Deciding on a domain name is one of the most important decisions a company can make. A domain name is like a first impression – it hints at our age, culture, personality and style. Since domain names began they have been taking the cyber world by storm, flying off the shelves before we have time to click the “search” button which can make choosing a great business name overwhelming. So, we researched what makes a good domain name and how to choose the best for your business.
First, it’s important that we all understand what a domain name is. A domain name is a unique web address or URL for a particular website, for example our website is called Theimagefile but our domain name is www.theimagefile.com. As much as possible try to keep your domain name and your website name as similar as possible. It can become confusing for customers if your domain name is totally different to your website name.
Domain names can vary between three and sixty-seven characters. However for the best results try to choose a short name as it will be easier for visitors to remember. In the majority of cases, the shorter the domain name the better!
When dealing with websites and domain names you should keep in mind that it is not about what you as a company owner likes but what your visitors and customers are most likely to click on. Try to think of as many names as possible as when you start to register your domain name as some of your choices may be unavailable. This is fairly common nowadays, so the more unique and creative the domain name is the better chance you will have.
Remember to consider alternatives – it’s easy to misspell things while typing so consider whether your URL may cause problems – for example if your name is Bryan Wild you may consider “bryanwild.co.uk” or “b-wild.co.uk”. However make sure you check what the similar unavailable websites are hosting, for example bwild.co.uk might be showing graphic pornography! Also, consider buying a domain name that may be what your company provides rather than the company name for example Bryan Wild may be hosted on the domain name “bryanwildphotography.co.uk” or “bryanwildphotos.co.uk”.
Over the years domain name availability has become more and more scant so what about using hyphens? The benefits of choosing a domain name that has hyphens is that it is more likely to be available and helps to clearly separate multiple words in a domain name. This is great for search engines as each individual word can be picked up as a keyword thus helping with SEO. However, every search engine has a unique process sorting and listing domain names. Therefore, the get the most from SEO you should consider how your domain name choice affects site placement before you register the domain. On the other hand hyphens makes your domain name longer and therefore could make it harder to remember. If you do choose to leverage hyphens, limit the number of words between the hyphens to around three.
There are many top level domains still available today. If you are based in the United Kingdom and you client base is primarily here then the best domain you can buy is a .co.uk. You may want to also buy the .com version of you site purely so no one else can use it and any misspelt searches still go through to you.