If creating a viable business is a war, having a great business name is half the battle. Would Google be the world's most-visited website if it was named Find Stuff?
What about if Facebook was called Friend Directory?
It's incredibly important to find the right name when setting up your online store to help it stand out from the crowd - both from a branding perspective, and from an SEO perspective. Here are 6 few pointers on how to find that killer name:
1. Short & Simple
Having a short and snappy name is great for several reasons. It's easy to remember, easy to pronounce, and fits into the header of your store's home page with little difficulty. Finding one is a little more difficult though. Here are a few different strategies you can try:
- Try out different combinations of short words. Two short words that rhyme can stick in the memory.
- Make up a word or tweak an existing one. Web brands like Google, eBay, and Skype have instantly recognisable names, even though they aren't real words.
- Use a word with personal meaning. It might be a nickname you have for your significant other, your pet's name (a smart idea if your store relates to furry friends) or even use your own name in your store. Using a personal name makes your store easier to identify with on a personal level.
2. Be Different
Do some market research to discover what names are being used by your direct competitors and try to come up with something completely different. The challenge here is to come up with a name that reflects your niche and the type of products you're selling, without your business name being too similar to your competitors. For instance, if you're selling electronics and technology products, you might have competitors who use words like "electronics," "Technology," and "Future" in their names. Don't use similar words. Think differently and stand out.
3. Consider your Web Presence
Once you have a list of options for your store name, find out if the chosen .com domain is available for them. This might be difficult, given that .com is by far the most popular top-level domain (TLD) and has been for a long time. I've previously discussed the value of having a custom domain for your store and this is an important consideration when choosing a name for your ecommerce business.
4. Google It
Go to Google and see if the names on your list show up. Could you potentially make it to the top of the first page? If you choose a generic name - chances are you won't be able to rank very well. Also, it's important to check Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media sites you'll want to use for availability.
5. Don't Rule Out Snazzy TLD's
If the .com for your chosen name isn't available, you might want to consider a different TLD. Shopify store Tattly decided to go with a .ly domain making it www.tatt.ly which is pretty cool. Website maker about me made their domain www.about.me which is also pretty neat. A lot of SEO analysts will say Google isn't as friendly to these lesser known domains, but honestly the jury is out on anything official. If you do everything right, you should still be able to rank just as high as a .com. PLUS, going with a snazzy domain is far more unique.
6. Don't Get Sued
Please don't get sued... or go to jail... or anything like that. Make sure you're legally allowed to use the business name you've come up with. Check with The United Sates Patent and Trademark Office. They have a free database that's a pain in the butt to search, but trust me... it's well worth the effort! Also note, the US doesn't have one centralized national register, so trademarks can be made in another country, or even another state. In Canada, you can search through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office website, which is also pretty confusing. The only safe way to be 100% sure is by consulting a lawyer.
Need help in coming up with good store names? Try our free business name generator tool.