How to Choose a Great Domain Name
Today plenty of people run (or are thinking of running) a small or home based business. You could be one of them. Regardless of the type of business, having a website on the internet is immensely important if you want to reach the right audience. And all good websites start with a great domain name.
When it comes to registering a domain name we recommend you get the .co.uk and the .com domains where possible as a minimum. This means people will find your site regardless of which extension they type in. If you can get .biz, .org and some other extensions as well, so much the better.
We’ve put together ten essential points to remember that will help you find the best domain name for your business.
1. Think about your keywords.
Keywords can be a strong part of any domain name. Jot down the half a dozen strongest keywords relating to your business and see if you can use any of them in your domain. One idea is to combine a keyword with your brand name, for example.
2. Use and develop your brand.
If your business already has a name, try and get the domain for it if you can. This will help to build your brand. A good example would be if you own a shop and you want to build a website to back it up online. Even if people don’t know if you have a website or not, the first thing they’ll search for is your business name, so make sure they can find it.
3. Check copyright and any trademarks before committing to a domain name.
When you have a domain name you like, check and see whether anyone else is using that name first. Not just as a domain name, but as a business name. It could be costly if you buy a name that is already in use.
4. Be timeless rather than trendy.
Don’t be tempted to go for a domain you think is trendy. Trends pass, but your domain name will be around for some time. Ask yourself this – will the domain name you choose still sound good and be effective in a year from now? How about ten years? The answer should be yes in both cases.
5. Avoid misspellings.
Avoid this at all costs. If someone asks you your domain name you should just be able to tell them what it is. You shouldn’t have to say ‘it’s so and so, but you don’t spell it the normal way.’ Avoid using a ‘z’ instead of an ‘s’ and so on.
6. Keep your domain name short and catchy.
The shorter it is the better. Most obvious single word – and even two word – domains have gone, but you don’t have to resort to five or six word domains. Keep it as short as possible, because short domains are far easier for people to remember than long ones. You don’t want to have to explain your domain name for people, or worse, struggle to fit it on your business cards!
7. Use UK-Cheapest.co.uk to find out whether your preferred domain is available.
This is the easiest way to see whether your ideas are available or not. Once you have the name you want – and it’s available as both a .com and a .co.uk name – you can buy it from us.
8. Avoid hyphenated domains.
Have you ever tried to give someone a domain name that has hyphens in it? You end up saying something like this: ‘it’s best hyphen new hyphen sports hyphen shoes dot com.’ Phew! It’s a bit of a mouthful, but those hyphens are necessary otherwise the person won’t find the website. So avoid using them wherever possible when you’re creating your ideal domain name.
9. Consider opting for something other than your brand name.
If you cannot get the domain name you want, think about combining two particular evergreen words related to your business that will carve you a niche online. Let’s say you sell titanium wedding rings for example. You could combine the words titanium and vows (as in wedding vows) to create a brand from the very beginning.
Don’t choose the first domain idea you come up with. It’s amazing how many people spend only five or ten minutes thinking of a domain name. As soon as they find something that is available and halfway reasonable, they buy it, when there could have been something far better available had they spent a little longer thinking about it.
Be prepared to brainstorm some ideas for a day or more, and remember – the domain name you choose could have a profound effect on how successful your business is.
Choosing a domain name is a serious business, once you start building your brand it is difficult to change it, so put the time in at the beginning to avoid the common pitfalls. It will be worth it.