Oh yes, it’s me (Maddy 🙋♀️) back again to give you more handy dandy tips. This week I’m going to be talking about choosing a domain name for your business.
If you missed last week’s post, we talked about all things hosting with our guide on how to register for website hosting with SiteGround. If you’re a website newbie, you’ll want to pop over to that blog first as there’s a couple of things to consider before getting to this point – and then you’ll be ready to come back here and nail down the perfect domain name for your business.
Why is choosing a domain name so important?
Your domain name is the first impression someone has about your company. Choosing the wrong domain name can instantly affect your reputation and potentially discredit your hard work. Which one of these examples do you think says “you can buy cupcakes here”?
The first domain could be a recipe site or dessert blog or who knows? The second example starts to paint the picture of cupcakes being baked by Maddy, great! It says who and what, and people will be more inclined to click on your domain if they can see the bigger picture.
1. .com or .co.uk?
What is the difference between .com and .co.uk, and which one should I use for my domain?
.com is international (not dedicated to one country)
.co.uk identifies businesses in the UK or businesses that trade in the UK
If your client/customer base is predominantly in the UK, I would suggest using .co.uk.
There are over 800 domain extensions and different ones for different countries. In recent times, there has been an increase of other extensions like .studio or .company in use – try to avoid these as they’re often labelled as spam – the last thing you want is your carefully crafted proposal ending up in the junk box!
2. Relevance when choosing a domain
The most relevant domain name you could use is your company name.
If you are unable to use your company name for one reason or another, consider using words relevant to your industry. Are you are still looking for those cupcakes? Let’s say you come across a website with the domain icecreamworld.com, you probably won’t visit this site because this business obviously specialises in ice cream, and not cupcakes. Anyone hungry?
THB Tip: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important to consider when choosing your domain name. What are your keywords? In this example, my keyword would be cupcake. Having your keyword in your domain helps search engines find you.
3. Domain availability
But Maddy how do I know if the website domain I want is available?
Have you heard of Name_Chk? This handy tool will check if the domain you want is available to purchase, and it will check social media for you too! So, you can check if the domain is available and if the same name is then transferrable as a username across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter etc. too.
Unless it’s unavoidable, it’s a good idea to keep your domain/usernames the same across all of your platforms, so people can easily find you without confusion (or accidentally giving someone else the credit for your work).
4. Length of the domain
While keeping relevance in mind, consider the length of your domain name.
Thinking about cupcakes again, a bad example would be cupcakelandbymaddyinmanchester2020.com. It’s confusing to read, hard to remember and will make your designer’s job so much harder when they need to try and squeeze your long website domain onto a business card!
5. Simplicity of the domain
Keep it simple! You want people to remember your website, have a good user experience and come back to see you again at a later date. Overcomplicating things will make life more difficult than it needs to be. Stay simple, snappy, memorable when choosing a domain.
Things you should avoid when choosing a domain
- Misspelling, sounds crazy right? But it happens. Make sure your domain is 100% correct before buying it.
- Special characters and numbers. Avoid them, it’s said that a domain that has either in is less reliable.
- Words that sound the same but can be written differently (like their and there). You’ll soon get fed-up of spelling it out over the phone!
- Trademark! Watch out for trademarks. Tell me you’ve seen Joe Lycett’s I’ve Got Your Back? If you haven’t here is a funny example of why you need to be careful with trademark.
Choosing a Domain Name for Your Business – Key takeaways
- Choose your extension, .com or .co.uk?
- Confirm the relevance of words and phrases
- Check the availability of the domain you want
- Make sure your domain isn’t too long
- Check your domain is simple and memorable
- Double-triple check all spellings and avoid special characters
- Check for Trademarks
- Purchase your domain!
After carefully choosing your domain name you are ready to purchase a license, you can learn how to do this with our guide on how to register for website hosting with SiteGround.
Let us know how you get on choosing your domain in the comments!
P.S. If you learned something let us know in the comments!!