Naming your business

Naming your business is hard. Most web domains are taken. Here is my method for finding the best name:

Hopefully you have a dual screen setup for your work computer. If you don’t you should because you can be much more productive.

On one screen open your browser and go to synonym.com. On the other screen open ipage.com or any other hosting site. Avoid GoDaddy because I heard rumors that they buy up domains that have been searched for and sell them at a premium.

The method here is to use ipage to check availability while using synonym to help you brainstorm words to include in your domain name and thus your business name.

If you are a storage company you are going to try to have the word storage in your domain. If you are a lawn care company you are going to try to have the word lawn in your domain. You get the point here.

The other word is the important word.

The other word is either made up and random or signifies something about your business. Strength. Caring. Meticulous. Strong. Quick. Reliable.

  • Consider using popular words in other languages (if they are easy to pronounce and remember)
  • Consider using animal names or names of random objects (rocketmortgage) (pandadocs)
  • Keep your domain less than 15 characters. The shorter the better.
  • Try to get .com but .co or others can work as well.
  • Do not use the word cheap or anything similar. You don’t want to compete on price.
  • Do not limit your business with a name that is too specialized. If you are an auto mechanic don’t put “car” in your domain in case you end up working on trucks, etc.
  • Do not use your own name unless it rolls off the tongue or you plan to use the mom and pop feel to your advantage somehow.
  • Do not use your own city in your name.

In an ideal world the name you chose is:

  • Is short, catchy and very easy to recall
  • Exudes the characteristics that your company stands for
  • Doesn’t limit future pivoting/expansion (within the industry of course)

Stranger feedback is the best feedback

While family and friends will be able to help narrow down your list they will not have the heart to tell you if your name is weak overall.

Get some stranger feedback on reddit or another forum asking for people to pick it apart. Take it with a grain of salt of course.

A/B Test on Adwords

There is a ton of value in using data to narrow down your options by running A/B tests on Google Adwords. The method sounds complicated and expensive but its really easy. You can set a $50 budget and get enough data to make an accurate decision when deciding between two variations.

Here is a good article explaining the ins and outs of Google’s Ad Variation tool. There are also hundreds of YouTube videos.

Run two ads. Exactly the same adds with the same text except for the business name. Get the add in front of the same number of people based on the same search terms.

The variation that has the highest click rate is the more efficient name.

Don’t be afraid to rebrand

This is just a small part of the overall goal of building a successful business. Its important but it is not the end all.

If you already have a name that violates a few of these rules take everything into consideration and make the decision thats right for you. Don’t be afraid to rebrand but don’t beat yourself up over it either.

Words I like:

  • King
  • Fast
  • Rapid
  • Mobile
  • On Demand
  • Accel
  • Smart
  • Prompt
  • Zip
  • Quick
  • Express (xpress)
  • Tru
  • Luxury, white glove, black tie,
  • Squad
  • Fleet
  • Swift
  • Galaxy
  • Star
  • Clutch
  • Chariot
  • Precision
  • Nifty
  • Command
  • Flash
  • Instant

January 24, 2019 6:46 am