Starting a business? One of the first things you need to do is decide on buying the right domain name for your business – which is no light decision. Your name can mean the difference between success and failure – the difference between becoming an industry leader or getting stuck in a sea of anonymity.
And to top things off, your business name will also go hand-in-hand with your domain name. All of the things that make a good business name also make a good domain name. This is why good domain names are typically already taken and carry a lot of monetary value.
In this article, we’ll discuss the attributes that make a good business name, and transitively, a good domain name.
What Makes a Good Business (And Domain) Name?
In the domain world, just like in the real world, you get what you pay for. That’s why the attributes that make a good business name are also the attributes that make a domain name valuable.
Every good business name is memorable. It’s simple logic – the easier it is for people to customers to remember your name, the likelier they will be to return. Memorable names are typically unique, short, easy to say, and catchy-sounding.
2. The Shorter the Better
This is sort of a “chicken and the egg” situation with number one. If you have a shorter name, it will probably be easier to remember. In any case, if you’re deciding between two names, it’s usually better to pick the shorter one.
Depending on the industry, it is usually a good decision to include industry-relevant keywords. For example, if you are starting a coffee roastery business, you’d consider something like www.[uniquename]coffee.com. This way, potential customers will associate your business name with your product. When you are just starting out and don’t have name recognition yet, it’s a little risky not to include an industry-relevant keyword.
Note that for certain industries, keyword relevance does not always ring true. In particular, if you look at the tech industry, most names are catchy single-word made-up names like Google, Bing, Twitter, etc.
This one is dependent on your target customer base. If you’re going for a national or even international customer base, avoid region-specific terms.
Now, you may say, “But what about Kentucky Fried Chicken? Or Seattle’s Best Coffee? Are those bad business names?” We’d say no. While you would have a point that these are successful national businesses using region-specific names, they are exceptions rather than the rule. The reason these companies got away with it is that Kentucky (or the South as a whole) is associated with tasty fried chicken, and Seattle is known for tasty coffee. The region-specific portion of the name is part of the selling point for these brands.
So Which Type of Domain Name Should I Choose?
Each of the above attributes affects the type of domain name you choose. And this will depend on the goals of your business, your industry, and your location. See below for a list of the domain types and who they’re best for.
1. Keyword Descriptive
As discussed above, it’s beneficial for certain businesses to include descriptive keywords in their names. This communicates to potential customers the type of business. If you’re going for a descriptive name, you would pick out a unique brand name followed by an industry keyword or two.
Brandable names typically do not include any industry-specific keywords. They follow the memorability and “shorter-the-better” advice from above. The strategy with brandable domains is that potential customers will be intrigued by the name and tell others about your product or service, making your brand go “viral”.
Geographic names are limited to one region or country. Limitations can be both in the name itself and in the domain extension. For example, an electrical repair company in Essex, UK has the name essexelectric.co.uk. This is a perfectly fine name if that company plans to remain in Essex. However, if they planned an expansion, it might benefit to remove Essex from the name.
This article should leave you with some things to chew on when considering a name for your business. As you might have taken away, a lot of these considerations depend on the needs specific to your business. But if you remember one thing from this article, it is this. Your name should be memorable. Memorability is fundamental to any good business name.
To discuss your business name needs, please contact us for a free consultation.