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Domain Names Are Just As Important For Startups

BillSweetman Domain Names Are Just As Important For Startups

Bill Sweetman President of nameninja.com (photo poprockphoto.com)

Naming your startup is very important. Sometimes founders make the mistake of thinking that if they have amazing technology the name is irrelevant. Our own Dr. Startup, Professor Dave Ketchen of Auburn University discussed the importance of a good startup name here.

Here at nibletz.com “The Voice Of Startups Everywhere Else” we’ve dealt with the naming issue quite a bit as well. We hate the urban dictionary definition for nibletz, and we’re not too keen on corn. Our name was part of a presentation at SXSW in 2013 entitled “When Bad Names Happen To Good Startups”.

We’ve been around since 2011 so we’re pretty established but in case you didn’t know, nibletz started out doing capsulated news from the tech and startup scene, in fact I had come up with the original tag line first “small crunchy bytes from the tech and startup scene” and when I took that tag line to Twitter quite a few people said they would call it “nibletz” which is where our name came from.

So once you’ve accepted the fact that a good name is important, next comes the domain name, which is equally if not more important as the name of your startup itself. You have to be able to quickly tell someone the company name and the domain name, preferably at the same time.

Bill Sweetman, the founder of NameNinja.com is in the domain name consulting business. Yesterday NameNinja.com issued a press release where Sweetman revealed that a whopping 79% of the companies presenting at next week’s collision conference in Las Vegas may not be using the optimal name to market their business.

Collision is a major startup conference on the same playing field as Launch, Demo or even TechCrunch Disrupt. Sweetman found that “more than two-thirds (68%) of the startup domains failed the Radio Test, meaning the names are not spelled the way they sound. Other startup domain problems include not having the exact match .com domain or having a .com domain that appends other words to the startup name.” The release said.

“If your startup is named Fashion Ferret then the optimal domain name is the exact match .com domain FashionFerret.com,”  Sweetman, added “Using anything else is risky because it’s likely to confuse your customers and drive up your marketing costs.”

All in all NameNinja found that 386 of the startup domains were counterintuitive and likely to pose marketing challenges while only 21% of the startup domain names were the most intuitive.

Sweetman and other experts in the field know that startups are typically on a shoe string bootstrapped budget so they settle for less than optimal domain names, but in the end the domain name is typically the most key marketing asset that a startup can have. You want to make sure that most people understand how to get to your company online.