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15.4 Tips to Brand Your Domain Name

brandy domain namesSuppose you are planning a website. You already know what it will be about and now what? Yeah, you need to name it. And that’s where you first get into trouble. You might want your site name to contain your main keyword and most obviously you find that all the hot catchy names are already taken. So what to do? Here are some helpful tips and resources:

1. Use already branded ideas (one of my favorites): ( (

The obvious advantage of this approach lies in adding a fixed positive association to your domain name. Consider this, everyone knows and trusts Dmoz and thus by adding -moz to your domain name you get people to trust your new website.

2. Make up new words by adding suffixes:

2.1. Add -ster (very popular):,,
2.2. Add a verb forming suffix -ize/-ise:,
2.3. Add Latin adjectival suffix -cus:
2.4. Use adjective suffixes
-matic: (podcasts)

3. An advanced version of the above two: take a well known website name, add your keyword and add a suffix

4. Add suffix -er and drop e (also very popular):

5. Go even further: add -er, drop e and make it plural: (from sweepstakes)

6. Take advantage of .us top level domain:

7. Invent the suffixes of your own:

8. Split your keyword with another word: (map + empire) (motor + utopia)

9. Add one letter before your keyword (also must have been invented by Dmoz):

10. Invent a new word which looks familiar to an existing word (a risky one): (sidebar) (republic)

11. Add your targeted territory name + use any method from above:

12. Drop a letter in the middle of your keyword:

13. Rhyme your keyword:

14. Play with your keyword plural form (a bit overused method):
-x instead of -cs:
-z instead of -s:

15. Use an advanced option of the above method: add -z instead of regular -s and add any vowel in the end:

16. (also using the 15th one) use your keyword twice (singular + (changed) plural):

Things to keep in mind while searching for a domain name:
– Plan ahead: think how easily your new domain name will be branded. Learn from the best: (from, Mozbers (SeoMoz + Members), etc.
– Try to avoid potential misspellings (can be referred to the 15th and 11th, for example).
– Make sure your domain name is easily spelled (can be referred to the 5th one)
– Try this tool which can be a real fun.

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  1. 29 Responses to “15.4 Tips to Brand Your Domain Name”

  2. alert people who also bid domain names.

    By Rubab on Nov 18, 2007

  3. Great info! Thanks for sharing.

    By Rubber Stamps on Nov 19, 2007

  4. You are welcome :) Please feel free to add more tips, which were not mentioned here.

    By Ann Smarty on Nov 19, 2007

  5. Stumbled upon this great article! Keep it up and thanks for sharing.

    By Recruiter's Digest by Justin Ng on Nov 19, 2007

  6. Great tips! I use almost 1 week to decide my domain name. Almost all domain names that i can think are taken by others. If i read this article earlier then maybe i can come out better name…Hahaha

    By dicky on Nov 26, 2007

  7. Great post Anne! As an SEO who also does domains and finds branding important, this one’s right up my alley. I suggest you pass it on to Susan Gunelius at Brand Curve, who is a friend and great blogger. She might likely be interested :).

    By Gab Goldenberg on Nov 26, 2007

  8. btw, is that smarty or smartie ;)? Heh, I’m a smartiepants 😀

    By Gab Goldenberg on Nov 26, 2007

  9. Thanks, Gab, I’ll get in contact with Susan. And that’s “smarty” by the way 😉

    By Ann Smarty on Nov 26, 2007

  10. Look forward to seeing your content linked to from Susan’s! Tell her you’re a friend of mine :).

    By Gab Goldenberg on Nov 27, 2007

  11. Lol, I actually thought this was a parody of some kind. But you were serious!

    the ONE thing you should know about choosing you domain (or any other marketing choice you have to make) is:


    Don’t just copy other ideas.

    Flickr was great. Talkr will never be a hit… was great. Not a chance.

    Get it?

    By Slaven on Nov 27, 2007

  12. Great Post. I have book marked it and will be using as guide when indecisive about my next domain name. Thanks for the great tips

    By Megan on Nov 27, 2007

  13. @ Slaven… Well, you are right, being original is the best one. This post was meant to inspire and give some useful techniques, not to learn how to copy others’ ideas.

    By Ann Smarty on Nov 27, 2007

  14. @ Gab Goldenberg… Many thanks for putting me in touch with Susan! I definitely owe you! Her review can be found here:

    By Ann Smarty on Nov 27, 2007

  15. Great info, thanks for sharing it with us.

    Even though most ‘good’ domain names are taken, there are still many available in the secondary markets and in other tld’s.

    Multiple keyword domains are also still available if one looks around and does some thinking.

    By Mike on Nov 27, 2007

  16. Some great ideas here. Thanks.

    By Keith on Nov 27, 2007

  17. I really appreciated this on branding. It’s something that every entrepreneur should be aware of.

    We have a large subscriber base and we featured this post on our site under the Sales and Marketing category on our content site

    Thanks again for the useful information!

    By Jeff Chavez on Dec 13, 2007

  18. Thanks, Jeff! I noticed a link back yesterday! I am happy you find it useful.

    By Ann Smarty on Dec 14, 2007

  19. “You are welcome Please feel free to add more tips, which were not mentioned here.”
    By Ann Smarty on Nov 19, 2007

    There couldn’t possibly be any others!! This list is unbeliveable. SEO Smarty or SEO Muse?

    By Tom Nucatola on Dec 28, 2007

  20. An even better tool for this is It lets you check domains in real time by combining words and do most of the suffixes and prefixes mentioned above.

    By Ryan Stout on Feb 18, 2008

  21. Good Topic!!

    We like this:
    Pre-fix a common word with 1- to make it look like a phone number so that it will appeal to mobile users.

    Numbers That Work and 1-Dash Domains

    Best example:
    (74992 spells Pizza on a phone keypad)

    The 1- mimics a phone number so it’s a great memory trigger for people using a phone to connect to the web.

    By NTWWEB on Feb 22, 2008

  22. Check out It’s a really cool domain name generator and company name generator similar to Dotomator but with more word lists and the ability to create domain names with 1-4 words. You can find available domain names from a huge selection of word lists. You can customize lists with your own words which lets you come up with literally thousands of possible domain names incorporating your keywords if you wish. It offers bulk domain name lookup and domain registration. There is also both a three word version and four word version which are great for keyword driven domain name variations.

    By Raindance on Sep 29, 2008

  23. Here is unique site for finding great domain names:

    Every day, over 100 new .COM names are published. The names are available, and have great generic keywords with fantastic search terms.

    By jorge on Nov 6, 2008

  24. Some good tips but it is important to not get a name that is too hard for your site visitors to remember or else you will lose a lot of repeat traffic to the site.

    I would also add to the list to use domain name tools like those at

    I would recommend especially the type in traffic tool and the geo domain name finder.

    By Domain Superstar on Apr 2, 2009

  25. i like the use of branded domain names. it definitely helps your website.

    By cheap domain names on May 15, 2009

  26. Now that Google has eliminated the fact of Exact Match Domain Names, one can be rest assured that working with EMDs will sooner or later cause harm to their online business. The ideas that you suggested are really great! :-) Thanks Ann!

    By Choosing a Branded Domain Name on Apr 23, 2014

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