Category Archives: SEO

How to name your business

You’re starting a business. You want customers. You’re going to have a website and you want people to see your site. What will you be called? Trading in the online era allows you to reach a greater marketplace than ever, but potential customers need to either know you or be able find you. It all starts with a name.

What’s in a name?

You’ve probably already spent many sleepless nights agonising over the name of your new enterprise. You found the perfect combination of words to convey the spirit of your business, but does it tell people what you actually do?

Good website names fall into two categories:

  • short and memorable
  • long and descriptive

The first category is great for word of mouth. You can tell someone the name of your business and it’ll stick around in their head. Next time they need a collectible garden gnome, they’ll come straight to you at Gnome Zone.

If you’ve got a longer, but more descriptive name you’ll find it does a lot better when people are searching for a business online that matches your name. Your potential customer goes to Google and types “buy armadillos online” (a popular search, I’m sure). The first result is the one that most closely matches their search, so your business “Buy Armadillos Online” gets their click.


Google your new name before you do anything else. What else appears when you search for your specific business name? All of these links are in vying for the very short attention span of your potential customer. If there is another business that does the same thing and has the same name (or one similar enough to be confusing), I’d advise against that name. During this search it’s well worth looking a few pages into the search results. If someone has recently set up a new site with the name you’re proposing, they may not yet be on the first page, but by the time you’ve launched your site you could have more serious competition.


URLs are important. If your business name is in your URL, you’ll rank higher when people search for your business (also, who wants a URL that doesn’t have their name in it?!). I launched my events ticketing website Ticketlab 4 years ago now. When I bought up the domain, the .com address wasn’t available, but wasn’t actually in use. 2 years later, a site appeared on the .com, confusing my search results. If you wish to “own” the name, and you think it’s a name that someone might want to use later, try and buy up the .com, the, and any others you can afford that seem relevant. There are so many domain extensions available now, you’ll never be able to own them all, but you might be able to dissuade a future rival from the name by marking your territory.


Is your business name available on social media? Setting up these profiles and linking them back to your website will give you better search rankings. Additionally, adding your business to Google’s business listings will give rich information and reviews on search results pages.

Ticketlab's Google search results

If your name has already been taken, try adding a descriptor, such as “shop”, “app” or your country to the end (Ticketlab is TicketlabUK on Facebook and Twitter).

In summary

Naming your business is one of the hardest decisions you’ll probably have to make when you start a new enterprise. All of these tips may seem like constraints on the creative process, but if you keep them in mind you’ll ensure that people can actually find you online when you’re ready to start trading.

Our number one SEO tip

SEO is a thorny and ever-changing battleground, and we’re always getting asked what we do to ensure our client’s sites rank for the keywords they want. As our business is mostly around the build side, our top search engine optimisation tip is not the usual content-driven response (although don’t forget to have content on your site!).

The main piece of advice we’d give – and it’s not one that will be easy to hear for a lot of people running websites out there – is that organic search is very dependent on the quality of your website build.

No matter what keywords you want to rank for, if your site isn’t at it’s best from the code up then Google will penalise you. Additionally, if your your web developer isn’t up on all of Google’s latest algorithm changes, you need to find a better web developer.

I recently had a chat with a prospective client whose existing web development agency “didn’t do SEO” and thus traffic to their site had dropped by 40% in the last month, simply from visitors who would normally find them via organic search. The issue was easily diagnosed: their site wasn’t mobile friendly, and thus fell foul of one of Google’s most highly publicised and recent algorithm tweaks.

So do make sure your code is valid – use the w3c’s HTML validator – and keep an eye on what Google look for in a website (check out the Google mobile-friendly test).

On Ticketlab, we identified our key search terms before we even started building the site, and we ensured those keywords pepper the whole site and appear at every level. As such we are number one for this particular search that other ticketing sites haven’t targeted and we attract most of our new sign-ups through these terms (which I won’t divulge here lest it dilutes our rank!).

We currently get around 20% of our traffic via organic search and it has the lowest bounce rate of all our acquisition methods (0% on traffic generated via the terms mentioned above, around 55% overall).