By Miles Burke

Domain Names: Make Them Memorable

By Miles Burke

One of my first tasks when working on a client strategy for a new product or business name is to check that the domain name is available.
Because I’m based in Australia, I first check .com.au, but I also recommend acquiring the .com address and other top-level domains.

In fact, we’ve actually tweaked the name of products before when we were unable to secure the domain name; they really are that important to your brand and findability online. You can imagine, therefore, how perplexed I was when admiring some fantastic work by New York-based brand-building agency, Collins, only to find they had the domain name, collins1.com.

Now, I don’t want to pick on them here, because I believe they do some great work, but why would you choose to add a digit to your name in order to secure the domain?


It piqued my interest—what available domains could have worked for them? I spent ten minutes, and discovered the following domains are available:

  • collinsagency.com
  • wearecollins.com
  • collinsny.com
  • collinsnewyork.com

There’s no way of knowing whether these were all taken when they first set up their website, but it seems improbable. If I hadn’t written down their domain name in order to write this piece, I would have long forgotten it. Wouldn’t they have been better with one of these, or another alternative?

Speaking of domains, the domain name for Open, a New York design studio, has always impressed me. Obviously open.com was taken, so they opted for notclosed.com. Now that’s a memorable domain name!

note:Want more?

If you want to read more from Miles, subscribe to our weekly web business newsletter, the SitePoint Tribune.

  • Having a great domain name is necessary if you really need more from search engines. Domain name should be memorable, easy to pronounce, keyword rich and a name which will easily get a brand name in no time. There are some tips and tricks to choose a domain name and in addition to this there is a huge collection of domain tools which will help you to find a good domain name


    This is one of the 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding suggested in Al Ries’ book: The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, http://www.ries.com/books-booklist-book12.php
    This is a must read for Internet Pros.
    Here’s a great domain name I found that follows the law of a name that is memorable, alliterative, short, and descriptive of the site, check this out: http://www.RobeProbe.com
    and this one: http://www.BrandBucket.com
    Kinda funny sounding too.
    BTW, I think Google is a horrible domain name for a search engine that was purposefully created knowing it would dominate the planet’s searches. “Google” translates horribly in many of the world’s most common languages. If one did not see it in print, one would assume it’s spelled “Gugel” or “Gugol”, especially if someone doesn’t speak English and speaks a romance language where the double “oo” is not pronounced like a “u”. This just shows how much MASSIVE amounts of money can overcome a horrible Domain name. Ditto for Yahoo.
    If you plan to have a web company with dominance WORLDWIDE in all languages, pick a name that is easiest in the MAJORITY of the world’s languages. Here’s one: http://www.terra.com
    Coincidentally the word translates into earth or world. Now that’s a great name.

  • Dr Madvibe

    There’s a well known haulage company in Britain called Preston’s of Potto whose striking red vehicles grace our motorways up and down the land.

    They registered various combinations of thier name, but which domain have they chosen to plaster on the back of their trucks?



  • Flash

    The example of ‘notclosed’ = ‘open’ reminded me of why we chose ‘justasktom’. ‘The Online Manager’ was taken and was zzzzz. ‘TOM’ was taken as was ‘Asktom’, so we opted for ‘justasktom’. As the home page asks, ‘Got a management problem? Justasktom. So when you go to justasktom.com a search puts you in the decision-maker’s driver’s seat to solve just about any management problem.

Get the latest in Entrepreneur, once a week, for free.