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Entrepreneur · Entrepreneur 101 · SEO

Your Brand Versus Your Domain: 6 Factors to Consider

When it comes to choosing the perfect brand name, certain factors are often used to evaluate potential options.  For example, the value associated with a brand must be protected, so whether a particular brand name can be protected as a trademark is a factor to keep in mind.

When it comes to selecting the right domain for your website, there are additional principles that should be considered. Ideally, common ground between branding and your domain name should be found when possible. Here are six specific factors to keep in mind about selecting your domain name that can help you easily integrate it with most potential branding choices:4998321735 c7be333aa5 b 380x223 Your Brand Versus Your Domain: 6 Factors to Consider

  1. Observe The Kiss Principle: When it comes to selecting both your brand trademarks and slogan as well as your web domain, you should observe the Kiss principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid. The best domain names are simple and easily memorable, enabling people to both remember and hopefully visit them regularly. According to Brandon Doyle, CEO of Wallaroo Media, “For our digital marketing agency we wanted a name that was memorable, brandable, fun, and unique. We chose Wallaroo Media – everyone loves it and nobody forgets us.”
  2. Trademark And Fair Use: A trademark search should be performed on any potential new brand name to determine if it is trademarked by another business. “People within industries tend to gravitate towards similar brand name choices,” says intellectual property attorney Perry Clegg, founder of Trademark Access, “so, it is important to always do a clearing search even if you believe your trademark is unique.”  A clearing search can be performed by an attorney, or you can do one yourself. Many attorneys, such as Mr. Clegg, use a service like Corsearch.
  3. Short And Sweet: Similar to the first point, short and sweet is usually best. The longer the domain you choose to register, the more opportunity a person has to either misremember the name, or make a mistake or typo which may prevent them from successfully reaching your site. Many of the most iconic brands in the world follow this principle: Dell, Apple, eBay, etc. Seth Bailey, CEO of tech support company iTOK.net said this about their short brand and domain: “We could have chosen a longer name to try and differentiate ourselves, but the best brand names are short and memorable. iTOK is simple, unique, and it follows familiar naming conventions in the digital landscape. It’s been a perfect fit for us, and easy for customers to remember.”
  4. Don’t Confuse: Avoid using some of the most commonly misspelled words in your domain, and avoid using numbers, homonyms, or hyphenated words. All too often it will be too difficult to communicate this to people, and you may miss out on a lot of traffic as a result.  Limit your domain name to simple, short, clear phrases and names when at all possible.
  5. Good Speech Rhythm: You don’t have to be a poet to brainstorming domain name ideas, but the very best domain names do have a certain way of rolling off the tongue. Experiment with different rhythmic speech patterns, and pick something everyone agrees just sounds right.
  6. Dot Com When Possible: “Despite the fact that there are other top level domains which do get a decent amount of traction, most commercial enterprises will want to stay with a dot com domain name when at all possible,” says Andrew Rosener, CEO of premium domain brokerage MediaOptions.com. “It simply provides organizations the most strategic flexibility, and the lowest chance of losing traffic, making it a smart choice in nearly every situation.”

Keeping these six basic principles in mind while brainstorming your domain name will likely guide you to something short, sweet, snappy, and memorable; perhaps the ultimate combination when it comes to web addresses.

Additionally, almost any domain with those qualities will fit easily into traditional marketing, advertising, and branding campaigns as well, making integration of your on and offline efforts significantly easier. If done well, your on and offline marketing efforts should complement one another quite well.

 

Featured Image credit: Dennis Tang, copyright March 22, 2012, some rights reserved. The image was cropped to fit the style of SEJ.

In Post image credit: Michael Coghlan, copyright September 17, 2010, some rights reserved. The image was cropped to fit the style of SEJ.

photo Your Brand Versus Your Domain: 6 Factors to Consider
Adam is the owner of Tork Media. He writes on Marketing, PR, PPC, Native Advertising and how these all interact with each other on sites like Forbes, SocialMediaToday, SEJ, Examiner and others.
photo Your Brand Versus Your Domain: 6 Factors to Consider

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5 thoughts on “Your Brand Versus Your Domain: 6 Factors to Consider

  1. Excellent points Adam. Especially #2 which is perhaps the first order of business when selecting a domain name. To me, clearing a trademark search is the first gate when picking a domain name, beyond if a domain is available or at least purchasable for a fair price. If you want to use marketing.com, then hopefully you have sufficient funds to buy!

    The good news is that much of the trademark research, for the US at least, can be done using free, public resources to search the US Trademark Database (www.uspto.gov/trademarks/).There are likely similar resources outside the US. Once you have determined that a domain name is available for fair use, then apply your criteria 1, 3, 4, 5, 6.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Adam! Very good tips. Along your thoughts about having a Good Speech Rhythm, I remember reading elsewhere that the top brands in the world are relatively one or two syllables. Anything more than that tends to stretch it a bit.

    And the article certainly isn’t wrong: Google, Apple, Samsung, Facebook, for example.

      1. Haha, good point! We usually tell people to think of other variations off that two-syllable brand domain. For example, [yourbrand]blog.com or [yourbrand].io.

        There’s still some alternatives. You just got to think out of the “.com” mentality sometimes.