10 Tips To Choose A Winning Domain Name For Your Business

November 10, 2021
Authored by:
Alisha Shibli
Featuring:

When you're at the helm of a new business, there are myriad details to consider. From packaging and shipping to distribution and marketing, a lot of factors demand your attention. However, all of these are rendered insignificant in the absence of an official brand name that represents your business. In 1994, Jeff Bezos almost finalized “Cadabra” (inspired by Abracadabra) as the name of his company. But when his lawyer misheard the word as “cadaver,” which means “a corpse,” Bezos quickly renamed it as “Amazon.” Today, in 2020, Amazon is the most valuable brand with an estimated brand value of around $221 billion.

Naming a business isn't always easy. The way you put into words the vision and the purpose of your enterprise is a matter of significance? Have a look at a few of our top tips for choosing the best name for your brand.

1. Say it out loud

Today, there are more omnichannel marketing and distribution platforms than ever before, encompassing written, audio, and digital media. You need to make sure your company name sounds great on all of them.

It isn't enough to have a name that looks good on a screen. It should also sound great when spoken aloud. Before nailing one down, repeat it as many times as possible.

Does it roll off your tongue easily, or is it coming across as a tongue-twister? Take a page from the rulebook of Zara, Coca-Cola, and Jimmy John's and look for words that employ repetition of sounds, making them easier to pronounce.

2. Make It Relevant

This isn't the time to ask customers to play the guessing game. Especially if your business is service-oriented, your company name should clearly explain what service you provide. Take Time Warner Cable, for instance.

The provided service is right there in their brand name, so there's no question about what kind of company they are. More examples include UberEATS, Paychex, and Servpro, among others.

Another way you can make your business name more relevant is by choosing the right domain name. For example, if your company name is Home Gadgets then a domain name such as www.homegadgets.tech will not only be relevant but extremely brandable too. New domain extensions such as .TECH, .STORE, .SPACE, .ONLINE, SITE, etc allow you to get relevant domain names that further amplify your brand’s name.

3. Consider SEO

The name of your business can have a major impact on your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. If it's unique, easy to spell, and ties in seamlessly with your target keywords, it will be easier to attain higher rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Research shows that voice searches are on going to outpace text searches on mobile with nearly 50% of web users speaking their search queries rather than typing them. To help your name inch higher on SERPs, keep it short and easy to remember.

4. Avoid geo-specific names

Unless you plan to do business only in a specific location, avoid names that highlight a particular geographic region. Doing so can limit your audience reach and make it more difficult to grow outside your perimeter.

Consider the case of Minnesota Manufacturing and Mining. Based in Minnesota, the name made sense for the fledgling mining group when it formed in 1902.

However, as the company grew, a more universal name was required, and thus, 3M was born.

5. Ensure trademark availability

Even if you're an established business, it pays to trademark your brand name. This way, you hold the exclusive rights to use it nationwide, and you can make sure no imposters try to piggyback on your success.

Before you settle on a name, check to make sure a trademark is available. You can visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website to search the trademark database.

Once your website is set up, you can also trademark your domain name.

6. Be specific

Are you starting a fitness brand focused on core-based workouts? You could call it "Quick Abs," but "10-Minute Abs" is much more effective. Where feasible and relevant, incorporate numbers, days, or times into your brand name.

From 5-Hour Energy to 7-11, there are plenty of brands that rely on such figures to convey their purpose. This helps add specificity to your name to avoid overgeneralization.

At the same time, avoid pigeonholing yourself into a corner by being too specific. For instance, say you open a computer repair shop.

You could call it Apple Repair, but what if you decide to branch outside of the Mac space and work on Windows or Linux instead? A more appropriate name would be Next-Day Computer Repair or a name that speaks about your expertise.

7. Avoid initials or obscure words

Sure, IBM, CVS, and IKEA have all made it to the top with just initials or acronyms. However, these are billion-dollar companies with instantly recognizable logos and branding themes. Until you're a household name, it's best to avoid this approach. The reason is simple: No one will know what the letters stand for, or what your brand does. They're also far less likely to search for it online.

In your quest to keep it interesting, however, avoid the use of obscure words that no one knows. It might have worked for Google, but rearranging the letters in your name just to be unique can work against you.

8. Test on Google Ads

If you're second-guessing a name, it helps to test your shortlist of prospective names on Google Ads. Use the Keyword Planner tool to search for each name on your list. When you do, you'll see a list of similar search phrases, along with their respective search traffic. If there's a domain name similar to yours that's getting a significant amount of traffic, choose a different one to stand out.

For example, if you are searching for “Dream Designs,” and the search results comprise a name called “Dream Designers” that’s receiving a lot of traffic, it’s wise to go for another name.

9. Take advantage of online tools

You're not alone in your search for the perfect domain name! There are online tools that can help. Domain suggestion tools can generate available names based on the keywords that you input. For instance, CaliWinery.com is taken, but after inputting the keywords "cali" and "winery" the domain suggestion tool will recommend TheCaliWinery.com as an available alternative. These tools are simple, effective, and ensure that you find a great domain name.

It's also important to note that just because your desired domain is already registered doesn't mean that it's impossible to get. Test your luck! First, do a WhoIs Lookup on the domain name to find out the domain owner's contact information.

Depending on if they have privacy enabled, you might get the owner's contact information or their domain registrar's. Either way, you can send an email showing interest in the domain to see if the owner is willing to sell it. If so, you can make them an offer and negotiate a deal that will make the domain yours. You never know if you don't try!

10. Use a business name generator

A great way to get started when trying to find a business name is to use a business name generator. Either you'll find a name that you love or you'll get great inspiration to get those creative juices flowing.

Business name generator

A great business name must achieve two important things:

  • It should resonate with you and your passion
  • It should appeal to your target audience

Our business name generator not only gives you unique and memorable name for your business but each name comes with a sleek logo design that you can customize and use. The tool is incredibly easy to use wherein it shares a list of business name suggestions based on the keywords that you put in the search box. Enter the words that you want your business and its name to resonate with and the tool will generate several business names that you can choose from.

How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Business

Your domain name can have a significant impact on your web presence. It's often one of the first touchpoints a business has with its users. This is why it is crucial that you choose a domain name that not only reflects your business's identity but also helps in building a long-term brand.

When it comes to choosing a good domain name, there are many factors that you must consider. This article explains the impact a domain name can have on your online business and how you can choose a great domain name.

The strategic importance of a domain name

There's a lot that goes into building a successful online presence. Most of this is about taking care of the details. If you fail to build a strong website, no amount of paid promotion will help improve your brand image.

One of the key elements of a good website is its domain name. That's the first decision you'll take, followed by your website’s security, website's design, colors, and content. After choosing the domain, you also need to make sure you have SSL to secure your website. Here are a few aspects that your domain name shadows:

1. Good brand positioning

A good domain name will go a long way in establishing what your business is all about and help you build a strong positioning of your brand. For example, www.remotework.online

2. Great first impression

You introduce your business with its name. It's one of the first things that you communicate to a potential client or investor, and it should be impressive. Consider www.footballcoach.site and you'll know the website has something to do with learning football.

3. Strong marketing touchpoints

Good domain names can add that extra zest to your marketing activities. They can be used as a medium to entice and engage your users. For example, www.gardensupply.store will give you a fair idea about what the website might have to offer..

Tips for choosing a great domain name for your website

Your domain name is a vital aspect of your website and overall brand. Therefore, it requires serious thought and consideration. Your domain name can significantly help you with your marketing and branding efforts. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the perfect domain name.

1. Think about the long-term implications

A domain name isn't something that you can change at the drop of a hat. It is your business's core identity and will represent you until the end. Often companies decide to change their domain name after a few years, and not only does that drain their pockets, but it also hampers their SEO ranking, branding, and marketing efforts. It's almost like building a whole new brand.

Your domain name will stick with you through thick and thin. So, make sure the domain name that you choose is not only good by itself but also adds significant value to your business and overall brand.

2. Choose a meaningful domain extension

One of the most important aspects of a domain name is the domain extension. While this may seem like a minor detail, it can have a huge impact on your business and branding. With more than 1200 new domain extensions, you have the option to choose the one that best describes the nature of your website/business.

For example, if you're in the technology industry or are launching a new coding course, then .TECH would complement your business. Retailers and eCommerce businesses can choose .STORE as their domain extension. If you're building a personal website or starting a blog, go for .SITE or .ONLINE or .SPACE. These new domain extensions check all the essential boxes:

  • They are short
  • They are meaningful
  • They are keyword-rich
  • They establish what your website is about
  • They help you stand out

In fact, some of the top brands such as Emirates (www.emirates.store) and Amazon (www.prime.tech) are using these new domain extensions to get more meaningful and contextual domain names.

3. Keep them clutter-free

In an era of voice search, it's best to have a domain name that is easy to spell and pronounce. One tiny glitch and your user could end up at your competitor's website. When getting a domain name, refrain from adding a hyphen or a number in it. Another good practice is not to change the spellings of basic words (for example, shoes not shoez).

If you have to spell or specifically mention the hyphen or number when communicating your domain name, then that's not a good sign. A good domain name should go smoothly in a conversation such as, "Hi, my name is Greta, and you can check out my work on w w w dot Greta writes dot site."

4. Be mindful of copyrights and trademarks

Before you register your domain name, do your homework to ensure you're not entering someone else's territory. When selecting a name, make sure that it doesn't contradict any copyrighted or trademarked words. A mistake like this can get you in a big legal mess and can cost you a fortune, peace of mind, and your domain name. Websites and online magazines such as LegalZoom, Nolo and Entrepreneur can give you some guidance on avoiding trademark infringement.

For example, a Canadian teenager registered a domain name MikeRoweSoft.com, similar to Microsoft.com. His intention of making a profit by selling the domain name to Microsoft landed him in legal trouble.

5. Get a brandable domain name

A domain name that is creative and brandable is always better than a generic one. Your domain name is the foundation of your brand. A generic domain name is just words that don't mean much or do much for your brand. However, a brandable domain name helps you stand out and create your own unique space on the Internet.

For example, if you're starting an online clothing DIY class, having the domain name www.learningDIYonlineforfree.com won't make a mark as much as owning www.DIYclothing.online as a domain name will.

Follow the simple steps mentioned above to get a great domain name for your business. Before you zero-in on one, make sure it checks the following boxes:

  • Does it represent your business?
  • Is it short, unique, concise, and meaningful?
  • Is it easy to pronounce?
  • Is it brandable?
  • Are you sure nobody else owns it?

If it satisfies all these conditions, go ahead and register it.

Tips from entrepreneurs on choosing a domain name

Naming your new business is a daunting task. So many factors to consider, but what will you regret, and what are small potatoes that you are sweating over when you shouldn't be? We ask business owners what they wish they knew before naming their businesses. Learn from their insights and apply to your next business.

Michael Alexis

Our business is named "Museum Hack" because we lead unconventional museum tours. I wish I had known more about applying for a DBA (Doing Business As) before we chose this name. In NY State, there are strict regulations around using certain words in your business name and "museum" is one of these because typically, it is reserved for use with museums.

The result was significant and somewhat expensive delays in obtaining our DBA. If we had known and understood the process better, then we likely would have still used Museum Hack, but we would have been able to work through the process more efficiently.

David Hooper

Having been through a few business names myself and worked with hundreds of others to name their businesses, here is what I can say for sure:

1. Your business name should be easy to spell. This is extremely important now that more and more people are doing business online and searching via text. This also means there should be one way to spell it. And if there is more than one way to spell it, get a .com domain name for each option. Avoid "dot com" names with funky spellings.

2. Your business name should be easy to pronounce. This is important if doing any kind of media with audio, including television, radio, and podcasts. It's also crucial for voice search.

3. A story helps. If the name of your company doesn't tell precisely what you do, having a story behind your name, as long as it's related to the work you do, will help to make your company more memorable. Avoid random names just because you can get a matching domain.

Dmytro Okunyev

The one thing I wish I knew is that if you plan to be present internationally, you need to prepare at least several months to come up with a name. Before launching Chanty, I started three other companies in the field of development and design, but they were mostly for the local market.

In other words, I wasn't going after a top-quality domain name. When launching Chanty, I needed a name that was catchy, easy to remember, not spoken for legally and with an available .com domain. In short, it took me and my team about six months to come up with the name of Chanty.

All in all, the biggest worry was finding a domain that wasn't taken. Some are "taken," but in reality, you have to pay thousands of dollars because someone already bought them and "parked" them. Just something to have in mind - I know lots of entrepreneurs who buy great domains just to have in case they have a business idea at some time.

Chanty is a simple AI-powered team chat. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. Chanty is a Saas software company headquartered in the U.S., New York, with offices in Zurich, Switzerland and R&D in Europe. We're building a tool for team communication and collaboration.

Anna Rider

I'm a food writer and recipe developer at Garlic Delight with a story about how my business name ended up embarrassing me, and I stuck with it anyway.

When I chose the name Garlic Delight for my food website, I knew I was picking a polarizing ingredient. I love garlic, and I knew that most of my recipes would contain garlic, if not feature it. However, I wish I knew I would soon become known as "garlic girl" at the networking events I attended and that people can concoct pretty creative jokes about garlic.

I felt embarrassed for a while and even switched my domain to a different one. However, the new name never caught on the same way that Garlic Delight did. In time, I realized I had a pretty great name in Garlic Delight. Someone even told me I picked well because there's a clear boundary between the "c" in "garlic" and the "d" in "delight," which makes the URL more comfortable to read when someone types it in.

Most importantly, I realize being a joke is more memorable than a bland name. So, I switched back to Garlic Delight, and I'm happy I have a polarizing name that people like to make jokes about because it helps people remember me.

Garlic Delight provides tips, inspiration, and tools to empower millennials and super busy people to cook more at home. Our ingredients-first approach and cook once, eat three times philosophy helped us go from panic to bliss (and get healthy by not ordering takeout meals).

David Ewart

Our business is called Pavilion Broadway, which is a distinctive nod to the area that our first store was opened in. Something we frequently come across on Google is a small coffee shop in London called "Pavilion," which is at "Broadway Market." It's impossible to plan around this kind of thing since our business name is unique, but of course, people will happen to search for the other business and inadvertently arrive at our site.

The best advice I can give you is to thoroughly research your business name on domain sites and with synonyms. Think about how your business will appear on Google, and whether it represents exactly what you're selling. It's also worth conducting some third party research into whether your business name resonates with customers.

Finally, when thinking about international expansion, always consider how it will be translated or perceived in other territories. We have all heard about the disaster cases where large companies haven't researched the local market and launched a brand that is culturally offensive or just plain wrong.

Jesse Silkoff

MyRoofingPal is an online marketplace that connects people with the best local residential and commercial roofers in 4,000 cities across the U.S. When I first came up with the name for our business, we were only focused on roofing services, so I made the business name very roofing specific.

Over time we have expanded into other services such as gutters and siding. Since our name is so roofing specific, it often causes potential new customers to think that we only do roofing when they see our advertisements. In hindsight, I would have named our business something broader without "roofing" in the name to avoid this confusion.

Calloway Cook

Illuminate Labs makes dietary supplements you can trust. All of our supplements are tested at a third-party laboratory against European Union limits, which are the strictest in the world. We share the test results with you on each product page. Before naming my business, I wish I did a full search through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for companies with similar names.

Our business is in the process of trademarking our name, but there are many similarly-named businesses that make doing so risky from a financial and time-investment perspective. If you're a business owner just starting, you don't want to spend $2,500 for a patent attorney just to get notice back from the USPTO six months later that your application was rejected.

Rebecca Winslow

Fashion Statement makes custom LED products such as T-Shirts, powered by 2x AAA batteries in a hidden battery pack. I was exhilarated when my business partner came up with the name "Fashion Statement" for our burgeoning light up apparel company. Although we loved the pun, we did not anticipate how easily it would fly over people's heads.

It is often misread, with people thinking our name is "Fashion Statement," and sometimes people assume it is spelt "Flashing Statement." For an online company, this can create a problem to find us in search engines—and autocorrect doesn't help. Puns are catchy and memorable in a name, but if you're not careful, they can also work against you.

Kirsten Baumberger

I know a few founders, myself among them, who have made less-than-ideal choices when naming their business the first time around. When I founded my first agency, now parent company to all our projects, we made the mistake of having a name that could be said one of two very different ways — working under the banner of "MGMT Creative" we had clients, connections, and even friends/family all saying it differently.

Some folks opted for "M-G-M-T Creative," while others would say "Management Creative." It got so bad that my co-founder and I would eventually forget which we had intended it to be called in the first place. Lucky our newest project, MiniSocial.io, is a d/b/a of MGMT Creative, so we no longer need to suffer through the confusion caused by our previous name.

Chloe Brittain

When I named my business, I chose a partial-match domain, simply because I saw many other small companies doing it. In other words, my business name clearly describes one specific service that I was offering when I started my business.

This type of name can be beneficial if you only intend to stick to one service. However, as my business has evolved, I've begun to look at adding on new services. If I had anticipated this in the beginning, I would have chosen a more brandable business name.

As a result, I foresee a rebrand shortly. This is a bit of a hassle because I'll need to change my logo and branding and migrate to a new domain.

Moral of the story: If you think there's any chance at all that you'll tack on additional services or that the nature of your primary product or service might change over time, think hard before you go with an exact or partial-match domain!

Conclusion

Names and identity go hand-in-hand. The one you choose for your new business can help shape the way your audience perceives it. It can also determine how easily they can search for and find you among a sea of competitors.

Naming a business doesn't have to be a struggle. With the right approach, it can be the launching pad that sets your company up for years of success.

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Speaking of launching your business, don't overlook getting a nice juicy logo for your business once you have decided on a name. Our logo maker is fast, AI-powered and easy to use!
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Alisha Shibli

Alisha is the Head of Marketing at LOGO.com. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.