One of the first, and some might argue one of the most important, decisions you’ll make when you start a business or a blog is choosing a name. This isn’t just selecting the name of your business, it is also selecting your chosen domain name.
Selecting a domain name can throw up some issues, some of which you might not even think of. Most companies choose a domain name which is the same as your business name. At first you’ll need to make sure that it’s available (and in most instances, it’s not) then you need to ensure it sounds good both with and without the ‘dot com’ at the end. Another vital point is to ensure the domain name is simple, easy to spell and of course, easy to remember!
Here at Designbury we want to support you with every step creating your business. We’ve put together a few rules for you to remember to help you in choosing the right domain name for you and your business.
Stick to .com
More often than not, when you tell people your domain name they may remember the URL but not necessarily the ending. This means that by picking something such as .net or .info you could be missing out on valuable site visits when customers automatically type .com and end up landing instead on your competitor’s website instead. That’s right, if you’re using a .net or .info, chances are the domain name under .com is already taken!
That said, if you’re purely a web-based business that only expects your customers to reach your site on clicking through via a search engine then a .net might work for you. Other than this situation it is always preferable to go for .com. It is also important to note that .co.uk is definitely starting to become popular so if you’re a business that is strict to the UK then a .co.uk domain would be perfect for you.
It is important to avoid hyphens in your domain name as the majority of people will simply forget to use them. They also makes your URL harder to say and therefore harder to recall. It is also for this reason that you should think long and hard before using numbers and / or symbols in your domain name.
Do you want a long or a short URL?
This is an important question and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You’d be forgiven for thinking that shorter domain names are better. After all, a short URL is usually easier to remember and therefore will have more visibility. However, there are very few short names available these days, so there’s little choice but to choose a long one. Some might think that is a set back and could cause problems further down the line, but is that really the case?
It’s important to realise that short URLs can be just as difficult to remember as long URLs. For example: “directtravel.com” could be confusing for some because of the double “t” side by side. Long domain names can be beneficial as it gives you the option of having a keyword in the domain itself (which always helps in search engines!)
At Designbury, we suggest you try and come up with the domain name that is likely to be the least confusing for your customers. Having a simple and easy to remember name is much more important than sacrificing any of that to make sure it’s a short one! Just make sure that it’s simple enough to avoid common misspellings and errors.
Check for double meanings
You’ve probably heard of this site before as it’s most commonly used as an example to stop other companies making the same mistake. A website that was primarily used to list representatives and agents of celebrities became a common joke (and warning) amongst writers. The website “Who Represents” has the domain www.whorepresents.com. I doesn’t need a second look to see how the name can be misconstrued in a way that’s not beneficial to the brand.
Of course no one wants the same thing to happen to them. So before you purchase your domain, have a few colleagues take a look at it to see that there isn’t something obvious that’s escaped your attention.
Research the name
It sounds obvious, but be sure to run the potential name of your business and the URL through Google to check that it isn’t being used by another business. You want to protect yourself legally, but you also want to ensure that your brand name doesn’t already have an existing history that could negatively impact you.
And it really is as simple as that! Pick, promote and make your business shine.
If you need any further support on how to choose the right domain name for your business get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.