Choosing a Domain Name
When you start a business and make that large leap to go online, choosing a suitable domain name can be daunting at the best of times. With so many businesses on the web, your 1st preferred choice (to match your business name) has properly already been taken… very frustrating to say the least.
At this stage, businesses tend to “hyphenate” (joe-blogs.co.uk) or “abbreviate” (jb.co.uk) the business name but may find many of these choices are also taken. Another option, should your preferred choice be taken, is to add the district to the domain name (joebloggslondon.co.uk for example).
The whole process of getting a suitable name can be frustrating but necessary to get yourself online. Once a suitable name is selected, your thinking then goes on to “which type of domain name do you choose”.
Domain Name Types
Having eventually found (or settled on) the domain name, your next obstacle is, do you go for a “.co.uk”, “.com”, or a “.net” etc.
Website Domain choices are important.
Choosing the right domain name is important for your business, especially if you are a new start-up business. A wrong choice CAN greatly impede your chances of success.
Your domain name will represent your business online, it contributes to your search engine ranking and therefore your ranking performance on Google, Bing etc.
Do you need to use your business name in the domain name?
Some years ago it was very important to have keywords reflective of your business in the domain name, For example, A Builder based in London who’s core business is home extensions could have opted for www.londonbuilderextensions.co.uk. In search terms, this carries keywords of “london”, “builder” and “extensions” in the domain. Such Domain Names are referred to as “Keyword Rich Domains”
There was a time when search engines placed priority on keyword rich domains, they were very important in influencing search results. Today however, keyword rich domain place far less importance in search engines and search results.
So what do I need to do?
Google strongly favours other factors over domain names, such as website content, site structure, user experience, ease of use and fresh regular content.
An “old” rule of thumb when choosing a “.co.uk” or “.com” etc, was based on the following.
“.co.uk” – your business is targeting a UK customer base
“.com” – This domain is deemed as an international domain and which may portray your company as a global business.
With the increase of businesses going online, new names are being released all the time (“.net”, “.biz”, “.online” etc), therefore, no relevance is placed on the old rule of thumb anymore.
It’s worth knowing that Nominet are the Official registry for .UK domain names. Their website is a great source of information (and services) with regard to domain names.