It’s All in the Name: Choosing a Great Website Domain Name

(Image Courtesy of Jan Tik)


Everything the industry insiders have told you about domain names is true. A bad name can create a negative buzz right from the get-go and seriously hamper your branding. Choosing a good one, on the other hand, can open the door to endless possibilities.

For this discussion, let’s take things a step further. Believe it or not, sometimes the letters used in your domain name – and not the name itself – can truly be the major factor that determines the success or failure of your website.

People always want to know what the most popular buzz words are in today’s online market. But when choosing the next great domain name, a better question to ask might be…what are the most popular letters?

The Top 5 More Popular Domain Name Letters: B, C, M, S, & T

The Top 5 Least Popular Domain Name Letters:
Q, U, X, Y & Z

Let’s take a look at the importance of choosing the right letter to start off your name. One place to draw inspiration is look at the popularity of different baby names and the letters they start with.  Last year, the most popular boys’ names started with “J“, while “A” was the clear winner with the girls.

Now, if you were to look at a Top 5 list of baby names and domain names, the two main crossovers would be S and M. And while we‘re on the subject, you’d have to be a bit of a sadomasochist yourself to deliberately lump your personal domain in such a crowded market. The more popular a letter, the larger amount of sites there are beginning with that letter. That puts you in a much more crowded market.

Let’s take a look at the letter “S”. This one’s incredibly popular for a reason, and not just because of its association with the word “Shop”. In fact, there are more English words beginning with the letter ‘s’ than with any other letter, and that stigma is definitely starting to apply to domain names as well. If you’re looking to stick out amongst the crowd, we recommend going in a different direction.

Take “G” for example. It falls somewhere in the middle of the list of most popular letters. This makes it decidedly more unique, and more susceptible to making a stand-out name for itself.  We think it’s safe to assume we don’t have to tell you which domain has been very successful in using this as their first initial.

So are we saying that the less popular the letter, the more successful you’re website could become? No, but to be honest, it doesn’t hurt. Unfortunately, if you want something with an “S”, there’s a good chance that word or phrase has already been taken. By lumping yourself in with a popular letter, it will make it that much more difficult for you to find something truly unique.

It basically all breaks down to this: Should Zappos be patting themselves on the back right now? Yes, yes they should.

Just remember, with a great domain name comes great responsibility. Can a fantastic name can help you get your foot in the door and the right people looking in your direction? Sure, but most importantly, what you really need is a good business – and a good business plan – to find success in this crowded online market.


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