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You might think it’s easy to pick a domain name – it should just be the name of your company, right? Possibly…but it’s not quite that straightforward. Getting your domain name just right can have a real impact on how successful your website will be. And getting it wrong could spell disaster.

Why does it matter?

Your domain name is like your calling card. Existing and potential customers will use it to find your website, and it should appear on all your communications and everywhere you have a presence, both off- and online. So you need to pick one that’s easy to remember and makes a good impression. But not only does your domain name define your brand, it will also affect the SEO of your website. By choosing a domain name that contains your most critical key words, you’ll be boosting your ranking.

What you need to consider

  • Make it memorable – generic website names are interchangeable, but you need yours to be unforgettable. Try to find something unique, that’s totally different from the domain names of your competitors, and pick a name that will have meaning to your target audience.
  • Keep it short – the most popular websites have short, snappy names that are easy to remember. There is a direct correlation between the number of letters in a domain name and the site’s popularity – the less letters the better.
  • Avoid hyphens, numbers and special characters – they’re too easy to mis-type – and pick a name that’s easy to spell.
  • Consider the future. If your domain name is too specific, you might get caught out if your business changes direction – think of Carphone Warehouse! Changing your domain name at some future point will not only cost you time and money, but could lose you regular visitors, so pick carefully.
  • Choose your domain extension with care. Nearly 80 percent of domain names are .com and this is still considered to be the best. Because it’s so ubiquitous, users will assume that your extension is .com, so it’s best to make life easy for them. Alternatives that might work include .net and .org, but otherwise, find a name for which .com is still available.

If you’re struggling to find exactly the right name, you could try to use a domain name generator to give you suggestions that aren’t already taken. Some will come up with names based on a word or a name you give them, and some will create names on the basis of keywords that are important to you. Furthermore, you’ll be able to search for similar keywords and expired domain names.

Still need more help with finding a name or registering your domain? Talk to us about domain names, hosting and web design – we’ll do all we can to get you online with the best possible name and the most creative website.

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