strikes. But this isn’t how brilliant marketing happens in the real world. Success most often comes through a rigorous process with definable steps.

Today’s guide on how to choose a domain name will walk you through those steps, using a home care & medical supply store as an example. We’ll cast a wide net to compile the largest list of potential domain names we can. Then, we’ll set out guidelines to help you strike the non-starters from your list until you have a handful of appropriate, available domains to choose from.

Use our guide to determine which technique is right for your business, and follow along to create a superb domain name. Availability will be the primary major challenge in creating a name that sets you apart. You’ll need to brainstorm intensively about the nature of your business and customers to create something exceptional.

Will you prioritize uniqueness from the competition, or prefer to utilize market-wide keywords in your domain? To determine the answer to that question, you’ll need to answer a few others. How do you plan to get business to your site? Organic search traffic? Social media marketing? Pay-Per-Click advertising? What about affiliate marketing? If organic search engine traffic will be your priority, you’ll probably want to utilize some keywords in your domain. In most cases, a mix of both priorities is best, striving to create a brand name while also using discovery-related terms. Giving your brand a name that evokes more than what you sell ensures you will be not only memorable, but recalled with positive emotion by invoking concepts and feelings that resonate with your target user.

Most ecommerce stores will not go the purely branded route. The purely branded approach avoids using market and product-defining keywords. In most cases, you want to ensure the name implies or explicitly states what you sell. Fun domain names with a whimsical or futuristic sound don’t meet that criterion. But there may be specific instances where it’s desirable. Tools like Wordoid and Domain Hole’s Domain Name Generator generate lists of pronounceable domains that aren’t real words. Scanning their results for words with a feeling and sound appropriate to your market will provide a great place to start.

You won’t often go purely discoverable either, as there won’t be many instances when domains composed only of market-wide keywords are available. But there are techniques you can use to come close. One reliable means of doing so is to append “store” or one of its synonyms to your market-wide keywords. You can even select a variant that captures your brand best, whether choosing “boutique” to imply high-class or “emporium” to imply a market with large selection and low prices. If your root keywords are on the long side, you’ll likely want to choose one of the shorter synonyms.

Create a list of at least 10 words that describe the brand personality you want to embody, the benefits of products you sell, or concepts with which you generally want to be associated. We’ll use “energy”, “vitality”, “freedom”, “well-being”, “renewal”, “peace”, “care”, “compassion”, “independence”, “comfort”, and “familiarity”.

Next, run each of these through a thesaurus like Visuwords or Type in any other appropriate words that occur to you while using the thesaurus. Make note of any and all words you like. Don’t forget to click on the most relevant synonyms to see even more results. Once you have at least 25 (more is better!), start adding them to your root keywords.

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