As you may have seen, the #InternetOfficial contest celebrating #30YearsofCOM, is well underway. Choosing a domain name is an important step when building your business or startup, so we’ve enlisted the help of our #InternetOfficial industry experts— domain investor and blogger Michael Berkens, SMB authority Anita Campbell and naming expert Steve Manning— to offer business branding and domain naming tips.
“Domain names must be memorable or sticky. They should also pass the ‘radio’ test. If someone was to hear an ad on the radio for a website, would they remember it? Can there be confusion or alternative spellings? A domain name like TooManyChoices.com, for example, if advertised on the radio will be heard by a certain amount of users to be ToManyChoices; TwoManyChoices; 2ManyChoices.com and may cause you to lose traffic to the correct version.”
“In addition, use terms in the right order. NewYorkDivorceAttorney.com is meaningful and expresses what you could find on the website—divorce attorneys in the New York area – vs. AttorneyNewYorkDivorce.com. Don’t forget to also steer clear of words that are made up or are missing letters, because unless you register all variations of the word including the proper spelling, you could lose many visitors to the correctly, or incorrectly, spelled domain.”
“Catchy phrases are always good because it’s similar to a tagline, like MarySellsHomesFast.com. When it’s a catchy, repeatable phrase that aligns with your marketing messaging or industry, people are much more likely to remember it.”
“Remember to secure a domain for your personal name, too. That way you can always be assured of having a personal email address no matter which ISP you use. Even if you later sell your company, you’ll still have your personal email for people to reach you. An example could be JonnieQ@JonQSmith.com.”
“Don’t let domain name availability influence your choice of company or startup name. It’s always possible to find a modifier to add to your name in order to secure a .com, similar to what Tesla did with TeslaMotors.com.”
For Steve, every naming project is, in reality, a brand positioning project. He is a believer that:
“the power of a name is in its ability to demonstrate the ideas and qualities that you are looking to communicate. The key is to find a fresh way into the hearts and minds of your audience and redefine and own the conversation in your industry, and engage people on as many levels as possible. The best names accomplish all of these goals and are advertisements in and of themselves.”
In summary, our industry expert judges recommend that when you are naming your business, startup or registering a domain name for personal use, choose a .COM domain name that’s original, memorable, descriptive/ keyword-rich. If your first choice is taken, here’s a list of “The 5,000 Most Frequently Used Domain Name Prefixes and Suffixes” to provide some inspiration.
We wish you the best of luck in choosing your new domain name or names, and encourage you to enter the #InternetOfficial contest for an opportunity to win up to $35,000.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.), 18 years or older. Contest ends 6/23/15 and each monthly entry period is subject to a maximum of 70,000 submitted entries. To enter and for Official Rules, including prize descriptions and mail-in alternate method of entry, visit http://bit.ly/verisignrules. Void where prohibited. Please note that the foregoing tips and related examples are not exhaustive and are for illustrative purposes only. Each entrant is solely responsible for ensuring that each domain name he/she submits into the contest does not violate any of the rights, including, but not limited to, the intellectual property rights, of any third party.