Small businesses are taking to the internet like it was going out of fashion. Given the advent of social media, marketing experts too advice that small businesses setup their own websites in addition to social media profiles for their businesses. Deciding on a name for a website is a crucial step in the process and many falter at this very stage. Here are a few tips from small business owner and internet marketing experts.
1. Check for similar names
The single biggest hurdle that small businesses looking to setup a new website face is that they often end up picking a name for their website that sounds or spells way too much like another existing website. This means that if a customer looking for your website misspells the name in a search, it may lead them to another website instead of yours. The website’s name should be as close to your company/brand name.
As a rule of thumb, the name you pick for your website should remain as close as possible to your business’ name if the actual name isn’t available. Since rebranding your business to get a website doesn’t help business at all, you can be creative with the website’s name. For example, if your small business is named “Bennett Bakers” and the website “bennettbakers.com” is taken, you should name your website something like “bennettbakersnewyork.com” (assuming you are based in New York) instead of trying to make bennettbakers.com work with fancy capitals thrown in the name.
2. It should include your industry segment
Most small businesses don’t have the advantage of brand recognition at the outset. If you offer speciality services or products (like plumbing services, bakery products, handmade pottery, etc.) you should make it a point to include the name of your industry segment in your website’s name to get more hits in searches. Thanks to recent Google search updates, a user located in Atlanta looking for “plumbing services”” is more likely to get a website like “johnsplumbingatlanta.com” much higher up on search results than a major plumbing service provider’s website with the same name from another state.
3. It should be search friendly
SE optimizing your website’s name is the first step in making an online marketing venture successful for a small business that is new to the field. Look out for how many hits a search for a keyword like “your business name” “your location” gets. Let’s take the example of Bennett Bakers that we used earlier. Say the business’ owners do a search and find a handful of websites named Bennett Bakers throughout the globe. The next logical step would be to refine keyword search through location i.e., “Bennett Bakers New York”. Say this too gives you like four hits. So how can you distinguish your business’ website without giving up the name Bennett Bakers”? Simple, by refining your location even further like “bennettbakers5thavenue.com”
4. If it sounds hilariously witty, lose it
More often than not, business owners decide that a website name that sounds hilarious to them would also sound appealing to customers. Since the urge to get a uniquely named website is easy to succumb to, small business owners need to be wary of their enthusiasm at this point and they should really try not to give their business’ website a funny sounding name.
What to do if your brand name cannot be your website’s name
Say you find yourself in a position where there already are plenty of websites that have the same name as your website and being creative with location etc. still doesn’t look like it would help your cause, you can always go the other route and exclude your brand name from the website’s proposed name and simply use your location, your specialty service or product or even the name of the proprietor/founder as the name of the website and then simply use the name of your shop in the URL and prominently in the home page.