In Ancient Rome, people believed names have a predictive power, which was captured in the Latin proverb nomen est omen. The idea survived through centuries and formed into what we today call nominative determinism. Even the great psychologist Carl Jung discussed it on the example of his friend and fellow scientist, Sigmund Freud, whose surname means “joy”. As we all know, Freud was particularly interested in studying the notion of pleasure.
The core of this belief is that people tend to shape themselves and “grow into” their given names, i.e. they naturally gravitate towards the profession and form a character that’s somewhat predestined by the name.
Names create strong linguistic associations and influence how we feel in complex ways, be it in the context of our own identity or the perception of others. Modern social scientists conducted numerous studies in an attempt to unlock how exactly do names affect us and how they create notions in our semantic systems.
Having all this in mind, businesses need to utilize the power of a great name. The name is the cornerstone of brand identity and it must be well thought through so to perfectly sum up what the business is about.
And what about the domain name? It must follow, as it represents the business in the cyberspace. It is its internet identity.
Choosing the perfect domain name requires a fair dose of brainstorming, but investing an effort is mandatory for future success.
Don’t Be Lazy, it Will Backfire
In most cases, your business name dictates your domain name, or the creative naming process in the starting phase of launching a business goes kind of simultaneously. Nevertheless, your domain name must support your brand’s story.
Brainstorming sessions are there for a reason – to try and explore all the potential name solutions. When coming up with a name, you must test it before you definitely decide on it.
Each time you devote your time and truly focus on coming up with a name, you create dozens of connections and stir up your mental impressions. Listing fresh suggestions brings you an inch closer to the domain name that fits your business, like a hand in a glove.
Before deciding, say the name out loud. Write it down. Ask for other people’s associations and thoughts. Write down their opinions on the matter and create a list of emotions they experience when they hear the name or read it.
You cannot afford to go with the first name that pops into your mind. You have to double test it, create different variations, or even vote for the best one.
If your domain name consists of more than one word, it’s even more important to write it down. There are no spacings between the words, so ensure you don’t unintentionally end up with an awful domain name. Bored Panda collected the 30 domain naming fails of this kind, and while you might enjoy a giggle or two while scrolling through – such mistakes could be disastrous for your business. The poor domain name might cost your business integrity and turn you into an object of mockery, no matter how great your product or service is.
Great Domain Name = Great Brand Recall
Can you imagine a “BlackBerry” being called a “StrawBerry”? Not likely.
But this was actually one of the name options for the historic smartphone device that paved the way for future technological development in the mid-nineties.
According to The New Yorker, Lexicon Branding, a marketing company that was hired to come up with a name, gathered up its creative team to explore different options through mind maps, a large diagram of words deriving from the main concept, brand feel that they were set to achieve. They worked together on coming up with a name for a tech device that’s built around the notions of natural, fresh, and fun.
StrawBerry was one of the suggestions, but it got rejected because the word pronunciation was too slow, while the technology was all about instant access and rapidity. The name BlackBerry took the win in the end. It evoked high-tech, while the keys resembled blackberry drupelets.
This name choice was a pure bullseye, especially because today – you cannot think of any other name that would suit the product. It intertwined with the brand image and nested firmly in the market. That’s great brand recall.
The domain naming process is very similar, and the positive results can take your business far. We already discussed how to choose a perfect domain name, but it’s good to underline the importance of it in terms of raising brand awareness, maintaining great online reputation, getting remembered, and easily recommended.
Here’s an example of a fictional dialogue, just to paint the picture:
– Hey, you know those guys who organize totally spontaneous trips for you, so you don’t know where you’re going until you’re at the airport?
– Sounds awesome! What are they called?
– Look them up at, their website is srprs.me, it’s easy to remember, the phrase “surprise me”, but without vowels.
So, you want your domain name to reflect your brand’s mission and pithily depict what you’re about. It has to signal users what they can expect from your site, intrigue them, while at the same time – make your website easy to remember. This way, users can instantly type in your domain name into the browser whenever they feel like exploring your content.
Choosing a Proper SEO-friendly Domain Name
Naturally, when launching your business’ online presence, you want to make sure you have the best possible conditions for building authority in your industry and getting as much intelligent traffic as you can. Creating and distributing valuable and unique content is mandatory, as well as relying on different traffic sources. Being a part of inbound marketing, SEO brings undeniable benefits in terms of visibility and reach.
But did you know you can start working on your SEO even before launching your website? Sounds like a paradox, but it is true. We’re talking about the choice of your domain name.
Truth be told, domain ranking factors are not widely discussed, but they can truly impact both your SEO efforts and your social media marketing. There are several dilemmas brands face before choosing a domain name, but they all come down to the following two:
- Are some TLDs better than others, in terms of SEO?
- Is including a keyword in the domain name wise?
When it comes to the choice of TLDs, there has been a bit of controversy whether some domain extensions that were associated with spammy behavior in the past can get negative points, i.e. poorer rankings from the start. Google denied this, although some domains have negative sentiment among users because of the above-mentioned reason.
Some studies prove keyword domains can improve CTR on ads. Such is the study by Memorable Domains that claims that keyword-specific domains manage to grab more attention and generate more clicks, around 45% opposed to generic ones. It’s probably because users search for something specific and experience an urge to click once they are exposed to the keyword domain.
According to Matt Cutts, former Google employee, exact-match domains don’t necessarily give you a ranking boost. It’s far more important to focus on the overall quality of your website, opposed to paying too much attention to search engines. Instead, Cutts suggested brandable domains that organically attract traffic make a better option.
Personalize Your Business the Right Way
If you’re having second doubts about the right domain choice for your business, it’s best to look around and analyze current trends and see where you fit in. Marketing has evolved towards me selling proposition so to adapt to the changes in consumer behavior. Today’s consumers favor brands that acknowledge individuality and offer personalized experiences. These brands know the importance of treating consumers as humans with their own wants and needs, opposed to as numbers or walking wallets.
One-size-fits-all does not cut it anymore, and with broad choices on today’s oversaturated market – consumers can easily walk out on any brand that doesn’t fulfill their expectations.
What your business stands for has to be clear from all your channels of communication, while the website remains your epicenter. The type and quality of the content contribute to your brand image, the visual design and structure too, but it all starts with a domain name.
What’s in the name? Well, everything. That’s why it’s so darn challenging to come up with the one that’s mighty enough.
By taking advantage of the less commonly known TLDs, your brand can gain a competitive edge and a stronger position. If you want to catch this wave of personalization, there’s no better choice than .ME, the most personal domain on the web. As Hubspot put it:
.me – Good for personal branding, or if you can cleverly make it part of your business name (ie., chowti.me).
There are truly many reasons why you should take the road less traveled when it comes to choosing a domain name for your brand.
With .ME, you can create a unique and memorable domain name, form a call to action, or use it creatively in any way you can possibly imagine. Undoubtedly, it will help you stand out and distinguish yourself from the competition while showcasing you truly understand the modern business pulse and the type of interactions today’s consumers want.