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5 Factors to Consider Before Choosing A Domain Name

If you’ve been following Danny for any amount of time, chances are you’ve already read his Naked Marketing Manifesto  by now. If you haven’t, I’d like to invite you to drop everything just for a couple of minutes, and go grab it right now. I can promise you it will be one of the best time investments you’ll make this whole year.

After reading it, you’ll realize where the inspiration for this post came from…

Now, for some essential things to keep in mind about your website or blog’s name and domain:

  • It will be representing your brand online
  • People will remember it for future reference

Before you do anything else online, the first thing you should do is give careful thought and consideration for your blog or website name. You need a business name before you can start working on your products or services, before you can start designing your marketing material and even before you can design your website or blog with any banners or images that will represent your brand. You need a name even before you choose a domain name…

Why do I say this?

Of course you can do any of the above before settling on a name, but it probably won’t be a great one, and it most likely won’t be the right one. Everything you develop on your site will evolve around or represent your brand name.

Another thing, if you plan on starting your own personal blog where you will be sharing thoughts and experiences from your own life, for instance, your business or website name should include your name.

Otherwise, when you’re deciding a blog or website name, you need to look first at what you are planning to share, and secondly, evaluate and establish your ONE person.  Then you just need to make sure that your name conveys the right information to the right people!

Let me explain that with an example:

I have a website with a blog focusing on Domain Management called Ultimate Domain Manager. I offer services ranging from registering your domain name through services like cloud off-site backup solutions. My domain is ultimatedomainmanager.com

Looking at my site’s name, the services I offer and my domain name, you can see they’re very closely related. Each one conveys information about my services to the type of person who fits my customer profile.

Before we jump right into how to choose your blog or website name, I have a small confession to make…

I didn’t use the above theory when I chose any one of those three elements of my business. I just got lucky.  But let me tell you that, without a doubt, any project I take on in future will be based on it, simply because it is effective and it makes perfect sense.

The best part is, what I will be sharing next can be applied to any online venture…

What Information Are You Conveying?

When choosing your business or site name, you have to keep in mind that you’re targeting a certain audience, one that you carefully determined when you designed your ONE person, and they need specific information about you.

Your business name needs to reflect their feelings and needs about your product or service – not yours. Failure to realize this could result in brand confusion.

If your target audience needs products or services related to marketing, for instance, you need to have that somewhere contained within your business name. A marketing company called “Incredible Solutions” may make perfect sense to you – but it won’t be clear to your target audience – or anyone else for that matter! Something like “Incredible Marketing Solutions” would be much easier and effective, don’t you think?

Keywords about your product or service are a great place to start looking for brand association ideas. They are likely what your target audience will have in their minds anyway, when they are searching for information about your topic.

Does your Business Name Attract Your Ideal Target Audience?

This element is closely related to the one above, with one important difference.

Your business name shouldn’t just inform your target market – it should also attract them. Do they find your business name attractive and does it catch their attention?

Let’s look at an example:

If I were looking for domain management services or training material related to managing my domain more effectively, I would be looking for something in the range of Domain Management. When I come across a company called Ultimate Domain Manager, would it catch my attention and hold my interest long enough for some messaging to penetrate?

More than likely.

Why?

Well:

  • “Ultimate” seems confident, which could be a strong indication of knowledge, meaning they may have plenty of experience within this field.
  • “Manager” suggests that this company has the knowledge and experience to either teach me these skills or perform them on my behalf.

Does that business name “Ultimate Domain Manager” attract me?

Yes.

Why?

Simply because it caught my attention. It interests me and speaks to issues I am dealing with.

Does Your Business Name Suggest Something That Your Audience Wants or Needs?

Let’s look at the above example again.

If someone is looking for domain management services or any training material related to domain management, then yes, it does because it is something they want or need.

The most important question to ask yourself before choosing a business name in terms of desirability should be: “does this business name suggest that my target’s need or want would be fulfilled after making use of my services?”

Because you’ve done your research into your target market and their needs, wants and passions, you can choose a name that will speak to them strongly. They might even consider it sexy.

When people see something they consider sexy – they tend to check it out in more detail.

Does Your Business Name Suggest Credibility and Authority?

As Danny’s “Naked Is Rewarding” in the Naked Marketing Manifesto suggests, “Naked Marketing isn’t about one-night stands. It’s about great experiences that turn into long-term business relationships.”  In other words, is it good for you AND to your prospect?

The same can be applied to choosing a business name.

When you start thinking about a suitable name for your business, not only does it have to be related to your products or services but should also establish you as an authority in your topic.

People who respond well to Ultimate Domain Manager probably wouldn’t have the same reaction to Pretty Good Domain Manager now, would they?

When thinking about your business name, what is the impression you get? Try to look at it from an objective point of view. Does it sound like you’re representing something solid, lasting and of high quality? Or does it sound like it might disappear next week?

Does your business name suggest any authority and confidence? Does it reflect that you are serious about the products or services that you offer? Does your business name sound as if it was thought out in a minute or as if it was carefully considered?

Most importantly: will it give the impression of quality and value to anyone interested in your services or products?

When looking at your business name, your market needs to feel that this is a name they can be associated with for many years to come. More importantly, they need to feel assured that your company is competitive, offers prompt and effective support when needed but also that your company can be trusted to deliver upon what it promises.

In Summation…

Keeping all of the above in mind before you decide on a name for your business may very well be the difference between an average-results driven business and business growth that exceeds your wildest dreams.

Let us know what your thoughts are, and feel free to share your strategies and experiences with us in the comments section!

To your business name creation success!

About Ruan Oosthuizen

Ruan Oosthuizen (@RuanOosthuizen) is the founder ofUltimateDomainManager.com and also the author of The Best Traffic Generating Strategies By 10 Top Bloggers | A Tribute. Ruan's passion is to help as many people as possible by sharing his knowledge and experience.

31 comments

  1. dating guide says:

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  2. Brad says:

    While I’m all about making the blog title and domain name be as descriptive as possible you still want to keep the name as short as possible. Your domain name ultimatedomainmanager.com is a bit long but because they are three rather easy words to spell there’s no problem but if the descriptive words are difficult to spell you might start running into trouble.

    1. I totally agree Brad. My other domain is called ebookstutorialsandguides.com but luckily those are rather easy to spell too. The thing is, even easy to spell words people often don’t spell correctly the first time and I can’t help but wondering if this has had any negative impact on my traffic stats.

      I have to admit that I would rather have a slightly longer domain name containing more of my keywords than having a short non-descriptive one that doesn’t connect it with my brand. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I wish you all the best of success with your future ventures!

  3. Hi Ruan,
    The points you chosen to discuss is soo tiny but holds huge importance in life. I agrees that the name of any niche should describes the product or services of a website. Also domain name must be clear & understandable this will helps the user to search our webpage easily. Thanks for sharing such a meaningful article.

  4. Warren says:

    Hi Ruan,

    Thanks for the useful tips. This is such an important step. I find the key in the brand name and or company name is its uniqueness. It must be unique so that people will remember the name.

    Cheers

    Warren

  5. Discover Auctions says:

    Excellent points Ruan! Your domain name should clearly state what might be found on the page. Even if your actual business name is (example;) John Doe LLC, why in the world would your domain name be johndoe.com? It just doesn’t tell you anything about the website. I also choose to use my Twitter handle when commenting on posts rather than my name, just like @Kikolani – Kristi Hines. Some people don’t like it, but what can you gather about my site if I use my name? My site is not about me. If I had a personal blog on wordpress.com, then I would use my name, but I don’t.
    Congrats on guest posting for Danny on Firepole Marketing, that is a great honor!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the read! Yes indeed, it’s a great honor to be accepted by Danny. I guess if he approved something you’ve done it must offer a good level of value, right? Truly humbled for the opportunity to share and hopefully it won’t be the last.

      Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you around!

  6. Linda says:

    Good morning Ruan!

    This names business is certainly a struggle to get right. Like you, I didn’t have a formula, well thought out strategy or whatever for choosing my domain name or business. I adopted the ‘what it says on the tin’ approach – results on both counts were loooong names. No matter which way I look at it, I can’t think of anything more descriptive and catchy at the same time. All suggestions gratefully received!

    kind regards,

    L

    ps the business is ‘Chalet Lowonahill’….. no prizes for guessing where on the mountain it is!

    1. I agree Linda that yours couldn’t have been easy other than what you currently have. I won’t be worried at all if I was you though as yours says exactly what it is and there shouldn’t be any confusion about what it’s about. One shouldn’t have trouble spelling it out either and if you do you’re probably too young to look at Austrian Alpine Holidays anyway! 😉

      1. Linda says:

        I think I like you, Ruan!

        And fingers crossed you’re right about those who can’t spell it being too young to read it… I tend to drift off ‘adult’ areas of lust, love and lasciviousness at every opportunity. That’s what holidays are for…. isn’t it?

        Watch this space, I’ll tell you if I get a sudden peak in readership!

        L x

  7. Misha says:

    Thanks for the great article, I agree that the name is very important, and it should be related to your business/what you are going to talk about. Sometimes I feel the best names are taken by the big business. With the world wide web you realise that you are not the first one to come up with ‘that amazing original name/idea’ but I’n not saying its impossible.I changed the name of my blog, so that it would be more connected to my location, and so that I would show up in search results of local blogs, and it has definitely helped me increase local traffic.

    Thanks once again for your insights!

    1. It’s only a pleasure Misha! I’m glad that you are seeing results and all the best of success with your future ventures! I hope to see more of your progress so come visit me on my blog every once in a while and stick around to keep me updated, deal? 🙂

  8. Yetunde says:

    Thanks for sharing this tips. Making a decision about a business/website name is as important as deciding what line of business to go into. It is always good to carry out researches into the meanings of names which as no so common.

  9. Sheyi | Ivblogger.com says:

    Ruan, name works wonders. Here in Nigeria, we believe that if you use the right name, you will succeed in life.

    I’ve seen some biz here with foreign names – I’ll get there and see that its owned by local guys and i won’t but wanna do biz with them.

    Name plays a big role in life and business

    Sheyi

  10. Merri Cvetan says:

    I have 3 different names for my business, blog and newsletter. I start each at different times, not realizing the importance of having a brand. What do you think about changing the name if my blog? I don’t have lots of followers, but am making an effort to become a regular blogger.

    1. Merri, if you haven’t got a huge following already chances are very few people are aware of your blog name and therefor changing the name of your blog shouldn’t have a negative impact on anything. Maybe changing your blog name might just give you the spark you are looking for, depending on your research that hopefully influenced this blog name.

      I would stick to one name throughout though and do everything I can to build that brand. People would prefer to be associated with one company name within a company and not three. Keep things the same throughout and people will get to know you but more importantly remember you by this brand name.

      Thanks for stopping by Merri and good luck with your changes; it’s an exciting time building that brand and credibility! 🙂

  11. Susan says:

    I had an idea for a name that I tested out on Facebook. A friend who had spent the early years of her life in Nigeria made an animated response. An old fashioned word that I thought quite safe to use to her was linked with illegal activity of a kind that no respectable woman would want to be involved with. I did not change the name but I changed the tag line to make it more obvious what i meant.

    I have also seen it the other way around. I have seen Africans use initials for the names of churches they have started in London. One set of initials was the slang term for a sexually transmitted disease. The other was slang for a bathroom. It is so easy to give the wrong impression with a name. What seems safe in one culture is not suitable to use in another. The Internet is making the world a smaller place but we still need to be sensitive to others.

    A classic story of this kind of cultural misunderstanding was told by Winston Churchill. Apparently some of the negotiations he was involved with nearly collapsed because of a misunderstanding. The American and the British teams had opposite understandings of the phrase tabling a motion. Tell a British person you enjoy tailgating you would be met with horror at how you could even indulge in such a dangerous practise while driving. There are loads of classic examples like that.

    The only answer is to check what your target market understands by the words that you want to use and then plan a strategy accordingly.

    1. Linda says:

      Oh, Susan – you made me giggle with your comments!

      Being a Brit is fun… when we get over ourselves! I quite like the idea of other cultures ‘de-stuffing’ us with their language, but your strategy of clarifying your tag line sounds a great compromise – we get the best of both worlds!

      Hopefully, my site address translates unequivocally into any language. Shame I can’t say the same about the content….

      Kindest regards,
      L

      ps sorry Ruan, couldn’t resist hijacking your conversation!

    2. Hi Susan,

      This is a very interesting point you brought up here. I think this goes hand in hand with the thorough research you need to take care of even before you create any product or services, and definitely way before you create your brand.

      Understanding and getting deep under the skin of your target audience, their profile, what they want and need, how you plan to to solve their issues or satisfy their needs and then only to create all your products and services around that information will surely eliminate 99% of confusion with your audience.

      I mean we can always help them decide exactly what it is that they want or need but whether they know this from the start or whether you had a helping hand in all this, at some point they’ll know what it is they want and need, so when they finally do come across your brand there should be no confusion or hesitation as to if you provide what they are looking for. This is after all exactly why you are targeting a specific audience, people who actually need what you have to offer.

      Sadly there may always be potential misinterpretations by some people, especially those none-targeted ones that just happened to stumble upon your products/services unintentionally but I don’t think you should be too worried about this though as they aren’t targeted in the first place, right? So you never planned to reach them anyway. The fact that they are there is an actual bonus. Hopefully with some good skill and a bit of luck your marketing material might just give them a little push in the right direction and convince them that they might even need what you have to offer.

      Thanks for your thoughts Susan! 🙂

  12. Jill Tooley says:

    Great post, Ruan! I’d also advice potential business owners to keep their business names as short and sweet as possible. The longer the company name, the longer the URL, and the less likely it’ll be that customers spell it right on the first try. Another strategy is to buy multiple domain names with commonly misspelled variations, that way it always redirects back to your site!

    Also, be careful about how your business name looks when it’s crunched together in an advertisement or domain name. For example, there’s a store called Kids Exchange, which sells used children’s items, but when you smush the name together you get “kidsexchange.” That doesn’t look too great! 😉

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more Jill! I must admit that when I was thinking of a business name and also my domain name, UltimateDomainManager.com, the length already had me a little worried. Luckily for me there shouldn’t be any spelling confusions or misinterpretations though.

      My previous domain was called ebookstutorialsandguides.com and although I think spelling it out ain’t too difficult either, what did get to me was typing that loooong name out the whole time, which if done a few times a day becomes quite tiring as well. Probably another good thing to keep in mind 😉

      Thanks for your valuable contribution Jill!

  13. I really liked this article because it clearly covers why a name is important in marketing. There are certainly company names that are contrary to this, like “go daddy”, which to me makes no sense at all, however I prefer a name that matches the service. Of course a name like “buy domains here from scantily clad women who drive race cars” really isn’t very catchy. Ultimate domain manager… I like it, sounds catchy!

  14. Thanks once again for this opportunity to share this information with your audience, Danny. It was truly an honor!

    To the rest of you guys, I’ll be hanging around here in the comments section ready to hear your own experiences and thoughts on the subject! 😉

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