At the Brighton SEO search marketing conference back in April I was reminded that the most straightforward of tasks are often the most useful.
“There are a number of things to consider during the research stage if you are planning on launching or re-launching a product or service online. Even if you are not changing your brand name, there are a number of things that you should review to ensure that potential customers find you easily, but most importantly, that your brand name is protected.”
Register Domains and Social Profiles
Some of the basic pointers she outlined were:
- Secure the trademark
- Decide on a date to go live
- Register and redirect domains
- Claim all social profiles
One of the first steps I always take myself is to see if the domain name is available for the name I’m planning on using, initially the .com and if that one is available then I’ll grab the .net and .org too. And its not all about the .com anymore either with a whole bunch of newer TLD’s in usage these days (there’s another older post of mine at Buzzsonic that talks about domain name extensions for music businesses), including .dj .tv .ly .la .cd .fm and .it just to name a few.
There’s a complete list of domain name extensions available via governing body IANA here.
MakeUseOf.com have a handy roundup of domain name search tools and ideas in their post, ‘10 Unusual Domain Name Search Tools to Find Hot Domains‘. Be aware though and Samantha did bring this up at her Brighton SEO branding presentation, that should your chosen name be available, don’t leave it until later to register.
I have found, to my dismay that I’ve lost a few good brand name ideas by not securing the domain name straight away. Mysteriously (or not) you could find, the next time you go back to register the name, its been snapped up.
For the more exotic domain name extensions I use 101Domain to see what’s available outside the plain Vanilla .com and .net’s of this world. I recently started snapping up a few names with the Indian extension .in, primarily because there was a $2.99 firesale at my registrar of choice Name.com.
Branding Inspiration & Ideas
Nameboy will give you some ideas by generating a bunch of names from keywords showing you a list of what’s available and bases its results on a primary word and a secondary word. Domai.nr is another clever idea which generates names as you type in the search box and Namevine searches for a domain name and matching social media profiles.
Social Name Check
Once you’ve discovered your domain name is available you’ll want to secure all the major social media profiles (and any you speculate might take-off later) for that name. Not sure you’ll want to go so OTT with 500+ social profiles (cripes!) but Knowem.com will search 575 social networks and over 150 domain names for your brand, which for a rising pay scale, starting at $75 (depending on numbers) will secure the brand for you. Great for those with more money than time.
Namechk ‘only’ checks 159 different social networks (I think that’s probably enough!) and quickly tells you which ones are available, as well as any available matching domain name’s. The site will export the results as a text file for reference too and they have an iPhone app for idea brainstorming on the move. Neat.
Trademark Your Brand
One final point. Just because you have the domain name and the Twitter and Facebook vanity URL’s doesn’t mean you own the trademark, so make sure you search the trademark registry in your country (here’s the USA and the UK ones for starters).
Check this Dummies post: ‘How to Trademark Your Brand Name‘ too, for a more detailed instructional.
Craft an Unforgettable Story for Your Business (ChatterJet)
Reputation Management in a Digital Age (Koozai)
Claim Your Company Profile on Social Sites (ChatterJet)
Online Reputation Management Tutorial (SEO-Hacker)
5 Tips To Manage Your Multinational Social Media (SearchEngineLand)