How Not To Choose A Domain Name
Choosing a domain name for your business website is one of the most important tasks to establishing your online presence. It’s your web address and some thought should be put into choosing it.
Don’t do what I did!
I didn’t think too much when I bought mylocalbusinessonline.co.uk. I didn’t even know what to call my business and that phrase came up in conversation as I was starting my EMA mentoring.
I was asked what I was going to call the business. I said I was struggling with a name followed by, “If I was confused how to get my local business online, I’d want someone to talk to.” My Local Business Online was written down as a working name until I could think of something better! Well, regular readers will know, I’m not great on names…
I bought the domain as a commitment to myself to keep moving forward. Later, I discovered that there is a mylocalbusinessonline.com and a localbusinessonline.co.uk. Not an ideal situation, but it stuck and has grown on me as time goes on.
Choosing a domain name
If you have an established business, it goes without saying to buy your business name – even if you don’t plan to use it online. I would also suggest you buy the .com as well as the .co.uk (or other country level domain if you don’t live in the UK). Multiple domains can be redirected to your website.
Decide whether you want a brand based domain, a keyword based domain or a combination of the two.
They all have their merits. However, keyword based domains have traditionally tended to be easier to rank. Google recently made changes to their algorithim so that exact match domains aren’t quite as powerful.
For example, let’s say your business is a hairdresser called Cut For You
- Brand/business domain would be cutforyou.co.uk
- Keyword based domain could be cityhairdresser.co.uk
- A combination could be cutforyoucity.co.uk or cutforyouhairdresser.co.uk
There are several things you do need to consider, not least the usability of the domain name. As a local business, you will be saying your web address over the phone or at meetings. Make it easy and avoid overly long names and hyphens.
You want people to remember your domain name
- avoid hyphens and text speak e.g cut4u.co.uk
- choose a common extension such as .co.uk or .com
- try to keep the domain short
What’s in a name?
You want to be remembered for the right reason. Do get someone to review your domain name before you buy it because you may not spot what is glaringly obvious to someone else. The video below is from an episode QI – let it be a wise lesson 🙂Choosing a Domain Name for Your Local Business Website by Jan Kearney