Looking to set up an online presence for your business, start out right with a suitable domain name. Be it a brick and mortar or wholly online business, the right domain name makes it easier for your website to be found and could potentially put you on the top of search engine results page with a little effort.
Here are top tips when deciding on a domain name.
Top Tips on Choosing a Suitable Domain Name for Your Business
Do you research, find the relevant keywords for your industry or business. Use the host’s domain name checker to see if your target name is still available. GoDaddy offers domain names at low prices. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to research keywords and find keyword ideas and its average monthly searches.
A good domain name needs to stand out, memorable, easy to type, unique and as short as possible. However, if a short and unique name is not available, a longish name made up of several words (2-4) that forms a meaningful phrase or that explains your business. You are allowed up to 67 characters in your domain name.
Avoid using hyphens, numbers, short forms, shorten words, difficult to spell words, deliberately misspelled words (you might think its clever) as these will confuse the potential customers and hard to convey over the phone or face to face conversation.
Also, consider building a brand that will set your business apart form the rest. If you already have a unique name in mind, don’t be afraid to use this. With time, and plenty of fresh and on-topic content with the use of related keywords, your website will make it to the search engines results page quickly. A strong branding and marketing exercise will also help drive traffic.
We often get asked if one should consider getting .com .net .org domain or county specific top level domains (TLDs) or both. If you website or business caters only to a local community such as gardening services, job agency or takeaways then a country specific domain names sense.
But if you are business needs to reach an international audience then going for a .com .net or .org domain would make more sense. For the later, keeping an obscure or country specific domain may be detrimental to the site as it needs to reach out to audience outside of the country.
If both .com and country specific domains such as co.uk are available, it may be worth getting both domain names and forwarding one to the other to capture all possible traffic e.g. mycompany.com and mycompany.co.uk both.
Other things to consider are possible copyright infringement, clashing of existing business name or with existing product line, community name or brand name that are popular in other parts of the world and name association. Once decided, a quick search on Google should give you some clues as to the weather the name is in use anywhere.
The 20 Tips for Choosing Your Domain Name
To summarise, here are the top 20 tips for your consideration:
- Make sure you do your keyword research and keyword ideas
- Check if your desired domain name is still available and start listing all possibilities
- Make it stand out
- Easy to remember
- Easy to type
- Unique and Short (if possible)
- Can be a combination of 2 to 4 words
- If 2 or more words, use meaningful phrases
- Consider building a brand name
- Use .com .net .org domains to reach out to international and local market
- Use country specific Top Level Domains (.co.uk, .fr, .de) to focus on local communities
- If in doubt, get both .com and TLDs and forward one to the other
- Avoid hyphens
- Avoid numbers
- Avoid shorten word(s)
- Avoid words that are difficult to spell
- Avoid deliberately misspelt words (e.g. wordz, mybiznes)
- Avoid obscure Top Level Domains unless you business is local in nature
- Avoid copyright or trademark infringement
- Avoid name clashing with other existing products or services already out there
Over to you
Have you decided on your domain name? What are the challenges you faced? Or ideas that led you to your best domain name? Would you consider the over 700 new Top Level Domains out there? Share with us your experience and thoughts.