How to Choose Names for Digital Marketing Success
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet!” says Juliet in the second act of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
While I’m no drama critic, I can say with total confidence that Juliet knew nothing about digital marketing.
The importance of names or “naming” runs throughout every aspect of your online marketing presence. We might say that it starts with the name of your brand, continues down through your domain name, pours over into the names of each page on your website, seeps into the headlines you use for each of your blog posts, and even jumps over to your social media handles.
You may already have a business name, so part of this hierarchy of names is already cast in concrete. However, for the sake of completeness, I’m going to offer some ideas and tips, and point you toward some tools that cover virtually all aspects of naming starting with a complete blank slate.
Business and Domain Names
Ideally, you’ll want your business name and domain name to be the same, or at least very closely related. There are three basic ways to go here:
- Say what you do, who you are (Joe’s Upholstery),
- Obliquely refer to or suggest what you do, who you are (Accudyne), and
- Come up with something easy or memorable (Yahoo!).
Here are three free online name-generating tools you can use that might help you get started:
If you want a name that obliquely suggests what you’re all about, start looking at Greek and Latin words that capture the quality you want to communicate and then pull together some ideas.
The second part of this is taking your business name and making it your website domain name. There is something to be said for having a domain name that is search engine optimization (SEO) friendly. For example, if you’re launching a website that will focus solely on selling the best standing paddleboards, it would be better to call it “PaddleBoard Heaven” than “AquaRemus.”
Check the domain name availability of all your ideas (see link at the bottom of this article).
At this point we’re getting strictly into SEO territory. Your pages should be named in a manner that clearly communicates what you want searchers to find on those pages. It’s amazing how many website owners completely overlook this fact. Someday, just for fun, when you’re browsing the Internet, see how many pages are called “Home Page.” It happens out of laziness and ignorance.
If you’re selling paddleboards, for example, and you have a page that lists all your least expensive boards, a page name like “Top Quality – Inexpensive – Paddleboards,” should serve you well.
The bottom line here is this: Don’t leave your page names to chance. Optimize them!
If you have a blog, you want the titles of your posts to be effective and there are two measures for this effectiveness:
- How well they entice readers, and
- How well they are SEOed.
In other words, they need to appeal to real people and to Google’s algorithm. This can be tricky. The basic formula is to include words that accurately reflect what your post is about as well as words that will catch the eye and interest of readers.
For example, list posts meet these requirements. First, people love lists because they are seen as concise ways to get solid information. Second, Google likes them because they always include the important information in the post. For example: “10 Proven Ways to Successfully Lie to Your Boss.”
Need help with headlines? Just as there are online naming tools, there are several headline generating tools, such as these:
Social Media Names
Branding is the major issue to consider when you select a name to use in the social media. Do you want your business to be your main brand, or do you want a personal brand that features you? Or both?
Head over to Namecheckr and see if your brand – or your real name – is available. This free online tool will also let you know if the name you search for is available as a domain.
Give some careful consideration to these naming issues. Their contribution to your online success adds up over time and you don’t really get any “do-overs” in most cases. Start out with a solid top-level name and then be disciplined as you add pages and posts to your website, always working hard to get an SEO edge over your competitors.