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One of the most important elements of starting a new business is obviously choosing an appropriate name for the company. When buying a domain name for a new business, many people like to see how much traffic the domain is already getting. However, this is not an indication of how successful your online business will be. It’s true that a perfect keyword-based domain may get more automatic traffic because it is the simplest domain and includes a popular keyword, but anything other than that number one keyword domain may not be ideal for naming a business, and packing it full of keywords may actually work against you. The domain could become just a description of your business rather than a business brand.

A descriptive business name should be different than a description for a business. Your domain name should be a tool to build and enforce your branding rather than a keyword-based domain designed to capture random traffic for search purposes. A domain should be viewed as a storefront. Nobody visited the store before you moved in, so your priority shouldn’t be to get large amounts of traffic from your startup’s name only. Domains like mediablogger.com will not necessarily be any more successful than a domain like Tumblr.com, because most of your quality traffic will come from your marketing efforts and quality of content shared and not from simply owning a descriptive domain. Mashable.com and TechCrunch.com are some of the most successful blogs out there about social media and technology; while the keyword ‘blog’ is nowhere to be found in the title, both of these names can have implied meanings, which makes them extremely brand-able.

You can spend astronomical amounts of cash to bid for domains like Blogger.com, or you can better spend your money on marketing efforts and providing quality services to your customers. Long-tail keywords from written content and off-page links are more likely to drive targeted traffic than a clever domain name. Then, you’ll not only drive more focused traffic to your website, but you’ll also simultaneously be branding your business. An interesting and unique name stimulates conversation about what your descriptive and brand-able domain name does. Conversation about your business is beneficial, because it encourages you to create an identity and brand image behind your domain name. When people come to your brand-able domain name because they’re aware of your brand, the traffic is intended for you! So, your bounce rate will be far lower than if people just accidentally came across the site while looking for a different keyword-based domain name. And, they’re more likely to purchase your products or use your services!

Put simply, there is more to naming a business than instant web traffic. There is the importance of brand-ability and longevity in a name. This is why we call them brand-able names – these are brand names to strive for – they’re interesting, unique, concise, and easy to pronounce, which gives you a foundation for creating a unique and successful business brand like Google, Fandango, or SyFy. Check out more Corduroy thoughts here on key elements of successful brands.