Your website name is very important. But, naming a brand for your domain & social media handles could be the most important part of your marketing.
A domain name is like a virtual identification card. It’s a way for people to verify your online presence. Many mistakenly believe having a bad domain name is better than not having one at all, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Having a bad domain name can backfire and even cause you to lose customers and/or visitors. Having a bad domain name makes you look unprofessional while a good domain name leaves a positive impression and fosters a feeling of trust within your visitors.
A well-chosen domain name will also allow your website to rank higher in search engine results, which in turn allows your site to be seen by even more people.
Since your domain name will be on your social media account, other web properties, promotional print/swag, and more if you choose to take it over the top, you’ll want to choose a name that is reflective of what your website is.
Now that you understand the importance of a domain name, it’s time to make a list of potential domain names for your website. You don’t just have to use your company/product name.
In fact, it might be better not to if your company name is long or difficult to spell. One company had a difficult name to remember so it launched a website for its most popular product and found that customers were able to remember that domain name. This resulted in better customer/visitor conversions and higher search engine rankings since more customers were searching for the product than the company.
If you’re the face of your brand, you might consider using your name as your domain name. For instance, Gary Vaynerchuk and Mark Cuban are two people that are the face of their business. If that’s the case for you, then you’ll want to use your name as the domain name.
I would recommend you put together a list of 5-10 names that you would like to use. Do not get attached to any of these because in a few minutes we are going to eliminate a few of them.
Once you’ve come up with a list of potential domain names, go through and cross out anything that’s too long. Sometimes the best name is a longer name depending on what you are doing for your website.
Try to stay around or under twenty characters so your domain name is easy to remember. Think about how easy it would be for someone to remember it.
Cross out anything that might have negative connotations. If you’re using several words write them without spaces to be sure that your domain name wouldn’t be potentially offensive. One of the examples that I found with this is a children’s clothing shop that was called Kid’s Exchange.
Kid’s Exchange didn’t look bad when it is punctuated properly but when people look at the name without punctuation it could look like something way worse!
I first saw this looking for examples of bad logo design for a social media business conference I was hosting. The logo is all together with the same font and the letters are all different colors so it runs together. This made kidsexchange look more like kid sex change. From a branding point of view, this could be a very negative tick on your website.
After you’ve gone through your list and crossed some out, rank these domain names in order of your most favorite ones to your least favorite ones. Go online and research which domain names are available without any active trademarks and also has matching availability with social media profiles.
Watch the video training now, or follow along with the blog
Naming a Brand Video Trainings
You can use a FREE tool called KnowEm to check total availability.
Once you find a name that meets all of your requirements. You will want to finish the search of with checking for any of the other social media sites that you may use that is not on the homepage. You can check these by clicking on the Social Networks tab.
The Social Networks check on KnowEm is broken down into categories. So depending on what social sites/apps you are wanting to check you need to find that category and click on “Check This Category”.
Don’t worry if some of the sites are taken especially if you honestly never plan on using them. You should only be concerned if it is a platform that you will use or at least setup and point to your main social media platforms. (Contact me on Instagram @cjhallock)
Once you have found a name that you really like, that’s available on social media, for your domain (.com) & isn’t trademarked, make sure that no one else is using a similar name for something dishonest, spammy or offensive.
While this might seem like a very boring task, you don’t want your website confused with a similar website that’s not ethical. Even if you aren’t associated with them, it doesn’t mean people won’t automatically think about them when they visit your website.
NOTE: While you may want to use different extensions I highly recommend that you ONLY MOVE FORWARD WHEN YOU FIND A .COM. If you want to use a .net .org or one of the fun extensions such as .yeah, you can. But, you would be better getting the .com and building your website there then forward the other domain(s) to your main website. (More on that later)
If you do not see a social media site you want to check on the main page (like Instagram) you can go to the “Social Networks” tab and check each category of social sites. It automatically checks the “Blogging” category for you. If you want to check each of the other categories all you need to do is click “Check This Category” button for the desired category.
Run a search on Knowem.com with your desired username/domain and don’t forget to use a notebook or the Website Design Workbook to track your progress until you find the perfect name for your business.
With KnowEm, naming a brand doesn’t need to be a stressful task. I hope this has helped you find the best name for your brand. Comment below if you found your brand this way. Just be sure to secure all the platforms you are planning on using so no one else tries to be a punk and take it.