Choosing the right domain name
Tips for choosing your domain
Choosing your domain name is an important decision and one to get right, as it can be costly to change later on when you have all your sales collateral printed. So here are 8 tips to make choosing your domain easier:
If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is also easier to remember.
There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain that’s catchy and memorable is essential. Once you’ve come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.
Having your website confused with a popular site already owned by someone else is a recipe for disaster.
So don’t choose domains that are simply the plural, hyphenated or misspelled version of an already established domain. Even after years of branding, Flickr desperately needed Flicker.com (which they did eventually buy). When people told their friends and family to find photos on Flickr, the pronunciation vs. spelling issue sent many to the wrong place.
Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood — people who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.
Once your site is built you’ll be trying to get it in the search engines so save yourself some trouble now and use keywords in your domain choice.
A keyword is a word or short phrase you expect people to be searching for when searching for your products or services.
For example Bob The Builder is a builder based in Nelson New Zealand so we may expect people to search for “builder”, “builder nelson”, “builder nz” or something like that. A good domain from a search engine point of view would therefore be something like bobthebuilder.co.nz or nelsonbuilder.co.nz or bobbuildernelson.co.nz
Having keywords in your domain improves your rank on search engines (which increases traffic) and just makes more sense to your customers.
Choose a domain that clearly represents your brand or business activity. For example if your business is called Bob The Builder Ltd and based in New Zealand then perhaps something like:
To protect your brand, you should purchase various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it.
There is no technical reason for having multiple domains, in fact multiple domains pointing to the same place is a bad thing for search engines, but preventing others from using variants of your domain can save a lot of hassle later.
Don’t rush the process of choosing a domain but once you’ve decided act fast as domains sell very quickly.
Thankfully, they’re also inexpensive, so register your favourite domain names as soon as possible. If you’re having trouble finding an available name then use our domain tool to search for varients.