Choosing the right domain name (URL)
Choosing the right domain name for your new business website is a much-underrated task. It really isn’t just a case of finding something that sounds good and suits what you do or is just a straight reflection of your business name, although the latter is often not a bad thing at all.
Quite often, very often, in fact, clients who are starting a new business come to us with an idea but no name for the business established. Or they have an idea for a name but it is not confirmed in their heads yet!
This is music to our ears! It’s important to consider many factors when choosing a name for your business, and what your website address will be is one of them, quite a big one actually.
A Name Must Work on All Levels
Needless to say, choosing the right domain name that works on all levels is the goal, it needs to sound good and be relevant, it needs to look good on printed materials and it needs to work for your website URL and for the all-important search engines. It also needs to be available and we always use a domain name checker when picking names for businesses with our clients. We recommend 123 Reg.
When choosing the right domain name we usually recommend keeping your domain name as short as possible, ideally 10 characters or under. If your domain name is long and over-complicated, you run the risk of your customers mistyping it or forgetting it altogether!
Also, avoid using unusual characters or abbreviations, this can make your domain name difficult to type and harder to remember.
Keep It Local If Appropriate
If you work locally and your business is predominantly from local people, maybe consider using your town or city as part of your domain name. This would tell people that you are in their vicinity and also it could help towards your local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and make your website more visible to local people and businesses.
Hyphens or No Hyphens?
This question comes up a lot. Often when we are looking to find a suitable domain name, we find that the exact one we want has already been taken. Our first idea is often to add in a hyphen somewhere to overcome the issue.
Although this can be a good solution, be careful. Hyphens make a web address much harder to remember and clumsier to type in. We always recommend NOT using hyphens if at all possible.
A Branded Name
One approach to choosing the right domain name is to go down the “Branded” route. That’s to say choosing a name that reflects your brand but may not necessarily contain any information such as keywords, your name, or geographical location.
Think of Nike, McDonalds or Amazon for example. These names are all famous and extremely successful brands, but neither name tells us, or Google, anything about what the business is about!
If you are planning on really growing and promoting, your brand identity, then this is a very good route to go down when choosing a business name. Make it catchy, easy-to-remember, relevant, and even trendy, it will hopefully be with you for years to come so think carefully.
Final Points to Consider
Protect your brand and domain name by purchasing a few other, similar names. For example we have wegetdigital.co.uk and .com. Some people like to secure different versions of their name, or even different spellings, all to protect their brand and stop someone else buying a similar name.
Choosing the right domain extension which is the .com/.net/.org suffix at the end of your web address.
.com is the most widely used and most popular but nowadays can be hard to get. Here in the UK we use .co.uk or, more recently, .uk.
There are also industry specific extensions like .agency or .photography as well as geographic domains like .london or .wales etc.
Keywords – This could easily have been the number one priority on our list but it is not always feasible or practical to include a relevant keyword in your domain name. A keyword is a word or phrase that really describes your business or your target audience, you will use keywords a lot throughout your website and marketing efforts but it is not critical when it comes to a web address.
However, if you are a photographer, or a florist, for example, then it could be a good idea to include that word in your domain name to tell people exactly what you do.
We hope you have found this article helpful and please do contact us at We Get Digital if you need any help choosing a suitable domain name.