Choosing the correct domain name is a daunting task for new business owners. Once you have chosen one it is unlikely that you will want to change it, as you will have to redo all your other marketing communications where it is printed.
Here are a few of the things that you will want to think about when you choose your domain name:
Brand name or descriptive?
Some businesses want to use their brand name as their URL address, other businesses want to have a more descriptive URL name, with the sector and the location to help push the website up the search engine rankings. What you decide on will depend on what type of brand message you want to push.
Google is paying less and less attention to the main domain name for search engine rankings. It used to be that the URL had a very high influence over where you ranked in Google, but that is not as true any more, as Google has adapted its algorithms to give less emphasis on the domain name. However, some businesses want to make it very clear exactly what they do and where they are in order to attract more customers.
Using your brand name is good for businesses that want to build a strong brand and want to be recognised. It will make it easier for customers who want to find out more about you if you use your brand name as this is what they are likely to search for.
What if it’s taken?
If your brand name URL has been taken already then you will want to make a small adaptation. This could involve changing the ending, from .co.uk to .com etc, or you may want to add in the location or sector. If your brand name is two words then you could use a hyphen in the middle. It is best to keep the domain name short, so you will need to think carefully about what adaptation you use. It is best not to pick something very similar to a popular and established company in the same sector as you.
.com or .co.uk?
Technically whether you go for .com or for .co.uk makes no difference at all. .co.uk is good if you are a local company with no intention of going international as it emphasises your local status. .com is more neutral and is recommended if you do want to operate internationally. You may want to buy both if they are available and have your website developers set up a 301 redirect to the main site.
Take some time to think about the options available. Remember to make everything as simple as possible for your customers so they remember you and can find you when they need to.