May 24, 2012 · 3 min read
Top 10 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name
A good website is key to any marketing strategy, and while many people know that the web design and development is important, they don’t always put as much thought into the website’s domain name. To make sure you use the best address for your site, our web developers have come up with some top tips on how to create an effective domain name:
1. Make it relevant: The best domain names are relevant to your business, and using your brand name is a great option. In situations where you can’t use your brand name, make sure your address helps to explain what your business offers with keywords related to your industry.
2. Keep it short: By keeping your domain name short, it’s quicker to type and easier to remember, not to mention the fact that it will fit nicely on any marketing material.
3. Easy spelling: Using misspelled words in your web domain could cause you to lose out on business from people who don’t know how to spell the address. Ideally you want your domain to pass a verbal test—if you were to say it to somebody, they should be able to type it correctly without your help. Also keep in mind that different countries spell some words differently, so try to avoid these words wherever possible.
4. Keep it unique: Do a bit of research to see if there is already a website with a web domain very similar to yours. A simple typo or mistake may send your visitors to their site, which could cause you to lose out on business. These similarities include things like using plural versions of the same words and using numbers instead of spelling them out.
5. Avoid hyphens: If your web domain name consists of multiple words, try to avoid using hyphens because most people won’t remember to include them when trying to find you.
6. Easy to remember: The whole point of a website is so people can find you online, and the more memorable your domain name is, the more likely people are to remember it. This will also help with word of mouth recommendations.
7. Remember your 301: In addition to buying your domain name, consider buying other common versions that people may type by mistake. For example, the social network Flickr.com may want to buy Flicker.com, and redirect people who land on that page to their actual site.
This is also relevant for top level domain names, so if you are using “.co.uk” consider buying the “.com” equivalent and redirecting people to your site.
8. Beware of typosquatting: If your brand is very well-known, you run the risk of people buying domain names with misspellings of your brand name, which then redirect people to unrelated websites. Make sure to regularly check to see if any typosquatting has occurred so you can take the proper action against them.
9. Consider what top level domain you’ll be using: If you plan on marketing to a worldwide audience, using a “.com” top level domain is best. If, however, you will only be focussed on local markets, then you can use the country’s top level domain, for example “.co.uk”.
Recent changes have even allowed for new top level domain names to appear, for example “.hotel” or “.tv” so you may consider using one of these that is relevant to your industry. If your brand is big enough, you could even opt for brand domains, like “.google” or “.adidas”.
10. No trademark problems: Avoid using any trademarked names in your address. This is especially relevant to retailers who will sell many brands online.
With these tips, you’ll be able to create a web domain that’s perfect for your new website. Just keep in mind that you don’t actually own your domain name, you are just renting it, so make sure it doesn’t expire or you risk losing it to your competitors.
For more information on our digital services, please contact our web developers today.