Great Domain NamesCreating great domain names is sometimes a bit of both a science and an art. Whether you go the "science" or the "art" route depends on your primary objective, which can be broken down into the following two options:
1) Creating great domain names focused on search engine ranking ("science")
2) Creating great domain names focused on branding ("art")
Both of the above options are perfectly viable ways to formulate great domain names, however there are different considerations for each. This article will examine both that science and the art of creating great domain names.
Great Domain Names Focused on Search Engine RankingIf you're going to take the "science" route, you're going to be looking at designing a name focused on certain keywords that influence your search engine ranking. This is important for organic traffic (i.e. traffic to your site through search engine results). Because the domain name is one of the most important factors that influences search engine rankings, creating them based on specific keywords is a very popular method.
In order to do this, you might want to examine various keywords that fit the topic, theme, or product related to your website. One excellent place to do this is Google's Keyword Tool. Here, you can type in potential keywords and see various combinations and possibilities.
More importantly, you can get an idea of how much traffic each keyword or phrase has. You don't want to select one that has a tremendous amount of traffic, because it will likely be too competitive to rank highly in search engines. At the same time, you don't want one with extremely low traffic, because you want a fair amount of traffic once you're ranking highly in search engine results. A good target for low to medium traffic would be around 10,000-15,000 searches per month. Anything below 6,000 searches per month is probably too low, unless you can rank at the top of the search engine results.
Great Domain Names Focused on BrandingSometimes, great domain names are more about creating a brand for whatever your website is about. For example, www.geniuscomputers.com is much more "brandable" than something generic sounding (that focuses on keywords) like www.computerbuildingservices.com. Note: These websites are just examples - I have not examined their content (nor do I know if they are even actual websites).
Branding is all about the image and perception of your website/company, from the visitor's perspective. It should be memorable but also convey a sense of meaning. In the above example, "Genius Computers" implies an intelligent, high-tech company. If you aren't targeting specific keywords for your search engine ranking, it's important to brainstorm a powerful brand. Ask for others' feedback. While a computer can measure traffic for various keywords, only real life people can tell you how effective your brand is. That's going to be your best way to see if you've created great domain names that highlight a particular brand.
As you can see, great domain names are both a science and an art, depending on what approach you take. If you're very creative, you may even be able to combine the two, which could offer very powerful results.