What’s in a domain name? It could be the difference between a great brand and a healthy SEO, or a struggling business identity and unimpressive search engine results.
Here are our 5 golden rules for getting the best domain name to help drive your SEO:
Make it sound like a brand
It’s easy to fall into the trap of using generic keywords, hyphens, or numbers in a domain name. Generic keywords are actually quite difficult to remember. According to a number of SEO experts, those businesses who have chosen them have tended to see a downward movement in the search engine results.
You need a memorable name.
It’s far better to choose a name which sounds like a brand, something unique to your business.
There are a number of things to consider: What does your business stand for? What sort of customers do you want to attract? How will the name fit with your visuals?
One great branded domain is chef-prepared meals company Freshly https://www.freshly.com/
Make it trip off the tongue
If your domain is unpronounceable, that means confusion. People might mis-spell it and give up, or visit another, similar domain by mistake.
You’ll be explaining it in telephone conversations for years to come if it isn’t readily pronounceable.
This domain from electrical retailer Best Buy is very SEO-friendly – picking up search hits from a number of longtail keywords: http://www.bestbuy.com/
Shorter is better
Generally, the shorter a domain name the easier it is to say, type, and remember. The less it will be shortened when it’s shared on social media or in search engine results. It’s important not to make it so short that it loses brand identity, though. A string of initials isn’t often memorable, for example.
Check out this domain from business integration company Red Ant: https://www.redant.com/
To .com or to .co.uk? That’s the question
Most people would suggest that you buy both domains for your chosen name, if they are available. Whichever one you choose to use as your main domain, you don’t want your competition snapping up the other and causing your customers some confusion.
There are many other top level domains (TLDs) out there like .biz and .net, and country TLDs like .wales. If you have a shot at one of the .com and .co.uk domains in your name, take it. They are still the most trusted domains for UK businesses. The .co.uk TLD locates your business in the UK, and some clients are looking for that as a requirement in securing their custom.
Avoid confusion with an existing domain or trademark
If there is any potential confusion, it’s worth checking with a trademark lawyer on this. The legal decision isn’t down to whether you or your customers might feel there’s some confusion, it’s down to the decision of a judge. It’s far better to avoid such confusion and a potentially costly legal case at some point in the future.
It’s also bad for your brand to be confused with another brand over which you have no control.
If your business name isn’t available in your preferred TLD, try adding ‘the’ ahead of it, or extending it with another word or phrase. A restaurant could use ‘eatat….’, a fashion store ‘fashionat….’
Need some help? Check out sites like http://www.domainhole.com/