How to Find and Pick a Good Company Name & Domain Name for SEO

How to Find and Pick a Good Company Name & Domain Name for SEO

In the digital world, your domain name often doubles as your company name, and if not, it should. If chosen wisely, a good domain name can significantly enhance your visibility on search engines. I’ve been practicing search engine optimization (SEO) to promote my companies since 2001. From 2005 to 2008, one of my websites garnered over 30 million monthly visitors just from Google searches alone, and two other companies I helped launch have also received millions of monthly visitors from SEO.

What’s a Domain Name?

A domain name is how you can easily find a website online. For example, if you want to visit Amazon, you type in the address into your web browser. It is a unique, human-readable internet address of a website. Each domain name comprises three parts: a top-level domain (TLD) or domain extension, a domain name, and an optional subdomain. The combination of the domain name and TLD, also known as a “root domain,” forms the core identity of your site on the internet. Let’s take the domain name for example, .com is the TLD, Blixo is the domain name, and is the root domain. When you log in you’re taken to, “secure.” in this case is the subdomain.

Domain Names & SEO

Choosing a domain name that enhances your search engine optimization (SEO) can be a nuanced process. A good domain name can help your website stand out from the crowd, contributing significantly to your brand’s online visibility and searchability. Here are some best practices to follow for SEO-friendly domain names:

  • Top-level domain extensions: Opt for a .com extension. It’s widely recognized and trusted by users and search engines. Some people may argue that other TLDs like .net, .co, or .io are fine, but ask yourself: if you can’t register the .com do you really own your brand name?
  • Brandable domain names: Your domain name should be unique, memorable, and easy to spell and pronounce. A brandable domain name distinguishes you from competitors and helps build a loyal audience.
  • Keep it short: Short domain names without hyphens and numbers are easier to remember and share. They also appear less spammy.
  • Relevant keywords: If it fits naturally, include a keyword relevant to your business. Keywords help users and search engines understand what your site is about.

Domain Name Availability

There are still many unclaimed domain names out there. Tools like Instant Domain Search offer real-time exploration of taken and available names. If your desired domain name is already owned but available at a reasonable, fixed price, consider purchasing it. If it involves negotiating with a domain name squatter, limit your time investment and move on quickly if unsuccessful.

While a perfect domain name is ideal, a good-enough name is often sufficient. After all, building your company is your ultimate goal. If a domain name is already taken, but for sale, don’t break the bank. Avoid renting domain names — it’s risky to build a brand for a name you don’t own. You can try lease-to-own agreements if the final price is negotiated upfront, but again make sure you’re focussing on building your business and getting customers and not worrying about getting the perfect domain name right away — you can change it later.

It’s important to check if your domain or company name infringes on an existing trademark to avoid potential legal consequences. Here are some things to consider, but remember, it’s best to consult an attorney about your unique situation as I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice:

  • Identify your trademark elements: Determine the words and designs you want to trademark within your domain name. If your chosen domain is “”, for instance, consider trademarking “Awesome Sauce” or the website logo.
  • Classify your services or goods: Your domain name should correspond to the right class or classes from the 45 trademark categories available, each signifying a distinct industry or class of goods or services.
  • Use USPTO’s TESS for research: This free online tool allows you to search the database of U.S. trademarks by word, design, serial number, registration number, or owner name. Choose the search option — basic word mark, structured word/design mark, or free-form word/design mark — that best suits your needs.
  • Search for similar trademarks: Enter your domain name elements in TESS and look for similar or identical trademarks related to your goods or services that are live (either active or pending). If you discover any, you might encounter issues when registering your domain name as a trademark due to potential confusion with existing trademarks. In this case, consider adjusting your domain name.
  • Run a public domain search: Besides using TESS, perform a search on trademark names within the public domain. Resources include search engines, social media platforms, and online directories. Additional sources to check for similar trademarks or domain names include state trademark databases and the internet domain name system (DNS).
  • Justia trademark search: If you need something easier to use than the government websites for your trademark research, check out Justia Trademarks . I was part of the founding team at Justia and it’s now the most popular legal site on the internet; it has millions of pages of freely accessible legal information.
  • Seek professional legal advice: For a thorough clearance search, interpretation of search results, and safeguarding your trademark rights, consider hiring a private trademark attorney. If you’re applying from outside the U.S., a U.S.-licensed attorney is legally required to represent you at the USPTO. A great place to find local trademark attorneys is the Justia Lawyer Directory , which I helped build.

SEO Tips for Domain Names: The Final Checklist

Again, here are the main points to consider for domain name SEO:

  • Memorable: Short, easy-to-remember names that are easy to type and say are the best choice.
  • Broad keywords: If it makes sense, include broad keywords that clue users in about what your business does, but understand this may quickly date your brand name if you end up doing something different from your original idea.
  • Avoid hyphens: Hyphenated domain names are harder to remember and sometimes associated with spammy sites.
  • Avoid TLDs: Prefer .com domains for their recognizability and traffic potential.
  • Favor subfolders over subdomains: For SEO, placing link-worthy content like blogs in subfolders rather than subdomains is recommended, but not necessary if you already have a lot of unique content on your website.

You are now ready to choose a domain name that not only reflects your brand but also supports your SEO and visibility efforts. Good luck on your journey of building a successful digital brand!

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