Naming a business is only as hard as you make it out to be. It’s how you’ll identify your brand, so it’s nothing you can rush into. However, there is a process. In just five easy steps, you can determine what your business will be known as.
How to name an online business just got a lot easier.
Step 1: Make a List of Keywords
Search engine optimization is a big part of marketing your business online. Even though you haven’t named your online business yet, you can start your keyword research now. What words would people use to find your business? Start a list so that you can potentially incorporate these words into the name of your business.
The keywords can be about the products and services you offer, the industry you’re in, and even your geographic area. Don’t worry about eliminating any keywords at the moment. This is a step for brainstorming, so any keyword can make it to the list.
Step 2: Generate Some Ideas
With the list of keywords, start generating some combinations that work well. You might want to throw in some adjectives to add some better description. Are you offering a specific service, such as personalized, customized, or fast? These can be added to your keywords to create the name of a business.
You may also want to combine two words into one. The first half of one word and the last half of another can be used. It may be easy for people to separate the two words in your head to figure out what it is that you do.
Step 3: Explore the Availability of Domains
When it comes to figuring out how to name an online business, it’s not just about coming up with a great name. At some point, you need a website. If the URL you want is taken, all of your hard work has been for nothing. After all, you’re not going to promote and market yourself only for another business to take all the credit.
Especially when you’re only online (no physical storefront), your business name and your domain should match. Otherwise, people are going to wonder why they had to type in a different name in the address bar than what you’re actually calling yourself. Confusing your target audience is never a good thing, so keep it simple.
What happens when you do a domain search only to find out that .com is taken? That’s not a deal-breaker. In fact, .com isn’t the only domain out there. If you’re not a fan of .net and you’re afraid .co will make it seem as though you left off the “m,” it’s time to try .ONLINE. It shows that you’re online – and it’s an easy extension for people to remember. Plus, you’re more likely to find a domain available with the .ONLINE extension than any of the others because it’s still new.
Step 4: Compare Your Name to the Competition
You never want to copy the name of your competition. But, you can get some ideas from them. And if you find that some of the names on your list are too close to theirs, cross them off the list – and it’s because you don’t want to be accused of copying them. For example, if they have a color in their name, don’t have a color in your name. If they used alliteration with the letter “F,” choose to go with different letters – or don’t opt for alliteration.
Your story is your own. Hold your own in the marketplace, too. Knowing what your competition is doing, though, will make it easier for you to stand out and be different than them – in both name and in operations.
Step 5: Run a Test on Branding Possibilities
Once you have a name, you have to create a logo and a look. They’re all major parts of your brand. Will the name you choose to provide you with some branding opportunities that will help you be successful? The only way to know is to move forward with a test on branding. Reach out to some of your friends and find out if the mock brand you’ve created resonates with them. If they don’t like the name of your business, the story you’re trying to tell, or the way your logo looks, it might be necessary to pick a different name.
Naming an online business may be one of the more important things that you do. You need a name to be memorable and unique so that you can market yourself effectively. By following a few basic steps, you can be sure that you have a good list of ideas. Don’t be afraid to ask others for their opinion – someone close to you may have a winning idea so that you can gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.