5 considerations when choosing a Domain Name
Choosing a good domain name is a very important first step to owning a successful website.
Your domain name is how people find your website online – for example bills-fishing-supplies.co.uk is a domain name. Somebody types this in and they are taken to a Fishing Supplies website someone called Bill has set up – and chosen a very appropriate domain for!
But what constitutes good? In this 2 part article, we’ve compiled a top ten list of DO’s and DON’T’s when it comes to picking the perfect web address.
Top DO’s When Choosing A Domain
1. DO think about words people are likely to type into search engines like Google when they are looking for a website like yours. If, like Bill, you are in the business of providing mail order fishing supplies to anglers in the South East, it might be more important to include the words “fishing” or “angling” in your domain than including more specific words such as “rods”, or “lures”. The logic here is that more people are likely to search for “fishing supplies” or “angling supplies” than they are for “rods and lures” when they’re looking to buy fishing equipment, and having these words included in your domain name will help boost your search engine rankings.
2. DO think about how your domain will be used. Will you be telling many people about it over the phone, or will the vast majority of people coming to your website be finding it through search engines like Google? If you’re going to be saying it over the phone a lot, you might want to avoid using hyphens or numbers in your domain, as this can be confusing in conversation. For example, activ8-sports.co.uk might look clever and modern, but would be hard to explain how to type in the middle of a phone call – you would likely end up having to spell it out letter by letter, “a-c-t-i-v, then the number 8, then a hyphen…” and so on. This can get very tiring, both for you and your clients, and your snappy company name suddenly becomes a real drag.
3. DO pick something relevant. It might seem obvious, but if Bill decided to ditch his fishing business and become a travelling circus performer instead, he might be tempted to re-use his old bills-fishing-supplies.co.uk domain for a new website advertising his juggling services. While it might save Bill a bit of cash in the short term, the completely irrelevant domain will confuse potential clients and end up costing Bill more money in lost business than it has saved him.
4. DO think about whether or not to use hyphens in your domain name. Similarly with point 3, they can make things a bit confusing over the phone, but more importantly, some people can forget them if there are more than a couple, or if they’re not between every word. On the flipside, however, hyphens seperating words in your domain name can help with your search engine rankings, and they can make a domain much easier to read on an advertisement or business card – it’s easier for us to read two seperate words when there is a hyphen or space between them thaniftheyareallcrammeduptogether. See? Also, check out the second tip on the DON’Ts list for another very important tip that’s related to this.
5. DO pick a relevant ending (eg .co.uk or .com) for your domain. If you are a business operating primarily with clients in the UK, a .co.uk ending would be a good choice here. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with clients all over the world, a .com ending would be better. Non-profit organisation may want to opt for a .org ending.
Part 2 coming next week…