How to Choose a Domain for your Website
Posted 15 April 2015
Choosing the right domain for your website is such an important decision. Your domain – the web address used by your website – will play a key role in various aspects of your online presence. In fact, there are several reasons why a domain is so important. Some are obvious, and some you might not have been aware of.
Here’s a quick introduction to how to choose a domain for your website, with a few pitfalls to watch out for.
1. Choose the Best Fit for your Brand
The first and most obvious step is to choose a domain name that suits your business and matches your brand. There are various ways to do this. Sometimes it’s appropriate to shorted/abbreviate your trading name to make it easier for users to find you. Alternatively, you might choose a nickname. B&Q already have a very short name but by landing the diy.com domain name they’ve made it infinitely easier for people to find their website.
It’s also possible to use a good domain name to help shape your business. We’ve seen various businesses doing this in recent years. Companies such as Confused.com or Play.com are best known by their domain name. If you have the change to register a domain that is particularly catchy then it may be the right decision to shape your brand around that name. This is a great option if you’re starting out and still haven’t settled on key aspects of your branding – or if you’re going through a rebrand.
2. Invest in the Long Haul
You need to choose a domain that will work for your business in the long-term. This might caution you against going for something that’s too cheesy. Most businesses tend not to change their domain name too often, so it’s worth getting it right at the outset.
It’s also wise to register your domain for the longest period of time that you can manage. This will have a positive SEO effect because Google tend to attribute higher trust to sites that are clearly going to around for the long haul. It will also reduce the likelihood of your forgetting to re-register the domain and seeing a rival step in and take it from you.
3. Get the Right Domain Extension
There are so many domain extensions on the market today. Most businesses still attribute the greatest trust to the likes of .com, .co.uk and .org but it’s worth thinking carefully about what you’re looking for. It’s now possible to have a .london domain extension, for example.
International businesses tend to trust a .com domain. A charity is likely to be more winsome with a .org or .co.uk extension because it carries a less corporate feel. International businesses should consider having domains such as .fr that will reassure customers in the countries that you’re working into.
4. Choose Multiple Domains
You don’t simply have to choose one domain, of course. It’s often wise to purchase several variations. You can use one as your primary domain and redirect the others to this primary extension. If you change your mind – or want to diversify – it’s quick and easy to rearrange things as you already own the various domains.