Your domain business name is going to stick. The last thing you want is to have a domain name, launch your business, and then change it later on. While it is possible, it is going to be a technical and marketing nightmare.
How do you uncover the best domain name for your business? Today, I’ll share with you some of the best practices for domain name selection.
After this tutorial, you should have the confidence to head on to a domain name registrar and secure the best domain name that you can use for your online business.
Here are my guidelines on how to uncover the best domain name for your business:
- It must be brandable
- It must be memorable
- It must be easy to share
- It must make sense
- It must be original
Let us get started!
1. It Must Be Brandable
The best domain name has to be brandable. But what is a brand?
If you think of Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others, these names are brands. A brandable business and domain name is something that no one owns. A brandable domain name is characterized by the following things:
- Not a keyword – your domain name must not be made of words that people use every day. What this means is that the name has to be unique and that they must have a personality.
- Brief – the examples of business names above are not just unique—they are also short. Try to keep your domain name within three syllables as possible. If you can, the domain name must also be comprised of one word only.
You can also exercise creativity when deciding what your domain and business names should be. If we take Pinterest as an example, we know that it is made of two words—Pin and Interest. This does not mean that you should just whip out words and put them together.
For example, SEO Ninja may sound good, but it is not a brandable name. It does have a personality, but it is the personality that people will easily forget. It takes only one company to call itself SEO Masters, and now you have confused customers who do not know who is who.
2. It Must Be Memorable
Memorable domain names make much more sense because if people do not buy today, it is easier to remember how to find your website should they need your products or services one day.
Here are some tips on how to make a memorable domain name:
- Easy to spell – if you use weird mathematical symbols in your name, no one is going to remember it. Sure, it sounds like a novelty and can attract attention for a little while, but people will not remember it, so it won’t serve a purpose.
- Must have character – this refers to uniqueness and impact. A domain name, or a business name, must resonate with your target audience. For example, you can use the name Lawn and Order, and people immediately know that your business is about maintaining lawns. On top of that, there are also many people who know that there was a TV series called Law and Order.
You see, business names that are difficult to spell or are hard to remember are putting people’s brains into work mode. You do not like this. What you want is to provide your customers with an effortless experience, which includes easily remembering your name.
3. It Must Be Easy to Share
If a person attempts to type your domain name, how easy is it? When choosing a domain name, it is best that you stick to those that are easy to type.
Here are some tips for shareability:
- Short syllables – the domain name must not be more than three words. The maximum in terms of syllables is four. Anything that is more than that is too long and is too frustrating to type and share.
- Easy to pronounce – do not bother with using names from Norse mythology. Business names that come from old languages sound cool, but they are not shareable. People would rather not misspell or mispronounce a name that attempts to share it.
And if people do not share your business and domain names, you will miss out on a significant source of branding: word of mouth.
Here is an example: Luke’s Pest Removal Services.
Too long. No one wants to type this. The better version of that is Luke’s Pest Control—three words with four syllables. With this name, people now that the business is about pest control services. The name Luke also adds a personal touch—you got a guy who does the job, not some faceless corporation.
4. It Must Make Sense
Too many businesses today focus too much on creating weird names that are unique. While uniqueness is the key to success, your domain name must still make sense.
Here are some of the top brands where the business name makes sense:
- PayPal – your pal for making payments; it makes sense for an online payment system
- Facebook – a book that has faces; it makes sense for a social media platform
- eBay – an electronic bay; it makes sense for an online marketplace that requires shipping
- Netflix – a coined term from internet and “flicks” or movies; it makes sense for a movie streaming company
As you can see, these names were carefully thought through. They have a meaning, and the way they are used are appropriate for their respective industries.
While it is great to have a unique name, this uniqueness must also embody logic and reasoning. Do not just throw up words and letters, as this can result in gibberish instead of a brand.
To be able to do this, you need to list down words the things that your business does. Try to combine several parts of these words, and then see if the name you made is still understandable. Ask for the opinion of others and see what they make out of it.
5. It Must Be Original
The last tip is originality. If there is one thing that people hate, they hate copycats. If you think you can build a business and call it Bamazon to ride on Amazon’s popularity, think again. This business name is not going to fly. You may even get sued for it.
Challenge yourself. Sit down and perform brainstorming activities. If you have business partners, collaborate with them. Keep on listing down names and find which ones resonate the most to your audience and business spirit.
Once you have settled on a list, use Google and type these business names. If someone already owns it, try the other ones until you get to a name that has never been used before.
A domain name is an asset. Domains do not just function as a technical aspect as to how browsers and servers should work together to take a site visitor to your blog or online store. A domain name is your brand—it is a source of authority and credibility.
Do not rush the process of buying a domain name. List down several domains, and see which ones are available. Do not limit your search in only one registrar. Use several and if possible, only buy top-level domains.