Karen | 14 Oct 2021
Picking a domain name can be difficult, especially with most of the short and easy-to-remember ones now gone. Some new businesses are now opting to find an available domain name and then naming their company after it. Your domain name doesn’t necessarily have to be named after your company though, take B&Q for example, diy.com is their domain name.
Having a keyword in the domain can aid in the relevancy of a user’s search to that website’s result and improve the click-through rate provided It didn’t sound really spammy.
Here are a few things to consider when picking your domain name:
- A short domain name will be easier to remember, providing it is meaningful. Initialisms should be avoided as sequences of letters are harder to remember and type than words.
- Hyphens should be avoided as these will make the name more difficult to remember and tricky to type. It’s too easy to get the hyphens in the wrong place, or mixed up with underscores. This will mean that visitors will not reach your site, or even worse, will get to one of your competitors’ websites instead.
- Don’t include numbers in your domain name. If you have to say your domain name to somebody, rather than write it down, it won’t be clear whether you need the numeral or to spell out the number.
- Avoid homophones and words that are notoriously difficult to spell.
- Think about how easy it is to say your domain name. You don’t want to have to spell out every word each time you give somebody the address. Be careful of using plurals of words too. If somebody misses off the ‘s’ they won’t get to your website.
- Check what it looks like when written down and ensure it cannot be mispronounced or misread.
Top Level Domain Names
A Top Level Domain (TLD) is the last part of the domain name. For example, the .com / .net / .org / .co.uk part. When you register a domain name, you will need to select which TLD you want. There is no need to confine your choice to a single TLD. With domain registration fees being so cheap, it makes sense to register the .com, .co.uk, as well as any other available TLD versions of your desired domain name. It is good practice to select one to serve as the primary website address – the other domain names can then redirect to this main domain name.
If you are in the UK and running a local business, then you should consider registering the .co.uk domain name (or the equivalent country code TLD for your country of residence). Your local UK visitors will be reassured that they are dealing with somebody in their own country. You can even go super local now because some cities have their own TLDs, for example you can have .london or .paris.
A .com domain name suggests an international site. This is a good one to have if you are hoping to do more international business or even if you just want to make your company look bigger. People are most used to seeing .com and will perhaps default to typing it when visiting a website address.
There are now a whole range of new TLDs available and if there is one that fits your industry like .shop or .club then these are a very good choice for getting a unique and descriptive website address. These are especially beneficial if you want your business to look modern and tech-savvy.
TLDs are helpful for coming up in the search for that country i.e. if you have a .de website you are more likely to rank in German Google over having a .fr or .can domain.
There are certain TLDs that should be avoided as they’ve been absolutely rinsed over the years and are now just seen as spammy (they’re usually part of crooked link networks etc) – a few of these are .biz .info .review. However the quirkier ones are fine, things like .io or .tech are actually trending now for tech companies – it’s advisable to be sector specific when picking a more “quirky” TLD. Moral of the story – do research before picking something outside of the ordinary country codes!
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