I’ve often wished people would let me help them choose the name of their company so I wouldn’t have to try to rank against government departments, divisions of Microsoft, or enormous franchises. However, I now think people should let Rosie help choose. Working on a project last night, she went through a list of criteria that you’ll probably find helpful if you’re working on picking the right name for your company or web project:
- Is it available? This is key. You may have a great name in mind, but if you can’t get the domain, you should change your mind.
- What neighborhood will you end up in? Google the names you’re thinking about and see who your neighbors in the SERPs would be. Is that a place where your company would want to hang out?
- What will people shorten it to when texting or tweeting? One of the contenders for last night’s project would logically shorten to “fup,” so we threw it out.
- What do the initials stand for? Acronyms are such a common part of conversation that you don’t want to risk confusion.
- How will it sound when you introduce yourself? You’re going to say the name of the company out loud when you’re networking or creating videos and podcasts, so it needs to be something comfortable to say. My first company name was “Rebecca Haden Quality Copywriting & SEO” — it was so long that I didn’t even want to answer when people asked me the name of my company.
- How does it read? Therapist Finder or Pen Island may seem reasonable as names, but squish them into a .com and they look completely different.
- Is it scalable? Sure, right now you might have a small audience, but you might want to expand across the country in the future. Would the name you’re thinking of make sense on a big company?
- Have you considered the effect in other languages? The world is getting smaller all the time. The Japanese soft drink Sweat (see the commercial below) is an obvious example.