First, search for your keywords. My domains always come from my main keyword list, because it's key to have a keyword-rich domain name. What kind of keywords do I like? Good question...
I tend to like long-tail keywords, for a couple of reasons:
- Competition strength is usually lower.
- I'm more apt to find an available .com domain.
I open up three tabs in my browser. In the first, I'll open up Google Adwords Keyword Tool. In the second, I'll open up Google to search. And in the third, I'll open up my domain registrar (I use Dynadot.)
I look up my main niche in the Keyword Tool, on EXACT. Usually I'll only start with a two or three word phrase. I scroll down to the keywords that are getting 800-5000 searches monthly, and click "add exact" next to the ones I like. Then in the left hand column under "Selected Keywords", I'll scroll down to the bottom of the column and click on "Get more related keywords". I'll keep doing this - adding keywords and clicking "Get more related keywords" - until I have a list of over 20 keywords to work with.
I download this into a spreadsheet by clicking on the bottom of the column where it says "Download these keywords." I keep this spreadsheet open.
I'm done with the keyword tool now, so I can close that window.
Next I'll go over to the Google tab. Going down the list, I'll check each keyword phrase's competition strength by doing a search for it in Google. I don't search in quotes, but many do. I find that I can gauge my competition just fine without searching in quotes, but your mileage may vary.
What I am looking at is the first page results' PR and backlinks. That's it. I don't look at how MANY competing pages are indexed. Again, lots of marketers DO look at this. This is just my system. Test and make your own decision.
I fire up SEO for Firefox to check the PR and backlinks of each of the sites on the first page - the first ten results. If I find that the keyword phrase has a PR of 4 or less and backlinks numbering 5000 or less, that particular phrase is in the running for becoming my domain. After I've gone through the entire list and have separated the lower competition phrases out, I take a look to see if there are a few that would be particularly suited to be the site name.
I then go to my domain registrar and look each one up. I'm looking for either a .com, .net or .org. Using long-tail phrases, I can usually find one that will work well. If, by chance, all of the .coms, .nets and .orgs are taken, it's no big deal! I simply add a generic word to the end of the phrase like "info", "guide" or "tips".
As an example, say I really wanted planawedding as my domain, but all three domain extensions were taken. I simply add "info" to the end to make it planaweddinginfo and voila! All three extensions are available! I could also add "tips" or "guide"...between those three, there has always been a .com available for me to buy.
Now remember, just because you used a generic word at the end of your keyword phrase doesn't mean you have to use that in your site header to represent the site's title. Using the example above, I'd have the site name on the header simply read "Plan A Wedding", "How To Plan A Wedding", or some other combination of words, always remembering to have my exact main keyword phrase in the title somewhere.
That's it - that's how I find winning domains every time! It's relatively simple compared to some of the techniques I've read about, but it works for me. Hope this helps some of you!