Choosing Your First Website Address
The domain name is right at the core of your presence on the internet and should be the first priority in establishing yourself online.
The internet is a busy and highly populated highway and making a mistake and choosing a poor website address can weaken your power online and make it hard for customers to remember you.
Here are handy tips to help you choose a domain name that will work well for you.
A handy tip is to register the shortest name that your visitors will associate with your website. People need to easily be able to type it into their browser so a memorable and concise web address is the best way to start your business on the internet.
Unfortunately 99% of words in the English language are already registered so being concise is much more difficult now. You need to be creative with it.
If your business has a web address that has no relevance to your website content or is an obscure name, there will be large numbers of people who may be struggling to remember your web address and even more who might pass by in preference of another website with a more relevant name. Your name should relate to the business you are in.
Search engines also prefer meaningful names for example; someone looking for a printer in Stoke may search for “printers in stoke” and would be more likely to find and click on the website: www.stokeprinters.co.uk than www.thegiantfrog.co.uk (Or any other random web address a printer may have!)
Avoid Duplicate Names
A great tip for choosing a domain is to avoid names that a registered company is already using, especially if that company happens to be a large corporation. You will either end up with a website that is under shadowed by the alternative business or you will end up with a lot of customers bouncing away from your website after confusing your site for the original businesses website.
Also remember if you attempt to copy a very large company’s website address, they don’t buy it off you now. They call their lawyers!
If you have a really good domain name in mind and you find out that it is available to purchase, go ahead and purchase it!
Don’t be the person that is left with a domain name that no one else wanted because of hesitation on your initial idea. If you decide not to use it, you can easily cancel it again.
It can always be handy to register all forms of your web address in .co.uk & .com versions and any others you feel could be targets.
This prevents any copycat websites trying to claim your traffic in the search engines. All your registered names can point to the same web address as well.
The web address that you think will push your company to the next level may be simply too obscure, hard to remember or too hard to spell. Get some feedback from your customers and friends to see what they think.
This blog is written by Paul Nimmo, a freelance website designer and photographer based in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.
Click to find out more about my design & photography services.