Business and Domain Naming Advice

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Choosing a name will be one of your first business investments.

It’s an important step, but overthinking your name will lead to “analysis paralysis” and delay you from making money.

Our goal is to help you pick a name, build your website, and get on with building your business.

#1) Domain extensions other than .com could be just as valuable for your business.

When you choose a business name, finding one with the matching .com domain name available should typically be your top priority.

However, did you know that .com extensions only represent 40% of all registered domains in existence?

Some extensions may be just as valuable for your business within that remaining 60%. Here are some examples:

Country code extensions (.co.uk, .in, .nl, etc): If you are planning to focus your business on a specific geographic area, a country code extension could be even better than a .com.

.org: This extension is the best option if you are looking to start a non-profit.

.net: Customers trust this extension as a secondary alternative to .com. If you choose a .net extension, consider keeping the .net extension in your business name (like media.net).

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#2) Try to find a business name that is both descriptive AND brandable.

A popular startup trend is to find “brandable” business names that are fun and catchy, but not descriptive and hard to spell (Zynga is a good example).

These names can be great if your business scales, but you’ll need to spend more on marketing for customers to remember your name before reaching scale.

You can compromise by finding a name that is both descriptive and brandable.

We tried to do this with NameBounce. It’s descriptive with “name” as the first word and accompanied by a brandable ending word that conveys meaning (bouncing business name ideas off of you).

#3) Shorter is better.

According to Google, 53% of mobile users abandon websites that take over three seconds to load.

If it takes users that long to type in the domain name, you can assume the results will be similar.

Names that are longer or have more syllables also are more difficult for users to remember.

NameBounce includes filters so you can generate short, low-syllable business and domain names.

#4) Make sure you can spell and pronounce your name.

You’re going to mention your business name and domain name many times in the future.

If people often ask you how to spell your name when you say it out loud, then you’ve created another hurdle for customers to remember your business.

Businesses generally need to scale for customers to remember the misspelling, and even then, better names might still be available from the start.

#5) Don’t obsess over negative connotations.

Many famous brand names have a negative connotation. The brand name of the most popular candy bar in the world, Snickers, is based on a word with negative connotations (to snicker).

Even if a word has strong negative connotations, it still could be okay to use in your business name. In 2013, a study demonstrated that relative to non-negative brand names, negative brand names and logos were better recognized.

Your name is important, but creating a great product is critical. Focus on making a good product and getting the word out about it, and people will use it.

#6) Act fast.

Did you know that there are over 350 million registered domain names?

If you find a great available domain name, someone else may have the same idea.If you discover a good name that you think has potential, it’s good practice to register the domain name as soon as you can.

If you decide on another domain name, you can always register a new one and point your website hosting account to it, and drop the domain name that you didn't use after it expires.

Just make sure that you decide on your domain name before you start building your website, creating your logo, or filing an LLC. You don't want to have to re-do all of these because you decided on a different name.

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