Question: What's In a Name?

The Study Room sat down with Ding Digital to discuss what to consider when naming your company and quick wins to make the most of your name and your reach. 

Have you thought about what goes in to your name?
Read through this to make sure you are doing your bit to 'break the internet'

 

You've probably already spent many sleepless nights agonising over the name of your new enterprise. You have found the perfect combination of words to convey the spirit of your business, but does it tell people what you actually do?


Good online business names fall into two categories:

Short and Memorable
Long and Descriptive

 

The first category is great for word of mouth or advertising.
You can tell someone the name of your business and it'll stick in their head. The next time they need a collectable garden gnome, they'll come straight to you at Gnome Zone.
If you've have a longer, more descriptive name; it does a lot better when others are searching for a business online with a matching name. You may have a customer who Googles "buy armadillos online" (a popular search, I'm sure). Google's algorithm is tailored to find the closest match their search; so if your business is called "Buy Armadillos Online" (even if it sounds a rather clunky) that will get their click.
Of course, that’s not the only factor affecting your search engine ranking  and you can optimise your site to appear prominently for any number of search terms. If your website is a little more than your new business name, that’s what we will focus on.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a post for another time.

Uniqueness

Google your new name before you do anything else.
What else appears when you search for your specific business name? All of these links are in vying for your customers very short attention span. If there is a similar business and name (or one similar enough to be confusing), I'd advise against that name.
During this search it's well worth looking a few pages into the search results. If someone has recently set up a new site with the name you're proposing they may not yet be on the first page, but by the time you've launched your site you could have more serious competition.

The URL

URLs are important.
If your business name is in your URL, you'll rank higher when people search for your business (also, who wants a URL that doesn't have their name in it?!). I launched my events ticketing website Ticketlab 4 years ago. When I bought up the domain (ticketlab.co.uk), the ".com" address wasn't available and wasn't in use. Two years later, a site appeared on the ".com", confusing my search results. If you wish to "own" the name, and you think it's a name that someone might want to use later, try to by both the ".co.uk",".com" and any others you can afford that seem relevant.
There are so many domain extensions available now you'll never be able to own them all, but you might be able to dissuade a future rival from your name by marking your territory.

Social

Op-Ed-WhatsInAName-TheStudyRoomLondon


Is your business name available on social media? Setting up these profiles and linking them back to your website will give you better search rankings. Additionally, adding your business to Google's business listings (and Google+) will give rich information and reviews on search results pages.

If your name has already been taken, try adding a descriptor, such as "shop", "app" or your country to the end (Ticketlab is “TicketlabUK” on Facebook and Twitter).


 

In summary

Naming your business is one of the hardest decisions you'll probably have to make when you start a new enterprise. All of these tips may seem like constraints on the creative process, but if you keep them in mind you'll ensure that people can actually find you online when you're ready to start trading.