Your name is your brand. And, over time, your brand can become an important advantage of your tech business. But, considering that there are tens if not hundreds of tech companies started every day around the world, coming up with an original and catchy name has become harder than ever. Not to mention securing the chosen name in the form of a domain – which is a must, especially if you want to compete globally. How to choose the domain name that will help you build a strong brand?
Make it Unique
I can’t stress this enough. You may want to be the second Google in terms of global impact or revenue. But you most definitely don’t want to be named after them and even use a name related to an already-existing tech company (or, to be clearer, ANY company if possible). Instead, you want your visitors to think about your business the moment they hear it.
If there are other businesses with the same or similar names, it could be very easy to confuse the companies. And, if you chose the name after a well-known competitor, you would be seen as a mere copycat – even if you offered a completely different and unique service. Plus, using names that are too similar to existing businesses can lead to trademark infringement. Speaking of which…
Do the Research – Check Trademarks, Copyright and Domain History
When choosing your domain name, apart from checking its availability, you need to look into three critical things:
- Trademarks. This is to ensure that there are no existing trademarks of the name or part of it. You don’t want to get sued, and no one will believe you if you say you didn’t know. In the end, it’s business and your competitors will do everything to beat you.
- Copyright – same as above. When doing the research, make sure that you also look into historical use and past trademarks and copyrights.
- Domain history – Found the name that you like and there are no official restrictions to getting it? Perfect, half of the job is done. The next step is to check if there was already an existing website on that domain. You can do that using the Wayback Machine. If there already was one, you will need to look if there are any backlinks to it, whether they are good and can benefit you right from the start or bad, and the domain was dropped because it had a penalty from search engines for bad SEO practices.
One other reason why you need to check domain history and its past use is to check whether there are any negative comments about it. It could be that someone used the domain to scam people, and there are negative comments mentioning it. The good news is, a quick Google search can usually help you find that out.
Catchy and easy to remember
Of course, even if the domain has a clean history and no trademarks, you shouldn’t be getting it if it’s boring, hard to pronounce or remember. The best domain names are catchy and easy for others to repeat to their friends or type in a web browser. That’s also the reason why it’s not advised to use any numbers or hyphens in a domain name. While the latter is quite popular, if you can find something without one do that. You will be happy you did as your business grows.
Wy it’s so important? Remember that sometimes, a fancy and catchy domain name can make a portion of marketing for you. If people remember it easily, they will more often recommend it to others who ask for your product or service.
Relevant to what you do
Make sure that the domain fits not just the industry, but also your product or service. Even the cleverest name is of no use if it’s misleading. Naturally, if it’s a word that doesn’t really make sense yet or something catchy enough to make it memorable, you can still go for it. Who says you have to use existing words? Just make sure they don’t confuse potential visitors. As you grow big, a name that makes little sense can become a huge brand – just look at Google or Yahoo.
And if you don’t feel like creating new words, you can always use words that already exist and include them in your domain names. Even better if they give a hint of your product, service, or industry. One of the great examples of a tech company (even if just a publisher) in the technology industry is Techcrunch. Catchy, short, and memorable!
We are almost there. One other check that you need to do is social media availability – especially in the most popular channels which you will most definitely use such as Twitter and Facebook. Usually, it is best to select the same social media name as your domain. But, if they are unavailable, you don’t always have to change the domain right away.
Sometimes, it’s enough to slightly modify your social media name. For example, you can add “the” to it so that it becomes @TheDomainName or add the name of service or product to it. Whatever you do, make sure that you use the same username across all channels.
Choose the right domain extension
The next important thing that you should keep in mind is using the right extension. In the past few years, domain registrars have introduced tens of different extensions to their offer. While you can’t go wrong with .com (still absolute best), .co or .net, you might also want to consider some popular tech extensions such as .io or .tech.
Whatever you choose, it’s not advised to go for the extensions that are commonly associated with spam behavior such as .xyz. Other cool TLDs, like for example .ninja have mixed reviews, so you should wage the pros and cons carefully. While not all websites that are using the new TLDs are shady, many of them have received a lot of negative press in the past few months, and starting out with one could potentially harm your brand.
Use tools that can help you speed up the process
As you can see, there are many rules which you should keep an eye on when picking the name of your tech site. In the end, the name will become your asset – so it’s worth investing the time up front to find the right one.
Luckily, there are tools which you can use to speed up the process. If you look at this tool and its sample domain search results, you will see that some tools can not only show you which TLDs are available and which are taken but also provide you with some cool ideas for domains with the best TLDs for your targeted industry.
One other thing – whatever you do, don’t leave the decision to getting the domain name to the very last moment. The tech space is already crowded, and good domain names are disappearing every day! If you’ve been brainstorming the perfect domain name but haven’t taken any action yet, it’s definitely the right time to do so.