What’s in a name?

In the offline world, your business name can reinforce your brand values and provide your company with a competitive edge. If you’re an online business owner, however, your domain name not only sets your company apart from an endless web of competitors, it can also have powerful implications for online discoverability and SEO.

Here are our top five tips for choosing a domain name that's bound to be a hit with your customers.

Make it meaningful

Whether you're a food distributor, high-end apparel retailer or in the business of selling custom-made lawnmowers, it's crucial that your domain name reflects your brand value as well as the goals of your enterprise. Start by making a list of keywords that best capture the nature of your business and play around with these until you find a combination that hits the right note.

Set your domain name apart

If you’re a bricks-and-mortar business, it’s crucial that your company name is memorable. In the online world, though, the uniqueness of your domain name can make or break your business. This means steering away from domain names that already belong to established online entities. For instance, don’t give in to the temptation to name your swimwear accessories business “goggles.com” unless you want all your search queries redirected to Google.

Keep it simple

Quirky misspellings may make for a marketing gimmick in real life, but can spell disaster for your online business. Make your website easy to find by spelling your domain name appropriately, avoiding hyphens and steering clear from overly obscure words or characters.

Make it snappy

If you want your customers to become advocates for your brand, make sure your domain name is easy to remember and highly relevant to your industry. This will also wins points for SERPS marketing by ensuring that your business is listed in the results page for industry-specific searches.

Short and sweet

Remember that online customers have short attention spans and that a pithy domain name is more likely to linger in their memory than something more convoluted. Take inspiration from brands such as ASOS and Amazon – two retailers whose catchy monikers have become synonymous with online fashion and electronic publishing.

When it comes to picking the right domain name, it pays to keep it simple, focus on your brand highlights and go with your gut instinct. You’re sure to reap rewards in the form of traffic, purchases, recommendations and clicks.

It is always a good idea to check all your domain name ideas to see if it is available before having your heart set on a name and then to find out it is already registered. A simply way in which you can see whether your desired domain name is available, go to Netregistry's "Domain Registration" and have a search yourself.


Daniel Wheeler | West Hollywood says:
July 23, 2012 at 5:40 am

Great post, thanks for sharing!!!

John Wright says:
August 06, 2012 at 5:09 pm

“Make it meaningful
Whether your a food distributor . . .”

For Christ’s sake let’s kill this ignorant trend.

It’s YOU’RE. Short for YOU ARE.

Anthony Parker says:
August 07, 2012 at 1:23 am

Great information… thanks!

Karen Lim-Sam says:
August 07, 2012 at 2:28 am

Hi John,  Thank you for picking up this typo.  We will definitely be triple checking our posts before we blog.  We have now corrected the incorrect spelling.

Andre Smiggles says:
August 07, 2012 at 6:16 am

Thanks for the information. Always good to re-enforce the key objectives behind domain name selection. Also thanks to John for pointing out the typo. I don’t (short for Do Not) know if I would have been able to sleep tonight after reading this article.

Jonathan Bligh says:
August 07, 2012 at 9:06 pm

FYI, while you’re looking at typos: “all you search queries redirected to Google”.

But content was good,

robyn says:
August 08, 2012 at 2:02 am

don’t forget the keep (as in keep it simple) when correcting typos

Kano says:
September 14, 2012 at 9:42 am

What do you recommend for a business with a long name?
Is it a good idea to avoid symbols, like “-”?
Is it a good idea to get hold of phrases related to your business also?

Uyen Vu says:
September 18, 2012 at 12:33 am

Hey Kano,

For business with a long name, we usually recommend registering both your full business name and a ‘shorted’ version. The full domain name can be redirected to the domain name that you would like to make your main website. This allows you to retain your business name and also allow people who knows your business but not your website to still arrive at the correct destination.
It usually best not to use symbols within your domain name, a couple of reasons may be people may ‘forget’ to type the symbol, harder to provide the domain name through word of mouth.

principles of Marketing says:
September 23, 2012 at 8:57 am

I really liked that and find your site refreshing. If it’s ok, I’ll tell others in my Facebook groups about your resource too. Keep up the good work.

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