Tips For Choosing A Good Domain Name
A domain name (or URL) is the human readable address of your website. It usually takes the form of (www.mywebsitename.co.uk) or similar. There are no right or wrong domain names, but some may be more successful than others. Here are a few tips to help you decide...
Short vs Long web address?
Generally speaking the key is whether your customer will remember your website address. Short website addresses are often easier to remember, but unless your organisation is commonly known by its initials (e.g. BBC or RSPCA) then going for something else is advisable.
Using a longer web address may also help your site to appear higher in the search engine rankings, especially if it contains some of the search terms that your customers might be searching for.
.com or .uk?
There are two major types of domain name in the UK. Top Level Domains like .COM, .NET or .ORG are international. This is reflected in the price because there is understandably more demand with domains starting from £13.50 a year.
UK domains include: .co.uk and .org.uk. They are intended for UK based companies and start from £10.00 for 2 years which is the minimum rental period.
There are no restrictions on who can register either type of domain, though a lot of the more obvious domain names have been registered already.
As long as your website looks professional, there is no reason why a choosing a .co.uk over a .com should affect your business and as we will discuss later, you can choose both.
Company Name vs Search Terms and Keywords
Your company name is the perfect choice for returning customers or personal referrals, but what are your other potential customers searching for? For some companies choosing a name which represents the products on sale is better than using the name of the company itself.
For example, a toy retailer in Devon, UK, may register the domain "toysindevon" instead of the actual company name.
It is important to do research into available domain names and into common search terms before using this approach. Google Adwords keyword search can be useful in deciding relevant search terms. (What is SEO?)
Multiple Domain Names?
You don't necessarily have to use just one domain name. You might consider setting up a second if:
- You find that your company / website name is often mis-spelled or pronounced.
- Your business has multiple key markets or appeals to different users. For example: www.tescodirect.co.uk - is Tesco's catalogue department, where as www.tescomobile.co.uk is used for sales of mobile phones.
- You want to make sure that your brand name is secure by purchasing all the variants of your web address (.com, .co.uk, .net etc...)
Domain names aren't expensive, costing between £13.50 a year for top level domains (.org, .net, .com) and £10.00 for 2 years for UK domains (.org,uk or .co.uk), so it's not unrealistic to purchase multiple domain names.
Purchasing more than one domain name doesn't necessarily mean having more than one web hosting package since one domain name can alias another.
However, Google doesn't like duplication and will ignore anything in its rankings that it sees as duplicate content. So if you choose to have a second web address make sure that you have good reason for doing so, like for inclusion in leaflet advertising where you need the customer to remember your web address. Secondary domain names can be used to forward customers to the domain your main domain name.
It is also possible to set up a second domain name for email. This can be especially useful if your main domain name is long and can help you keep emails short.
Need more advice?
To help you with your decision, you can use the domain look-up tool (at the bottom of this page) to see whether your domain is already being used and by whom.
If you would like to discuss selecting a domain name, please give Doive Designs a call or e-mail and we will happily run through ideas with you.