So you’ve decided to put your New Year’s resolution into action. Buy the domain name and set up that business you’ve always day-dreamed about. It’ll start off small, but you know how quickly it will grow, who wouldn’t want to buy what you’re selling, right?
The market is huge, the world is your oyster, all you need to do is get yourself out there, on the internet, get yourself seen, promote your website. Wait. You’ve forgotten something. One of the most fundamental things when setting up your business; its name. Or more importantly; its domain name. Your business name has no value if you can’t register it as a domain name. Here’s my top tips to choosing the perfect domain name:
Match your brand – your domain name should match your brand name. If that domain name isn’t available you should re-think your brand name.
Keep it short and sweet – the shorter the better. Enough said.
Characters are key – you can only use letters, numbers and hyphens, no spaces or symbols and domain names always appear in lower case.
Protect your name – register several different domain name extensions – ‘name.co.uk’ ‘name.com’ ‘name.org.uk’ that way, no one else can buy them and capitalise on your success.
Go with .COM – If you can only afford to register one domain name, choose .COM it is the most popular extension by far and people will often type this ending by default if they are searching for your website, why confuse them with a lesser-known extension?
Social Media Savvy – Check you can register your domain name on social media sites too – you need to use the same name on your website, blog and social media sites – it integrates your brand, looks more professional and is going to help make you more memorable.
Easy to say and spell – Choose a name with only one possible spelling and avoid complex, hard-to-spell, or clever words. You don’t want people to have to think too hard about how to spell your domain name. They’re more likely to remember and share if it’s easy.
Avoid hyphens – it sounds so much smoother to recite a web address without using the word ‘hyphen’ in the middle. WWW.my HYPHEN great HYPHEN business DOT com.
Give it room to grow – if your domain name is too specific, it could hinder you expanding into other areas later on, e.g. instead of historybooks.com, try books.com.
Cost – You shouldn’t have to pay any more than £4.49 per year for a .co.uk or £9.49 per year for a .com (prices excluding vat)