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The ultimate guide to naming a new business

By Josh Ledgard

A lot of customers come to [Kickofflabs](https://kickofflabs.com with just an idea. They don’t even have a name yet.  I can see them constantly changing the names on their landing pages trying to find something that works.  This post contains advice and resources to help you pick the perfect name for your next product.

Is it Google-able with common variations?

For the first several months of business your #1 “organic” seo term is going to be people that heard about you searching on your name… or what they think is your name.  We could see customers telling other people about us because of the new customers coming from searches for “KickoffLabs”, “Kick Labs”, “Lab Kickoff”, “Kicker Lab”, “Kick off”, etc.

Imagine if we had gone with a more trendy name like “http://laun.ch”.  Now someone tells their friend. Hey – you should check out “Launch”.  So they search for it.  We were never going to be the first result for that. We’d have to buy ads just to get those customers that should be ours for free.

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Could you own the social media?

It’s not just the domain that has to be available. Ideally you could own the Facebook page & Twitter handle for that name.  I would have hated to be “kickofflabsapp” on twitter.  I like my domains and social handles to match. People will ignore the addition and just try to tweet at your domain handle… own it.

Are you in the room with a porn star?

If you google the words that comprise your URL what else do you come up with? Is it content you want associated with your product? What is on the domains with the same name that don’t end in .com?  If you choose an alternate domain ending like “.us” what is on the .com? Because people will always try to add/type the .com in to find your site.

What does it mean?

I bought a pretty short URL recently (thankfully they are only $10) that brings means “ugly deformed sea creature” in Latin. I got nightmares thinking about the logo.

Is the misspelling easy to explain?

Klout, for example is just clout with a K.  Heck, it shows up in the pronunciation guide when you search for clout on google.

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Now imagine if you had to explain the name to a friend by saying “replace C with K, drop the last vowel, and add an R at the end.” Yup, you met all the 2.0 requirements… but you picked a bad name.

Tools for picking the perfect name

http://www.panabee.com – I’m a big fan because you get the basic domain search as well as several variations and suggestions.  It also does twitter, facebook, and google searches for you. One stop validations.  It works best if you try to combine two words and will give you a handy thesaurus lookup as well.

More help with DIY naming…

http://domai.nr/  – Get help with alternate domain spellings like fav.or

https://domize.com/ – Simple instant search on domains.

and a couple of reasonable paid services to come up with names.

http://startupgods.com/

http://www.pickydomains.com/

 

One stop domain & logo shops

I love this idea. Very lean in principal. Just buy a preconfigured domain and brand with a logo. Sure, you could swap out the logo later, but this will get you up and running fast.

Affordable in the $100 to $500 range

http://stylate.com/ and http://namella.com/ and http://launchkite.com

Great domains, but they come at a price. Be prepared to spend $800 to $8,000 dollars. Smile

http://www.brandbucket.com/ and http://www.namelayer.com/

 

What’s missing?

What tools, services, or tricks do you use to come up with a name?