How to Find the Right URL for Your Business
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Finding the perfect name along with a complementary URL is a big decision for any entrepreneur. If you make a mistake in this stage, it could cost you search engine ranking, brand awareness, and customer acquisition as you build your business alongside your competitors.
There are some criteria I recommend when choosing any business name, it must be: clear, easy to spell, easy to say, not easily confused with a competitor.
4 Essential Tips for Naming Your Business
Say the Name Out Loud
Some business names look great on paper and then when said out loud they turn into tongue twisters or are easily misinterpreted. Say it out loud quickly, slowly, and to someone, you’re close to gauge how you feel about the name as well as their reaction to it. Is it memorable? Clear? Does it make you feel proud?
Easy to Spell
It might be easy to say, but is it easy to spell? Refer to this list of commonly misspelled English words to ensure when people Google your business (and they will), they won’t struggle to find you.
Renaming a business after you’ve gained a foothold in the market can mean death for your business as people try to find you, refer to you, and build your SEO authority. Does the name capitalize on a trend that may disappear?
When to Choose SEO Over Personality
An SEO-friendly business name does not have to be bland and lifeless! Plenty of businesses have built market share and search engine ranking on totally nonsense words. For instance, Google and Goop. Rumour has it that having a double “o” in a business name is the key to success.
Finding a URL for Your Business
Ideally, you will be naming your business and finding the right URL concurrently so one can adjust as the other is being researched. Keep in mind, your URL can deviate from your business name and potentially show a little more personality.
Should You Be Trendy?
Want to be the next Shopify, Fiverr, Reddit, Tumblr, or Owl.ly? Before jumping on a trend, you need to ensure that this trend resonates with your target audience. For youth-based brands, I would recommend jumping on naming trends with the caveat that as the industry evolves your new domain name and URL might quickly sound dated.
If You Need a URL for an Existing Business Name
Try variations of your business name with: the, your, our, get, or a hyphen to get that highly coveted .com. Want to have a little more fun with your URL? Try searching for your business name with words like a-go-go, wow, repeating one keyword, or adding hello.
How to Choose a Domain Extension
Choose local: If your business is local with no plans to expand, grab the URL with your country or city’s extension.
Choose your tech speciality: Depending on your specialty, look into .tv, .app, .blog, .email, or .mobi
Choose commerce specific: If this URL is an eCommerce brand or an online extension of a brick and mortar store, I recommend .shop, or .store.
Choose general: If the URL you want is just not available in .com, don’t despair! I recommend these domain extensions instead: .co, .net, .us, or .me
Hear From Industry Experts
Read the latest tips, research, best practices, and insights from our community of expert B2B service providers.
How To Find a .Com URL Case Study
For this case study, I’ve made up a business to demonstrate my process of finding a .com URL.
Business X is for a food subscription box service with a focus on vegan and vegetarian options and weekly deliveries. They’re looking for a URL with a .com extension (that doesn’t have a price increase) and can provide the basis for their brand name
Phase 1: Start a Word Brainstorm
Brainstorming is inherently supposed to be an unedited collection of words put down on paper. The more you add here, the more options you’ll have as you start searching for the right domain name and eliminating possible word combinations.
Phase 2: Hone in on Company Values
From your list of brainstormed words or as an addition to them, add words that specifically express the values or mission of the business to find the perfect domain name and URL that resonates with your target audience.
Phase 3: Search for Synonyms
This is where you start to hone in on brand-specific keywords, like the word “clean” instead of “healthy” or “blooming” instead of “growing”.
Phase 4: Try Some Languages
Google Translate will be your best friend here, but a word of warning: do not appropriate or co-opt a word from a language you don’t speak. Since there are no countries that speak Latin, I like to use Latin words for this purpose. For example, the English word “vitality” translates to “vitae” in Latin.
Phase 5: Search for URLs
Many services sell domains, the three I have personally used are GoDaddy, Squarespace, and Google Domains. These services typically license the domain in yearly increments.
URL Suggestions for Business X
All of these .com URLs are available (as of the time of writing this) and are available at the average price of a URL. Typically if I were doing this for a client, I would submit these suggestions and gather feedback on the ones they like the best and then provide more suggestions based on that.
Overall, it takes patience and creativity to find the right business name and URL but it is absolutely worth the time and effort put into the process, as this will be a long-term asset to your business.
About the author
Dayna is the co-founder and digital strategist of Fluency Digital Agency. Fluency specializes in beautiful affordable web design for small businesses in Canada and strategic social media engagement. Dayna has managed websites and social media for national magazines, hospitals, colleges, non-profits, and small businesses for over 15 years, and in her spare time she buys weird URLs for no reason.