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In this Thursday, April 12, 2012, photo, a Google logo is displayed at the headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. (Paul Sakuma/AP)
In this Thursday, April 12, 2012, photo, a Google logo is displayed at the headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. (Paul Sakuma/AP)

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR COUNCIL

Three ways to nail down a killer company name Add to ...

How to name a business: Google, Zazzle, Groupon, Bing, Squidoo, Yahoo!, Flickr… what’s in a name?

If you’ve been pondering how to name a business or blog for awhile, you’re not alone.

When it comes time to set up a website for yourself, the unlimited combination of letters can be overwhelming. You want to have a website name that people can remember, and that also somehow explains what your business or blog is about.

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There are several ways to go about it: the made-up word, the straight-up definition, or something more personal, like your name. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks:

1. Make something up (aka how to name a business in the tech field).

Made-up words are great if you’re creating a brand or a business where you plan on having many people on board. Most examples of these tend to be tech-related, and all of the examples above fit into this category.

You can play around with some wacky name generator tools. Or you could throw some letters into a hat and pull them out randomly to form your new company name!

2. Choose a descriptive keyword (aka how to name a blog for SEO).

You can also choose to describe your site exactly: HowToEatRawFood.com or PlantAGardenGrowYourOwnFood.com. This tells people who land on your site exactly what they’re getting.

This approach is also good because it helps search engines understand what your site is about.

But the downside is you can’t start writing about your sock monkey business if you decide to change business directions.

3. You are your business: YourName.com.

This one brings up a lot of “stuff,” and I know exactly how you feel. Being in the spotlight or putting yourself in your business can feel like an ego thing, but, in the end, it’s the one thing that’s unlikely to change over the lifetime of your business.

You’ll always be there, and even if you change business directions, you won’t need to start your website over from scratch.

I like to think of Walt Disney on this one. Although he is no longer with us, his name and vision live on through his business. Whether or not you would want your company to live on beyond you, the benefits of using your name definitely outnumber the cons.

One of the biggest drawbacks of using your name is that names can be tricky to spell. Very few people have straightforward names, but that might work to your advantage when it comes time to buying your domain name.

What’s in a name?

So what name should you pick when you’re putting together your website and business? That depends. I recommend having one main website “hub,” and, if YourName.com is available, I’d snag it before it’s gone. Otherwise, feel free to choose something else for your business and domain name.

I’ve got a lot to say about blog naming basics, so if you want more, check out my post on ProBlogger .

Nathalie Lussier got her bachelors degree in software engineering, then promptly turned down a “stable” job on Wall Street to start her own online business. She’s an online business triple threat who teaches people how to get techy with their business as a digital consultant.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab , a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

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