Choosing the Right Name for Your Online Business

Article by:
Tim Shumacher EO Boston
Tim Shumacher
EO Boston

During these challenging economic times, many entrepreneurs are moving their businesses to the Web to help broaden their reach and lower the cost of operations. In this case, the right business name can mean the difference between success and failure. Having developed online strategies for companies around the world, I’ve come up with some tips to help entrepreneurs better establish their online presence:

Maximize Your Web Presence

  • To maximize your Web presence, it’s best to think like a Web surfer when coming up with the right online name. Often, people type in generic or descriptive domains expecting to find goods related to that subject. Consider Vodka.com, a domain purchased by Russian Standard Vodka. A person searching the Web for vodka may bypass a search engine and use direct navigation by typing “www.vodka.com” into a Web browser. This vodka company now has the direct attention of an interested vodka buyer on their Web site.
  • A success story I like to share with my clients is that of Keith Riewe, owner of Bice’s Florist. Keith acquired 20 descriptive URL names and connected the addresses to his one Web site. When people clicked on those URL names, the company’s Web traffic increased by 47 percent! What’s more, Riewe is able to track the hits from each domain, giving him valuable information on potential consumers.

Obtain Variations on Your Company’s Name

  • I advise my clients to obtain variations on their company’s name, because Web shoppers often mistype. For example, if your business name ends in an “s,” it makes sense to also purchase the domain name without the “s.” When launching his bobbleheads business, Warren Royal saw immediate benefits from owning both the Bobbleheads.com and Bobblehead.com domain names. With these generic names consistently providing Web traffic to Warren’s site, almost no additional advertising cost is required to sell his products.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Quirky

  • Some companies have had great success using quirky names that are relevant to their businesses. Take Monster.com or Amazon.com, for example. The companies behind these quirky names have caught on to the appeal of alternative domains. Names such as Crab.com and Hole.com have been sold for thousands of dollars, as companies continue to leverage brandable names as a creative way to maximize their online presence.

Keep it Short

  • Whatever name you choose, it’s best to keep it short and sweet. In my experience, shorter domain names (no more than five characters) will produce a lower risk of typing errors and will allow consumers to easily remember it. What’s more, there will be an increase in flexibility when it comes to promoting the name.
  • There are no sure-things when it comes to developing a dominant online presence, but by following the above tips, entrepreneurs around the world can help make their online presence known to prospective customers and clients. When it comes down to it, it’s all about smart strategies, standing out and staying memorable.

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