Choosing a Domain for your Business
Internet marketing campaigns start with your domain name; it’s what everyone will remember and what all of your marketing will be branded around. Therefore it’s really important that you spend time choosing a solid, suitable domain name for your business.
In this lesson, we’ll discuss the most important factors of choosing a domain name and what things to look out for.
Keeping it Simple
If you already run an offline business than the easiest solution is to register the .com or .co.uk version of your business name. For example, if your business is called “Johns Bike Shop” than you might want to register JohnsBikes.com or JohnsBikeShop.com.
The advantage of choosing a simple domain around your business name is that it’ll be easier for your customers to find you online. It will also add synergy for your offline and online business. For example, if your corporate name is ARG Media and you have the website name ARGMedia.co.uk then it will look nicer on your business card. You can also use the same logo/style for your business name and website address.
If on the other hand you’re starting a new online business from scratch than you’ll have to spend more time researching and choosing a suitable name.
Where to Register your Domain?
From my personal experience the best places to register your domain are Godaddy.com (the largest domain registrar in the world) or NameCheap.com.
Both these sites provide excellent customer support with .com domain registrations from just £6.99 per year and .co.uk domain registrations from only £2.99 per year.
When registering a domain, feel free to skip the steps that ask if you want who.is guard protection or other add-ons such as email. This is irrelevant for most businesses and can be done at a later stage if needed.
Using Keywords in the Domain
Having at least one relevant keyword in your domain helps promote the relevance of your business and also helps a great deal in SEO.
For example, if you sell bikes and your site is called JohnsBikeShop.com than users searching for bikes in Google will be more likely to click on your site in the search results, since your name matches their query. Domains that contain your main keywords also help search engines understand the nature of your site, which helps to promote your rankings for your keywords. It’s one reason why a site such as SheffieldDentist.co.uk ranks no.1 for “sheffield dentist” in Google.co.uk.
Short and Memorable
Shorter domains are more memorable and easier to type into your browser than longer domains with multiple words. For example, Bikes.com, CheapFlights.co.uk and Facebook.com are all instantly recognizable brands.
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend having anymore than 2-3 words in the domain name. For example, if you’re develop a travel site than something like TravelNGo.com or GoTravel.com sounds better than TravelAbroadOnline.com or “CompareOnlineTravelDeals.com.
Like I said, shorter domains are more brandable and more easily recognizable, which helps with customer’s referrals and customers coming back to you. It’s also much easier to use shorter domains on advertising materials such as banners, logos and print design.
Choosing the Right Domain Extension
Choosing the right domain extension is equally as important as the brand name itself. The domain extension is the bit to the right of the brand (e.g.. .com, .co.uk, .org.uk, .de etc).
Your top priority is always to choose the no.1 business extension in your country. This is what users will be most familiar with, and it’ll help a lot when marketing your site online. For example, if your company is called Smithfields Ltd than Smithfields.co.uk will be far more recognisable and easier to market than Smithfields.org.uk or Smithfields.org.
What if the .com or .co.uk Extension is Already Taken?
If you run an international business than your priority is to choose the .com extension for your brand. If this is already taken, other Top-Level Domain Extensions (TLDs) such as .net, .co or .org may suffice. However, be warned that develop a site on a .net, .org or .co domain can lead to traffic loss to the site on the .com domain. For example, you can read how Overstock’s decision to rebrand from Overstock.com to O.co led to a 61% traffic loss to O.com.
Buying a Domain on the Aftermarket
Nowadays, you’ll find that most of the premium .com and .co.uk domains will already be taken, which means it’s unlikely you’ll be able to register and develop the first domain that you’ve thought of.
However, it’s possible that you can still acquire the domain from the owner if it’s not already in use. In order to see if a domain is available for sale, you can