Choosing domain names for your online marketing efforts is as important as any other single aspect of your overall branding and marketing strategy, whether you have a brick and mortar business or you are simply wanting to do online marketing. Company business names are not hard to come up with when starting a business. A company name can include the owners name or the town or state the business is operating in and any combination of things that best define the company, but in today’s technology driven world, having a name that can be easily assimilated into the technology outlets that businesses are now using to promote and build their brand, domain names must be taken into consideration when choosing a business name.
Typically, the only thing most business owners even think about when choosing domain names is whether or not someone already has it as their own in their town or city. BUT, when taking your business online, your marketing strategy is different than with a brick and mortar business. Choosing domain names that really work requires some thought if you want to see your online marketing efforts succeed. Your overall branding and marketing strategy cannot be effective if your online marketing initiative does not include domain names that are easily remembered, easily spelled, and easily optimized for search engine results.
One must remember that the Internet transcends geographic locations. You could have a business name in one city that someone else has in another state or location. While that company is not in competition with you directly where your business is, when you decide to expand and build your business – even online – you want to have a name online that both exemplifies your physical business and also catches the attention of the buying public worldwide. Why is this so important? Consider the possibilities of being ranked #1 with major search engines and getting thousands of visitors to your Website that are interested in what you have to offer that are all over the world. When they come to your Website, if you have thought out your marketing strategy well enough, you can be prepared to refer them to other Websites of others in your industry that are not in direct competition, and in doing so, be paid for every one of those referrals.
SIDE NOTE OF IMPORTANCE: The most important thing to remember is that you want to lock down whatever domain names that relate to your business, including your own personal name if at all possible, because these domain names can become valuable in the future as competition for domain names relating to your business become scarce. Once the domain name for your business is taken, it’s gone for ever, …or at least for as long as the person that reserved it for themselves chooses to keep it.
Many companies that have been around for several years did not have the benefit of the Internet when they were choosing their company name. The result was that they chose a name that is too long for a domain name, or too awkward to type out correctly. This is especially true when someone is not used to typing out a company name that may be longer than most domain names.
IMPORTANT TIP: If you are just starting out in business, when choosing a good business name, always consider the name as a dot com domain name first over the brick and mortar name.
It is one thing to have a company name hanging outside a building that is rather long, but to have that same name as a domain name is another thing. Seeing a sign in front of a business that says, “Billy Bob’s Best Bar-B-Q in Town” is one thing, but to put that into a dot com, i.e. billybobsbestbarbqintown.com is really a whole other thing. What this means for most potential online businesses is that they will have to either be creative in their domain name to find one that no one has already taken, or be willing to purchase a domain name from the owner of it at a premium price that simplifies their company name enough to remember.
An example of an awkward name to type would be Sears and Roebucks. Everyone has heard the Sears and Roebucks name for over a hundred years. It is known as one of America’s first catalog companies. Its past success as a mail order catalog business, then a major retail store chain is widely known, but it is obvious that the domain name for their business would be too cumbersome to type out and often misspelled. That is why when Sears and Roebucks decided to take their company to its next level as a brick and mortar business as well as online they changed their domain name to simply “Sears”.
Let me make certain you understand the importance of having domain names that really work. If you have a company name, but cannot acquire the domain name that works best with your company name, consider – SERIOUSLY CONSIDER – changing your company name to reflect an ideal domain name!
It goes without saying that if you have a good business idea, a plan to market it online, and the product or service that you will offer has a great deal of potential, your best selection for a domain name should be something that reflects the tone of the product or service. A domain name should be as short as possible without giving up the descriptor within it. Ideally, a good domain name is short and easy to remember, howbeit very few of those still remain unreserved by someone.
If you want a name that really does reflect your business and someone has already reserved that name but has not used it for, the only option in those cases is to be willing to purchase that domain name from the owner of it. I have found that with a little time invested, you can find a good domain that meets the criteria you have for the product or service you want to market, but also remember that a domain name does NOT have to reflect a specific aspect or characteristic of your business, i.e. Google, Yahoo, Twitter, etc. These are all brands that are synonymous with their specific identities in what they offer online but do not at all indicate what the company is by description. These names are known for what they do as a part of their branding strategy.
When deciding on a name, be creative. Use Greek, Latin, Spanish or some other notable language, and when you are looking for the perfect domain, consider picking up the same name in other languages for future development. Once they are gone, they are gone. An ounce of prevention instead of a pound to cure… or something like that.