Good Website Names: 3 Website Naming Secrets
Do you know Ralph Lauren’s real name?
Let me ask you this, would you spend $100 on a T-Shirt if it was a Ralph Lipshitz T-Shirt? Probably not.
That’s what we’re talking about today. Names. The name of your website specifically. And how it can dramatically affect your success in being found or being remembered.
The biggest mistake I see people making when creating a website has to do with the total lack of thought they put in to choosing their domain name.
To be more specific, here’s the two biggest mistakes people make when choosing a domain name.
1. Trying to be clever.
Just because you love puns doesn’t mean it’s good for business. I see it so often, a dog walking business called PawsitivelyMarvelous. Or a copywriting company called TheWriteStuff. Clever. But usually a big mistake.
2. Name your site a search term that no one is searching for.
I’ve been guilty of this one. I used to sell real estate and had a blog called mysfliving.com. Here’s the problem. No one is actually searching for that term. Worse still there are a bunch of other sites with very similar urls, so the name is totally unmemorable.
3. Bonus mistakes.
Here are few other bonus mistakes people often make.
â€¢ using .net, or .name or anything other than .com (.org’s are OK if you’re a non-profit)
â€¢ Using hyphens. No one’s going to remember to put the hyphen in. So find a url witiout the hyphens.
â€¢ Misspelling names on purpose.
Okay, so enough of what doesn’t work. Let’s focus on what does.
There are three basic strategies to choose from when picking a name. Which one you go with will depend mostly on the purpose of your site, and specifically how you want to be found by other people. Don’t worry, I’ll specify which one is which.
Option #1: A Name People Can’t Forget.
If you’re on the web at all lately, then I’m sure you’ve heard that awful song by Rebecca Black, â€œFridayâ€.
Why is this song SO annoying?
For one, it just sticks in your ear and just won’t go away. It’s as though it’s actually stuck in your brain.
There’s actually a scientific basis for this.
There is a mechanism in the brain called the phonological loop, which determines how hard or easy something is to remember based on how it sounds.
What do Coca-cola, Youtube ,Bed Bath and Beyond, Twitter, Paypal, Captain Crunch, M&M’s, Marylin Monroe, have in common?
They all have repeating consonances or vowels, or both.
This repeating sound makes it much easier to remember, or more accurately, much harder to forget.
The idea of naming your business or website based on the phonological loop is best used for a startup or a company looking to invest in a lot of personal branding.
If you want your name to be spread via word of mouth. Coming up with a catchy name is a good strategy.
Option #2: Name your website based off of a long tail keyword.
Going back to my real estate example. The mistake I made was choosing a keyword phrase that no one was looking for.
A better idea would have been to buy the domain www.SanFranciscoHomesForSale.com which gets over 40,000 searches a month.
How much does having your url exactly match a search term?
As an exercise, go on Google and type in any three word search term related to your business. What you will likely find is that MOST of the results will have the search term in the actual domain name. And likely towards the very top will be the EXACT keyword phrase as a domain.
This is no coincidence.
The domain url alone is a HUGE component of being able to rank for a particular phrase.
Now, I bet you’re asking. How do you find out what the search volumes are for keywords?
I’ve actually made a whole video on that subject, which you can check out here. Google Keywork Tool Tutorial.
You would use this strategy if you are looking to get organic traffic from Google. From people who don’t know you and your business but are just looking for a commodity, service or good, but not a specific one.
If for example you are a chiropractor and are looking for new clients who are searching online, this might be a good approach.
If you are trying to establish a brand this is not the way to go.
Option #3 Your Name.
Sometime the simplest solution is the best.
The term Web 2.0 gets thrown around a lot. And there’s a lot of ambiguity as to what it even means.
My take on it is that it means people.
The web used to be an anonymous place where you could surf online without anyone knowing who you were.
Today’s web is all about people and connection.
Your own name is your personal brand. It’s the most common way people search for you.
If your website or business involves you selling your personal services, then perhaps the best url is your name.
Hopefully in a .com
If you have a common name, I’d go with .net over adding extra stuff to your name.
Having your name as the url is both memorable to your customers, and ranks at the very top of Google when people search for it.
Of course you’re not going to get any other organic traffic from this name.
So, there you have it.
Three ways to choose a name for your website.