How To Choose The Best Domain Name For Your Website

Domain Names. How To Choose The Best One?

If you haven’t yet visited www.howtochoosethebestdomainnameintheworld.com, then good. Don’t. That website doesn’t exist.

If you are reading this, you probably have some kind of business that is in need of a website. This might also imply that your business could be classed as a “small business”, as no self-respecting multinational corporation would be caught dead without a website.

If you are in need of a good domain name but not sure how to go about it, hopefully this article can help…

What Is A Domain Name?

Strictly speaking, it’s your website’s address without all the www and https stuff at the beginning. Our website domain name, for example, is “dotgo.uk”.

How Do I Get One?

You can buy domain names from a myriad of web hosting companies. The cost is usually somewhere between six and ten pounds per year, depending on the company. If you’re in luck, your web hosting company will provide you with a free domain name that you can direct the world towards.

How Do I Choose My Domain Name?

First of all, there is the fact that before you decided to buy a domain name, others bought them too. If someone is starting a Karate website, they might think, “It’s a no-brainer, karate.com is the domain for me”. They search for their domain, and…darn…it’s taken.

Ideally you will type in your desired domain name and find it’s available for you to buy. You then grab it and cling to like a baby monkey on it’s mother’s back.

When choosing a domain name, you can either go the keyword route or the brand route. Sometimes the two can be combined…

The Keyword Route

This means your domain is based around keywords that your audience might be typing in to Google. If my business is called “Hercules”, and the business functions to sell a strength training programme, then “hercules.com” might not be the best domain name to choose…

Why? Two reasons…

  • Hercules.com will probably be taken. In fact it is. Famous Greek Gods are known for snatching up domain names as quickly as possible, and they usually keep them for eternity.
  • If someone is looking for a strength training programme, are they going to sit down and type in “Hercules” in Google? Probably not. Unless they are obsessed with mythology.

This would lead us down the keyword route…

The domain name “strengthtrainingprogramme.com” is actually available at the time of writing! This domain name is more keyword-friendly for the business, it describes the entire business in one fell swoop, and it is at the usual low price for a domain name. Perfect.

The Branding Route

This means your domain name is the same as the name of your business. For example, “apple.com” has nothing to do with fruit. They have not called it “laptopsforsale.com”. When a brand gets as big as this, their brand also becomes a keyword because it is so well known.

People know they want to look for Apple, so they type it in to Google. They get the best of both worlds

If your business is a smaller, local business, not currently aiming for global status, we tend to make a simple recommendation…

What You Do And Where You Do It

When Tony Fowler moved to Edinburgh to continue his plastering business, we knew that “tonyfowlerplaster.co.uk” was not the best move for his SEO (search engine optimisation) gains. Instead “plasterer-edinburgh.co.uk” became a far more Google-friendly domain name to get local people finding his website.

If my salon in Coulsdon is called “Hairfully Does It”, for SEO purposes I might be better off using the domain name “coulsdonsalon.co.uk” rather than “hairfullydoesit.co.uk”. The first is clearer, cleaner, and explains my business with an excellent keyphrase “Coulsdon Salon” which someone may well be typing in.

Should I Still Secure My Business Name?

There is no harm in also securing the domain “hairfullydoesit.co.uk”. For the sake of a few pounds, it might be worth it as your brand begins to build. You can even add this second domain name to your website so that both “coulsdonsalon.co.uk” and “hairfullydoesit.co.uk” point to the same website. More on multiple domain names to come soon on the blog…

Should I Use Hyphens?

You can, if it makes sense. Loads of hyphens are not usually great. They make you look like you might be a spammer. No one wants that, it’s a poor look.

Hyphens are particularly helpful if the domain name looks clumsy without it. For example, “electriciannorwich.co.uk” might be aided by a hypen for clarity and ease of reading: “electrian-norwich.co.uk”

.com? co.uk? .org? .agh!

Let’s make things simple

  • .co.uk is great for local, UK businesses looking to serve UK customers.
  • .com is for more global businesses looking to serve a multitude of countries.
  • .org is usually for charitable, non-profit or philanthropic efforts of an organisation.
  • .agh! is only for those individuals who are frustrated with the world of domain names, and seek to make their website visitors equally frustrated.

I Still Need Help…

Then feel free to get in touch with us. We are always happy to help, and if we build your website for you, we choose the best domain name possible for your business, and make sure you are just as happy as we are with it…