After naming a product, the tagline may be the most important marketing lever you can pull.
Afterall, the name of the product opens up the conversation with your customer…but the tagline can immediately tell them what it is that you do — and what makes you unique.
You’ve probably seen how much I love lists.
So I’ve compiled a list of 50+ of my favorite taglines. Enjoy!
It inspired this simple list of naming tips (which I think is a good foll0w-up to 5 Tips On How To Name Your Brand To Be As Dominant As Kleenex).
Shake ‘n Bake (for cooking chicken) tells you the two simple steps — you shake (the herbs) and you bake (the chicken) — to make tasty chicken.
You may also consider the pain or urgency that your customer has.
For example, if you have dandruff and you want to address the flakes on your shoulders as well as shampoo your hair, Head & Shoulders shampoo is a darn good name.
Microsoft names its product because it focused on “micro”-computer “soft”ware.
Kentucky Fried Chicken is self-explanatory. People Magazine is pretty good too.
But don’t go too generic, warns the book Positioning: “Lite” beer from Miller was the industry leader but it lost its brand positioning when other beers co-opted the name (Bud Light, Coors Light, etc.).
The law sided with those competitors since “Lite” is generic and so similar to “Light” (as in opposite of heavy).
Below are six good ones I’ve used.
I think Google’s Keyword Tool is a great place to start as it provides you with the # of monthly searches being made for certain words/phrases.
Let’s pretend that I’m interested in naming a business that deals in “personality types” — type that into the search box.
A few months ago I was launching my own personal Web site and I had the simple goal of getting it on Google’s front page when people searched my fairly common name: Rob Kelly.
Well, a search of “Rob Kelly” now places me first on Google’s front page.
I enjoy sharing learnings from such projects so I decided to deposit some of the knowls that helped get my personal website on Google’s front page right here in this article.
Warning/Alert: If you’re looking for SEO trickery to figure out how to game Google’s search engine, you’ve come to the wrong place! In fact, if that’s you, please leave right now…I don’t want your kind here!
The tips I’m sharing are logical/legitimate approaches to improving your Google website ranking in hopes of getting on the front page of Google in an honest fashion.
Ok, for the rest of you honest folk, let’s do it!
Let’s start with the obvious: The easiest method to get #1 on Google’s search results when people search “Your Name” is to start by naming your site “YourName”.com — if you already have YourName.com then you can skip to Google Front Page Tip #3 below.
I began this “Google Front Page” project researching other common names for people and seeing who ranked on Google’s front page (which typically lists 10 results).
My unscientific study started with picking the most common people’s names (like Rob Kelly) which I found on the Web and then looking at only the ones that came up on the first page of Google when you searched the name of the person behind the site (e.g. if you search “Joseph White” then JosephWhiteDP.com comes up on Google’s first page…and comes up first (hence the “1″ in the Rank on Google column).
The table below is a list of 20 examples of personal websites that ranked in the #1 position on Google’s front page — and then further below is the full list of 41 personal websites I looked at that had anywhere from a 2 to 10 Rank on Google (again, that means they cracked Google’s front page).
I used SEOBook (see How To Have X-Ray Vision About Your Competition) to help me with all these Google website rankings.
Note: I excluded exact match .com names (such as JosephWhite.com, BethJones.com, etc.) because Google almost always gives them a Google site ranking of #1 so there’s not as much to learn there.
Ok, so let’s cover some of the things I learned from looking at these 61 personal website examples and why they ended up ranking on Google’s front page.
Nearly 84% (51) of the 61 personal website examples that made it to the front page of Google were .com’s.
Four domain names were .org and three were .net and there was even a .me, .info and .la.
However, you’ll also notice that half of those non .coms were exact matches with the person’s name (i.e. LisaSmith.org, BobJones.org, Beth Jones.org, LisaSmith.net and SteveJones.me).
So, my advice: If you can get your exact name in a .com, .net or .org you should grab it; but if your exact name is not available in those domain suffixes, I suggest you buy a .com domain name and follow the rest of my advice below.
If you can’t a .com, .net or .org domain name with your exact first and last name (i.e. RobKelly.com), then I recommend that you consider four other options:
1) List your full name followed by a keyword
e.g. “RobKellyCEO.com” or “RobKellyAdvisor.com” or “RobKellyInternet” — I chose CEO, Advisor and Internet as the follow-up word since those are keywords related to what I do in life.
2) List a keyword followed by your full name
e.g. “CEORobKelly.com” or “AdvisorRobKelly.com” or InternetRobKelly.com”
3) Use your full name with middle inititial
e.g. “RobDKelly.com” (the name I chose!)
Note: I chose to use my full name with middle initial for stylistic reasons — I believe that if I had chosen options #1 or 2 above that I would have done just as fine with my Google website ranking.
4) A Hybrid (part of their name along with some other keyword)
e.g.You’ll notice that some of the people’s Web sites used a combination of their name and keyword with great success.
e.g. “OboeJoe.com” (by Joseph Robinson) and “JessicaKnows.com” by Jessica Smith).
Finally, if you don’t like any of the above and want to name your Web site something that doesn’t contain any part of your name, there are some success stories such as “VitalInformation.com” by Steve Smith and “VoiceTeacher” by David Jones.
But, why make your life so hard — stick to the 4 recommendations above (I personally prefer the first three!).
Note: There’s a good interview with a Search Marketing expert here called: How To Select The Best Domain Name To Attract Search Engines.
Finally, to get listed on the Google front page you have to put up good numbers.
In the spirit of Inevitability Thinking — I wanted to know what metrics for your Web site would make it inevitable that you would rank on page 1 of Google for your site.
So, now we have four more tips to add:
Your Web site home page should have a Google Page Rank of at least 2 and ideally it’s 3 or 4 or more.
What is Page Rank? It’s named after Google Co-founder Larry “Page” and is a rank (on a scale of 1 to 10) that Google assigns individual web pages within your site. Page Rank is reported to be heavily weighted as to the quantity and quality of links to your site. PageRank is a trademark of Google, though Stanford University owns the patent for it.
Click 9 Simple Tips For Showing Up In Search Results for some approaches to increasing your Page Rank (or Google Juice as some people call it).
That said, if you can follow all the other tips I’m providing, your Google Page Rank will by virtue increase from zero.
The typical Web site (of the 61 I looked at) has a median of 211 pages of content that are being indexed by Google.
RobDKelly.com currently has about 150 articles in it so that sounds about right to me. And by Content, I’m referring to any page of honest, quality content that you put up: articles you write, photos you take (ideally with some commentary), videos you take.
You’ll notice from the two Personal Website tables in this article that very few sites were able to get on the 1st page of Google with 10 or fewer pages of content — such sites are referred to as “Brochureware” and Google doesn’t typically rank these sites highly.
If you have 1,000 or more unique visitors per month, you will increase your chances of a top Google website ranking, according to the median of the 61 sites I looked at.
My own personal experience was the same: I got on page one of Google right when I passed the 1,000 monthly uniques threshold.
Click the Increasing Web Traffic section to find some articles related to this.
The 61 top personal websites had a median number of referral links of 485.
This means that 485 pages on the Web linked to their personal website.
note: links to you from other websites are most valuable but it is also valuable to have internal links (i.e. you link from one page of your site to another.
Check out How To Get Incoming Links To Your Blog or Web Site for some tips on getting other Web sites to link to you.
It took RobDKelly.com four months to get on Google’s front page.
This is fairly common as Google’s spider crawls your Web pages and begins to reward you for things like other people linking to you or simply for longevity (serious, just keep at it and Google will reward you).
And if you have many other people’s Web sites who use your name — including celebrities — you may have to wait longer.
These tips I’ve given are no guarantee that you’ll get in the Google top 10 search results for your own name — there could be many exceptions (including famous people having your same name).
Additionally, as the Internet population grows, the key metrics I listed will likely increase.
But, barring exceptions and taking into account population growth, I believe if you follow/meet most of the Google front page tips I’ve listed, you’ll get on the Google front page over time
Best of luck!
I was intrigued when I noticed that at least 10 of the The Top 100 Synonymous Genericized Brands I posted included alliteration: brands like PowerPoint, RotoRooter, Google and Armor All.
What is alliteration?
The definition of alliteration is repeating the same sound in two or more words in close succession, such as:
“She sells sea shells by the sea shore.”
Alliteration is widely accepted in the research/scientific community as a tool to enhance memory.^
While alliteration in such toungue-twisters (there are also many in poems and songs) is fun — I’ve been thinking about alliteration in business and brands lately.
So, I’ve compiled a list of examples of alliteration used for commercial purposes (e.g. company names, products, real-life and fictional personalities and even fruit, sayings and other stuff).
How do you create a “Kleenex”-like brand that is synonymous with its product category?
After I crafted The Top 100 Colloquial Brands, I came up with some observations about these brands that might be good tips for you to use to name your brands.
Top brands use alliteration, which is typically defined as using the same sounding first syllable sequentially. Examples of alliteration in the Top 100 Colloquial Brand list I did include:
Alliteration is sometimes more broadly defined as using the same sound of any syllable when said in sequence,; using that definition, you would also add these Top 100 Brands as examples of alliteration:
An even broader interpretation of alliteration in which the last syllable has the same sound would allow us to include Mack Truck to the list.
Check out The Best Examples of Alliteration in Business & Brands piece I did for even more on the subject.
Many top genericized brands include a word that describes the purpose of the product. Examples include:
Note: You’ll note that some of the descriptive words are spelled differently (such as “Glas” or “Kool”)
And you can of course use two or more descriptive words in a row like:
Amazingly, 86% of the top 100 Colloquial Brands are two or three syllables long.
Ten percent of the Top 100 are four syllables long and 4% are one syllable long.
You’ll note that NONE of the Top 100 contain more than four syllables…interesting!
Don’t be afraid to use your family name. Examples of family-inspired names include:
I haven’t had time to check into how important first-mover advantage is to building a colloquial/genericized brand. Perhaps you want to take a crack at that!
How many brands can you count in the following sentence:
“I needed some aspirin, a band-aid, ace bandage — and probably a jacuzzi!– after my zipper got caught in an escalator while my realtor friend and I carried a bubble-wrapped ping-pong table from a dumpster to our jeep and slipped on our California stir fry with broccolini take-out.”
If you counted thirteen then you are correct!
I call these “Colloquialized,” “Synonymous,” or “Genericized” Brands — they are brands whose names are used in day to day conversations as synonymous with their product categories (e.g. more people refer to a “frisbee” than a “flying disc.”).
I made a list of the top 100 colloquial brands using one simple criterion: would I use the brand name instead of the product category if I was referring to the product/activity in a sentence (e.g. “I need a band-aid” versus “I need an adhesive bandage.”).
Did you know that one domain name could easily get you 5-times as much search engine traffic as another similar-sounding domain name!?
Picking the best domain name for your business is an important decision…especially given that search engines will examine your domain name to determine how much traffic to send it.
To pick the best domain name for a search engine, you’re gonna have to consider:
To help answer those domain name/search marketing questions, I reconnected with my old friend Lana Goldenberg the other day (we worked together at Topica and Hot Topic Media).
Lana is now a Search Marketing Coach and was kind enough to share her thoughts on how you should approach using/choosing a domain name that Google and search engines will value.
And she even offers you a freebie consultation — Enjoy!
Q: Hi Lana. For starters, does the name of a web site (i.e. the domain name) make a difference in how the Web site shows up in the results of Google or other search engines?
Short answer – yes.
Let’s say your sell organic strawberries online. (I will make up a generic example). Your business name is Picadilly Farms, so you choose PicadillyFarms.com as your website. Your neighbor down the street also sells organic strawberries, and his website is OrganicStrawberries.com.
All other things being equal (and there are many other factors to consider), when your potential customers search “organic strawberries,” Google will display OrganicStrawberries.com higher than PicadillyFarms.com
The length of the domain name doesn’t matter, as far as I know. It’s much more important that your domain name is relevant to your business.
So back to the organic strawberries example, if I had to choose between the short domain picfarms.com vs. the longer domain OrganicStrawberriesCalifornia.com I would hands down select the longer one.
To answer this question, you have to get into your potential customers’ minds.
That said, let’s say Rozes Are Red is the tagline of a massive PR or advertising campaign you are running this fall. Your customer can’t walk by a bus stop without seeing the words Rozes Are Red.
There are a couple of approaches here.
First, you definitely want to reserve your business name as the domain name, and possibly even your first and last name, just for strategic reasons.
Second, get into your target market’s heads and think about the words or questions they are “googling” to address a particular need.
If you are a chiropractor specializing in back pain, your ideal clients are
probably googling “back pain” or “lower back pain” or “pain relief.”
I would recommend incorporating at least some of these into your domain name. So maybe you are able to reserve ChiropractorForBackPainRelief.com based on this information.
I recommend using Google’s free keyword tool to do some research — It’s a goldmine of information!
Recently we were trying to decide on using “business storage” vs. “commercial storage” on a client’s website. We entered both keywords into Google’s tool, and saw that “business storage” gets searched about 5 times as often as “commercial storage.”
The decision to use “business storage” was a no-brainer based on these numbers.
Yes, you can see the keywords in your website statistics. I recommend installing Google Analytics on your site (note: Check out 3 Easy Steps To Using Google Analytics to learn more about setup/implementation).
Google Analytics is free and will give you the keywords along with many other useful pieces of data.
You may also have a similar tool included with your web hosting.
Yes and no. It is a good idea to register the domain names that are relevant to your business. However, just redirecting these domains to your site does not do anything to help you be found online.
Google frowns upon redirects and prefers that you have real and relevant content on each of the domains.
If you are PicadillyFarms.com from my example above, you may want to grab OrganicStrawberries.com (assuming it’s available) and create a site that describes your expertise in organic strawberries, such as:
Assuming the organic strawberry business is a profitable one for you, you can use this niche site to increase your visibility for organic strawberry lovers.
It’s an interesting business niching strategy as much as it is a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy.
In the example above, OrganicStrawberries.com could be considered a Campaign Site or a Microsite.
Large companies routinely create Microsites for new products, offerings, or to support their offline advertising efforts. Auto manufacturers may have separate websites for each model under the umbrella of the corporate brand.
The structure of the site would follow the structure of their business. They may want to create sub-directories by wedding themes: WeddingFlowers.com/traditional-wedding, WeddingFlowers.com/outdoor-wedding, and so on.
Q: Are there any search engine marketing (SEM)/SEO books that you recommend people read?
The Findability Formula by heather lutze is excellent for SEM.
I’d love for your readers to visit LanaGoldenberg.com and sign up for my newsletter.
I send out a weekly Market Smarter, Not Harder tip to help small businesses and organizations maximize their marketing efforts.
You can also click on the Contact tab and sign up for a complimentary 15-minute Get Acquainted Phone Session.
We will discuss your business goals and laser in with specific solutions for bringing more qualified
visitors and leads to your website.
Q: Thanks, Lana!
My pleasure! I hope your readers find this information useful for their Search Engine Optimization efforts.