How to Pick a Domain Name for Your Local Business

We’re in the business of helping our clients set up shop online. A new product we’re releasing in the coming week is one we hope will allow small local businesses to create sites optimized for local search, complete with analytics and monthly reporting. It’s our vision of the total package a local business needs to create a competitive, search and social-friendly online presence with the expertise and infrastructure we’re in a unique position to offer.

But there’s one critical element of a website we can’t provide: your domain name. We can, however, offer guidelines and recommendations for how to pick a domain name that supports your brand and goals as a community business.

Brand or Keywords?

How do your customers remember you? Are you well recognized in your community by name? Is there a person in the community everyone knows as the heart and soul of the company? Think of what you’re recognized for. Next-day service? Low price leader? Old man Higgins’ dressing up as Santa for the annual community Christmas party? Brainstorm a bit about your reputation in the community and what makes you stand out. Then riff off those ideas for names. You don’t want to be so specific that you paint yourself into a corner that prohibits growth and expansion of the business, but you do want to leverage what draws customers to you.

Keep It Simple

Think all the good names are gone? If you invent something new, it can be hard to find a catchy name that speaks to the product or service. Inventors and entrepreneurs today are challenged by creating new words and phrases that are unique but not too outlandish. It’s a delicate balance. Watch any infomercials and you’re sure to have come across a few head scratchers. Ask me, ShamWow got lucky.

Think about this for a moment. Glasses ─ what an elegant name for those critical spectacles so common today. Unfortunately it can be a lot harder to coin a word or phrase today. But can you repurpose a word to your business? Microsoft did it with Windows and then became the most ubiquitous operating system in the world.

Alternate Extensions

While they sound cool, they are totally impractical for most businesses and could even be harmful for a local business. They cost too much and it’s potentially confusing. Stick with a trusty .com.

Did you know that the very first .com registered was My go to source for awesomeness on the Internet is Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 because they point out fun facts like this:

At this point, every domain was available. Every single one. They could have had any name they wanted.

In retrospect, this is kind of like being the first one out to the California Gold Rush and coming back with a bag full of silver. Or having the number one pick in the NFL Draft and taking JaMarcus Russell.

Here are some domain names I would have suggested registering instead: Anything. Anything other than would have been a good choice. Any two letter combination. Any three letter combination.

Even any real word used in the English language would have made more sense than “symbolics.” […]

So March 15th might actually also double as the 25th anniversary of the first Internet FAIL.

You can certainly be clever, but not so clever you lose the value of keywords, branding and recognition. Choose a descriptive or brand-focused domain name that’s easy to remember, unlikely to be misspelled, and is short and simple. It’s the first step in your development of a domain name that supports your local business goals and community standing.

For more info on how to pick a domain name (for any type of business) check out
How to Select a Domain and How to Pick a Kickass Domain Name.

Empower your local business with our upcoming solution for optimized websites and expert guidance on selecting a memorable, growth-driven domain name. Reach out. 

FAQ: How can I select the best domain name for my local business to enhance brand recognition and online visibility?

Selecting the ideal domain name for your local business is a pivotal step in establishing your brand’s presence online. Your domain name serves as a digital storefront, making it crucial for building brand recognition and ensuring online visibility. As an expert in the field, I’m here to guide you through this process and offer insights that will help you make an informed decision.

  1. Know Your Brand

Begin by understanding your brand thoroughly. What are your values, products, and services? How does your business differentiate itself from competitors? Knowing this information will enable you to choose a domain that accurately represents its identity.

  1. Keep It Short and Memorable

Domain names that are shorter and simpler are easier to recall and type. Pick something easy for customers to pronounce and spell; this will reduce their chance of mistyping it and saving valuable time spent correcting their typos.

  1. Local Relevance

Incorporate your location into the domain name if possible. This not only enhances your local identity but also aids in search engine optimization (SEO). For example, if you run a bakery in Chicago, consider a domain like “”

  1. Keyword Integration

Including relevant keywords in your domain name can significantly boost your online visibility. Identify keywords that relate to your business and weave them naturally into your domain.

  1. Avoid Hyphens and Numbers

Hyphens and numbers can confuse users and make your domain more challenging to remember. Stick to letters to maintain simplicity and memorability.

Step-By-Step Procedure: 

Step 1: Conduct thorough brand research.

Step 2: Identify your core business values and unique selling points.

Step 3: Keep the domain name short and memorable.

Step 4: Incorporate your location or region if relevant.

Step 5: Research and select relevant keywords for your domain.

Step 6: Avoid hyphens and numbers in your domain.

Step 7: Check domain name availability using domain registration websites.

Step 8: Prioritize purchasing a .com domain name extension.

Step 9: Ensure the domain name is not trademarked or copyrighted.

Step 10: Test the domain name’s pronunciation and spelling with others.

Step 11: Consider future growth and expansion in your domain choice.

Step 12: Verify social media handle availability for your chosen domain name.

Step 13: Make use of domain name generators for creative ideas.

Step 14: Seek feedback from friends, family, or colleagues.

Step 15: Register your chosen domain name with a reputable domain registrar.

Step 16: Purchase any relevant variations of your domain name to protect your brand.

Step 17: Implement SEO best practices for your website using the chosen domain.

Step 18: Create and launch your website, optimizing it for your goals (whether it’s organic search, local search, or other digital marketing).

Step 19: Regularly monitor your online presence and make necessary adjustments.

Step 20: Foster a strong online brand presence by consistently delivering quality products and services.

An effective domain name is crucial to increasing local businesses’ brand recognition and online visibility. Follow these expert tips, and use a step-by-step process to build a powerful presence online for your local company. By carefully choosing your domain name, you will watch it thrive within the digital space.

This article was updated on November 20, 2023.

Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

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7 Replies to “How to Pick a Domain Name for Your Local Business”

Yes, all are valid points Virginia. While choosing the domain name we may target business keywords. If the businesses can choose their domain name as keyword targeted, they may have chance of getting organic traffic without any pain. So it is also an option if they are interested. Don’t know whether its a valid point or not but suggested as an option.

Virginia Nussey

They’re just a few helpful rules of thumb to keep in mind so I’m glad you’ve found the tips useful!

Hi Virginia, the first point is very point and I have never thought of that. How people recognize us (choose that domain), so that people will recognize the company as well on internet! thanks for the article, I will advice my customer to use that way to choose a domain name as well. :)

Thanks for the read! You shed a lot of light on what to do and what not to do when choosing a domain name. Like you said, it’s best to keep it simple!

I love to go for domains with keywords in it and i always kept this in mind while doing so. It never came to my mind that these factors could work and be such wonderful. Th next time i want to start a local campaign i will choose my domain according to your strategy.

Good concepts Virginia. Although i’d watch out with repurposing a standard word in to a business name (e.g. Windows). Annoyingly Wikipedia ranks so well for generic terms, that launching a business with a basic name makes it very tough to rank well for your own brand name, which can be a nightmare in getting a new brand off the ground.
You’re bang on about not using alternate domains. That’s even harder to rank and very frustrating for customers. Grabbing a similar name and sticking hyphens in it is also confusing for users.

Virginia Nussey

Great point, Mike, thanks. As we agree, there are options, and the simpler ones are usually your best bets. And thanks for adding your extra two cents about hyphens and the challenge posed by Wikipedia. :)


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