The process to produce names and find good domain names are subject to many variables, opinions, strategies and criteria. The right name depends on a lot of factors. Some folks, in order to avoid being "picky" on this matter, prefer to go for combinations of words related to the business or area they are working on, even if it doesn't make sense or the result is a long word; others spend much time thinking unique names with properties that will make them good to brand in the long term. Following is a list of ideas, rules, guidelines and other tips to check out whenever you are looking for your perfect name or brand.

  • Keep it short: this is a really important factor. One or two syllables is perfect, three is only good in some cases.
  • Keywords: sometimes it is good to use words related to industry, area, or any topic referring to activities, subject or field. This has downsides, beware being too much specific because if you change your ideas or activities the name will not work anymore.
  • Avoid misspellings and mistypings: Run the "phone test", say it to people and then check if they say it back and write it down correctly
  • Easy to hear and to pronounce: it will help lead your company or project to have a name easy to remember.
  • Avoid letters that can be confused with other ones: for instance, "r" + "n" = "rn", with some fonts it may be taken by an "m" in small sizes.
  • Avoid certain characters like dashes or digits: people can miss typing a "-", or writing a "9" instead of "nine" as part of your name.
  • Using new or rare domains: we know how hard is to find a ".com" available, so more and more newly created startups choose to use domains like ".io" or ".tk". Beware, though, because it may affect your content indexing in search engines (i.e. Google) as those domains do not rank so well as the traditional ones.
  • The "showing results for... instead" or "did you mean" effects in Google or similar: It is amazing how many people use Google to type actual real domains instead of typing it directly in the address bar. Also, SEO is affected by this search results as well.
  • Short prepending or appending: e.g. if you are building a mobile app named "War zone" and "warzone.com" is not available, you could append "app" to become "warzoneapp.com"
  • Word that can turn into a verb: we all use "google it" as a verb, right?
  • i18n factor: run the name through multiple translators, to verify it does not have undesirable meanings (e.g. it does not associate with any famous surnames or brands as well as slang, criminal activity, discrimination, erotic or pornographic content)
  • Trademark registration: do not use words that would be impossible for the trademark to register or collide with phonetic results of similar trademarks. Also, check out if a trademark with the same name exists.
  • Use ".com" if possible: it's the only domain ending with its own button on mobile devices and keyboard shortcut on desktop internet browsers. People automatically assume that a brand must have a dot com domain name.
  • Stay away from bad references:The perfect brand would not include direct references to your industry, return no search results related to your target industry (especially if you plan to do any social media monitoring), and would be catchy and easy to remember.
  • Check both text and image results
  • Domain hacks: sometimes you can use the TDL or ccTLD as part of the domain word (e.g. "www.click.it")
  • Local vs. global: Depending on the audience (local vs. global) different choices or patterns may apply.
  • First in rankings and lists: consider having the name starting with a first letter on the alphabet ("a", "b", "c") so in business directory listings your company would show up first.
  • Investigate your competitors and related players
  • Catchy names: does it rhyme? is it funny or causes strong reactions on your audience?
  • Check social media accounts availability: as these may be important for growth hacking.