How to choose a domain name
How to choose a domain name. Choosing a domain name is similar to choosing a trade name — it requires a lot of thought and consideration. Your domain name is the first thing your visitors will see. A good domain name (URL) can make a positive and lasting impression, while a bad domain name can send visitors away. Your URL is your identity on the web so you want to make sure you choose a domain name that not only fits your business or service, but is also easy to find and promote.
A few hints on how to choose a domain name.
1. Make it easy to type
Finding a domain name that’s easy to type is critical to online success. If you use slang (i instead of eye) or words with multiple spellings (foto vs. photo), it might be harder for customers to find your site.
2. Keep it short and memorable
Keep it easy to remember. If your domain name is long, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is the way to go. There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain, like fotoprints.co.uk, that’s catchy and memorable is essential.
Got a great idea for a domain? Register your name today and put a website out there before someone else beats you to it.
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3. Use keywords
Try using keywords that describe your content. For example, if you’re a bicycle repair business, you may want to register BicycleRepairs.com or BikeFix.com.
Include the keywords that people enter when searching for your products or services.
It helps improve search engine ranking to increase traffic. It will also make more sense to your customers.
4. Target your area
If your business is local, consider including your town or city in your domain name to make it easy for local customers to find and remember. Example: BristolBikeRepairs.com.
5. Avoid numbers and hyphens
Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood. People who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (2) or it’s spelled out (two, to or too). Or they misplace or forget the dash. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.
6. Research your chosen domain name
Make sure the name you’ve selected isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could result in a legal battle that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain.
7. Use an appropriate domain name extension
Extensions are suffixes, such as .com or .co.uk, at the end of web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that works for your business. The .com domain extension is far and away the most popular, but it can be hard to get a short and memorable .com domain name because it’s been around for so long.
Lots of new generic top-level domains, such as .photography, .design and .name, offer a great opportunity to register short and highly relevant names. However they may well cost more. Here are some other top extensions and how they’re often used:
.co : an abbreviation for company, commerce, and community.
.info : informational sites.
.net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites.
.org : non-commercial organisations and nonprofits.
.biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites.
.me : personal sites, blogs and cvs.
Tip: You don’t need to build a website for every domain. You can forward any additional domains to your primary website. Think about language translations of your domain and register those too if you are targeting other countries.
8. Protect and build your brand
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.
9. Be quick and act fast
Domain names sell quickly. Thankfully, they’re not so expensive as they used to be, so register your favorite domain names as soon as possible. If you’re having trouble finding an available name, domain registrars like 123-Reg may suggest alternate names during your domain search to help you find the best domain name(s) available. At the moment they have discount offers, as do One.com
Save on .co.uk and .COM domains at 123-Reg