Choosing a domain name for your business website can be a tricky process. There’s lots of things to consider – from memorability to potential copyright issues.
And you’ll often have to juggle factors like these until you find a name that ticks all the boxes.
Here’s a few top tips to help you choose your domain name.
No one is likely to remember a really long, complex domain name with lots of numbers, hyphens or slang (‘Kars’ instead of ‘Cars’, ‘u’ instead of ‘you’) unless you’ve got a really well established brand already out there.
You’re going to want people to think of your website first (rather than your competitors) and you want it to be easy to find.
So generally, the shorter the better. Take our site for example, northwaleseconomicambitionboard.co.uk is a *bit* long! And difficult to read. So northwaleseab.co.uk was a much better option - shorter, easier to understand and clear that we’re all about North Wales.
If you need things like numbers or hyphens in your domain, think about registering the different variations to be safe. That way if people search for a variation of your domain name, you can point that to your actual site.
If your business is local, a key word for you to include in your domain name might be your location. Consider using your town or region to make it easy for local customers to find and remember.
Or if you specialise in a particular service or product, then maybe think about adding that into your domain name.
Try using keywords that describe your business and the services you offer and include the keywords that people enter when searching for your products or services. This helps improve your rank on search engines (which increases traffic) and makes more sense to your customers.
Make sure that the domain name you want to buy isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company.
If the domain name is for sale, then it’s available for you to buy, but check that it’s not infringing on another business’ name. Talk to a professional if you have any concerns about trademarks or copyrighted material.
You should also research other aspects of your chosen name. For example, are there social media handles available using the same name?
It’s good for your brand if you can remain consistent across all channels. We use NorthWalesEAB across our website, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook accounts so people only ever have to think about one name.
The most common and recognisable domain name extension around the world is .com.
It might be tougher to find the domain name you want with a .com extension as it’s been around the longest.
.co.uk is also a top extension. So if you're UK-based, these two options are probably your best bet for memorability. But don’t forget about other extensions that might work well for you.
You could use .wales or .cymru to promote your Welsh business. These are relatively new extensions, but work well for lots of Welsh organisations like gov.wales, northeastwales.wales and s4c.cymru.
Other options you could use are .net, .biz, .co… (the list goes on) but be sure that its makes sense for your business.If you’re thinking you might want a .com, .co.uk and .wales domain name, remember you don’t need to build a website for each one. Just point them all at the same site, but choose one as your 'primary' domain.
This will also help to protect your brand, preventing competitors from registering variations of your domain name, and making sure customers are directed to your website.
We mentioned protecting your brand in the last point. Making your domain name 'brandable' is really important.
If someone was to say 'Google' or 'ebay', we’d all recognize the brand straight away. These aren’t generic sounding names - they’re unique and that’s why we can recall these names so easily.
Ensuring your domain name doesn’t use generic keywords means that people will be more likely to remember your business.
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