No matter which platform you use to build a website, you’ll always be asked the same question first: to choose your site’s name and your domain name. There are two key reasons for this. The first is practical – without a domain of your own, you won’t have a claim to a little chunk of the internet on which to build your site. But the second is just as important: your website name (or domain name) will be the very first thing visitors and customers see, so getting it right is critical to your site’s success.
If you give a good first impression, potential customers will be more interested in engaging with your brand, products, and services. One of the simplest ways of doing this is by coming up with a website name idea that best represents your brand and makes your website or e-commerce store stand out from the competition.
Depending on what kind of business you’re setting up, you might need a different kind of brand name. In this article, we’ll dig deeper into the factors behind coming up with good website name ideas to help you find the best domain name for your brand.
What Does a Good Website Name Need?
There are several competing factors at play when it comes to establishing the best name for your website, and you’ll need to work out the best balance between them in order to succeed. Broadly speaking, these are relevance, memorability, keyword coverage, TLD, and availability.
#1: Relevance – will the name express your site’s function?
Letting your customers know what you’re offering is important. Ask yourself: if someone has never heard of you before, could they tell what your site is about just from your domain name?
Some companies and businesses will cluster around a certain name format. For instance, a company that is called something like “Bakr” or “Coblr” represents what their brand does in the name. If you’re fairly up to date with the state of the tech industry at the moment, you might know just by reading the name that these are tech-focused baking or shoe-making apps (if you can imagine such things).
Sticking to your business’s core area of business is also important. If you’re a fashion-focused clothing store, naming your brand “fabric masters” might not be ideal, considering you sell ready-made clothes rather than haberdashery. Instead, calling it something like “Fashion Culture” would be more suitable and closer to your business’s core operation.
Your customers will know exactly what they’re getting, even if they haven’t heard of you before. This also makes customers trust your brand more when they first hear of it. Since customers now know what you’re selling, they’ll be more motivated to check out your store and maybe even make a purchase.
#2: Memorability – will users be able to remember your name?
Clarity is important as it shows your customers exactly what your brand is about. Of course, this will vary depending on your language too. For instance, in English, calling your brand “Fashicltr” is less clear than calling it “Fashion Culture.” One is pronounceable and self-explanatory, while the other isn’t.
Similarly, those baking and shoe-business apps – “Bakr” and “Coblr” – might confuse people who are unfamiliar with the norms of this style of business name; unless you’ve internalized the idea you need to read “Tumblr” or “Flickr” with a dropped final “e”, “Bakr” doesn’t really look like a word in English. Perhaps your potential bakery clientele aren’t in a demographic where they’re familiar with tech app trends. So it’s important to keep in mind your new site’s core demographic when figuring out if your name is clear – all things are not the same to all people.
Confusing your customer at first glance will make them a little hesitant to try out your product or services. Obviously, that’s something you don’t want happening.
To make your brand stand out in the spotlight, you’ll need to ensure you pick an original, unique name so it’s easier to differentiate yourself from the competition. For example, if you start a new shoe shop, calling it “Best Shoes” probably isn’t a great idea. Instead, you might name it something like “Great Fit”. This will bring out the uniqueness of your shoe store, while still making it clear what kind of business you are.
Similarly, if you start a new search engine, calling it something like “Goggle” or your new online store “Amazone” is also not the greatest idea. Taking a great name and changing it a little bit won’t make it unique to your brand (and might set you up for a lawsuit!)
Making sure that your domain name is concise and to the point is also important. You don’t want to bore your customer with an incredibly lengthy name. For instance, if you make the UK’s best staples and staple guns, calling your website, “the-best-staples-and-staple-gun-store-in-the-whole-united-kingdom.com” is probably not the most catchy name you could come up with (although domain availability is unlikely to be an issue).
It’s a nightmare to type in the address bar, let alone remember – look at all those hyphens! Instead, you might choose something simpler like “staplecraft.co.uk” which sounds far more concise yet still relevant to your brand.
Alliteration and catchiness
You can use alliteration in your brand’s name to make your domain name easier to say and remember for your customers. This means that you can make your name sound much more catchy by using words that begin with the same letter or sound. For example, “Billy’s Buns,” “Lansing Lumber,” and “Farm Fresh” all roll off the tongue in a catchy and memorable way.
Avoid topical references
Think about the future when you’re coming up with website name ideas. For example, “Harlem Shake Steaks” or “I Can Haz Office Suppliez” are not good domain names that will be successful in 2021 – even if they were amusing to most people when they were first set up.
You cannot base your brand’s name on a trend that might not last until next year. Instead, look for originality and something that will also keep your business relevant and brandable in the future.
#3: Keyword coverage – will your name boost your SEO?
Driving traffic to your website or store is hugely important for small businesses and startups. When you’re coming up with business name ideas for your website, you have to ask yourself: what are people going to type in their search bar when they’re searching for your website?
If you sell shoes, people who need to buy shoes should be able to find your brand or store. This is also important for keeping your business relevant in the market and industry.
Making your website SEO-friendly is critical for the future of your business. For example, if you know that people looking for shoe repair locally are searching for “Brighton shoe repair,” then using the domain name “brigtonshoerepair.com” will help the algorithm immediately take those people to your site.
The sooner people get to see your website in SERPs, the quicker they will be able to click through to it and check out your products. So, staying on top of search results by using important SEO-friendly keywords in your domain name is beneficial for your company’s growth.
#4: TLD – what kind of business are you, and where are you based?
A TLD or top-level domain extension is one of the parts of a web address that makes up the highest level in the Internet’s Domain Name System. Deciding on a TLD appropriate for your business and the industry you’re operating in is an important decision you have to make.
For instance, if you’re emphasizing your business’s presence or origin in a single country, then going for a country-level TLD might be the way forward. Country-level TLD suffixes can include “.us,” “.uk,” “.ca,” and “.de.”
But if you’re primarily running a simple blog, you can use “.blog” as the TLD for your company. Similarly, you can use “.io” for tech-related businesses, “.info” for information-based websites, or “.ink” if your brand is all about creative printing or tattooing! There are plenty of unique TLDs to choose from, but if you can’t make your mind up, you can always aim for a standard .com domain name.
#5: Availability – is the name already taken?
Lastly, once you’re done brainstorming a domain name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available. Use this tool to search through available domain names. You could even use our business name generator if you’re particularly stuck!
If you sign up with WordPress.com to build your website, you’ll get a free domain name for the first year. You don’t have to worry about setting aside additional investment, as WordPress.com makes sure you won’t have any trouble setting up and launching your new website or online store.
Coming up with the best domain name ideas becomes much easier once you know the different things you should consider.
To recap, you want to make sure that your domain name is memorable, has keywords and an appropriate TLD, and is available. All of these factors will help you differentiate your brand from the competition. This is exactly what you need to do to ensure success for your business now and in the future.
Additionally, always stick to your business core values to help customers trust your brand and get an accurate idea of what you sell. Finally, once you’re ready to put your finger down on a few website name ideas, you should check the availability of the domain names you shortlisted.
But also – think about it but don’t overthink it. It’s possible to spend absolutely ages thinking about business names rather than just picking one and going along with it. A successful business with a great website will stand out on its own merits whether it has the perfect domain name or not. After all, what does “Google” even mean?
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