choosing a domain name - Top 10 tips
If you are in the process of setting up your own business, you most likely will require a website at some stage. This will require a domain name.
It is extremely important to pick the best domain name for your business from the very start. If you chop and change later, a lot of time and money can be lost! Here are my 10 top tips for choosing a domain name.
1. Can’t decide?
Often, one can take forever to think of a domain name. You want to get it spot on and all the good ones you think of, are already taken. Why not have a look in the ‘thesaurus’ or ‘thesaurus online’ for inspiration? Or try an on line domain name generator like domain wheel, ‘bust a name‘ and ‘name mesh’.
2. Research the name
As soon as you think of a name, go no further than typing it into Google. This will tell you if it is available or not. Also check for similar names to your proposed one. You don’t want your domain name to be too similar to another domain name.
3. Use Keywords
Choose a domain name that includes a few of your top key words eg if your company is installing fencing and you work in the Surrey area, your domain name could be ‘Surrey Fencing’. This can boost your ranking on search engines and confirm to your visitors that you are indeed the company they are looking for. But be careful and avoid too many key words in the domain name or you may appear spammy to Google. As a result, Google may not trust you and give you a good ranking in search results.
4. Keep it short and simple
This will avoid people misspelling it. And perhaps make it easier to remember. Make sure the domain name is easy to pronounce and spell! I would recommend up to 15 characters. No more than 3 words.
5. Avoid numbers and hyphens
These are tricky as people may forget the dash if the name is hyphenated. Best to avoid numbers too as they can be confusing eg did he say ‘three’ or ‘3’. So avoid both. What about if you are telling others about your website – you will have to say ‘don’t forget the dash’ constantly. This can be tricky for radio interviews etc if you are lucky to be chosen.
6. Avoid double letters
This may reduce spelling mistakes and confusion. For example, a domain like ‘Dresssetup.com’ will be more prone to typos, and result in lost traffic.
7. Domain name extension
Choose a professional sounding extension eg .com or .co.uk. Avoid free domain name extensions. Consider getting all of the other popular TLDs (Top Level domains), eg .net and .org and then setting them to redirect to your main TLD.
8. Purchase your domain name
My advice here would be to buy your domain name from the same company that buy your hosting from. In the long run, this will mean less stress as you will have less log-ins and passwords to remember. If problems arise, you will only have one company to deal with, which will make your life easier!
I use SiteGround for my own website and for my client’s websites. They are one of the best companies around in terms of value for money, customer support and ease of use.
9. Leave room to grow
You may want to add more services and products to your business at a later stage. If you make and sell ‘earrings’, don’t call your domain name ‘fantasticearrings.com’ as you may well decide to add your necklace range to your website after a few years. Try not to be too specific too about areas eg Tooting Garden Design as you may want to expand and offer your services to other areas.
10. Auto-renew your domain name
This may seem like a small point but make sure that your name is set to auto-renew with the domain name provider. Otherwise if you don’t renew it, you won’t own it and it will go back into the pool of available name to buy. Someone else may buy it!