Companies like Pebble know what they are talking about when it comes to domain names, this is expected as this is the world we operate in but we appreciate that some people need some guidance, this short post will explain what to look out for when choosing a domain name with some simple Do's & Don'ts
What Extension Should I Go For - .com or .co.uk ?
This is very simple, if you are a local business in the UK you should buy the .co.uk domain name. As an example, if you are a plumber, dentist, builder etc and you do all your business in the UK then you don't need a .com domain. You are not going to get any extra weighting off Google for this.
If you are a business that will look to trade abroad or are building a global brand then you would buy a .com domain name. In fact, it wouldn't hurt to buy them both if this is the case.
Should I Use Keywords In My Domain Name?
Back in the day, before Google got really good at what it does, you used to be able to put a sub-standard website online within minutes, buy a domain like www.best-black-toasters-in-the-world.co.uk and you would dominate Page 1 because you had an exact/partial domain name match (the strongest search metric). It didn't matter if you sold the best black toasters, or toasters for that matter.
Thankfully these days it is a lot better, less focus is placed on the domain and more to do with other metrics around search, including social metrics (Google learns a lot about your business without you knowing) and content on your website.
That said, if you are a genuine business selling toasters there is nothing wrong with having toasters in your domain name (you may be limiting yourself from a business perspective though). A better angle might be: www.thetoastercentre.co.uk - We can agree it looks a lot nicer and more importantly, if a user sees this domain name in the search results they know what they are clicking on.
Things You Should Avoid When Picking A Domain Name
You should avoid have numbers in your domain name unless you are promoting a huge brand (e.g. office365.com), it has now become quite obvious in recent years this just confuses the user, a good example of this is, let's say you have a small hairdressers called "Studio 7 Hairdressers" - you can imagine that your user may not know if they are searching for www.studio7hairdressers.co.uk or www.studiosevenhairdressers.co.uk or even www.studio7evenhairdressers.co.uk
I think you can see what we are getting at, also, another thing to avoid is mis-spellings in a domain name, you can rely on Google to sort out domain name mis-spellings and get users pointing in the right direction. You just need to ensure you are using the correct spelling for your business.
Keep It Short - Keep It Memorable
We have a golden rule with domains, keep them less than 15 characters if possible, that doesn't include the www or the .co.uk part. The most important thing when choosing a domain name is to just keep it simple, don't try and trick or fool anyone (especially Google) and think of your customers or potential customers.
It is highly unlikely you will find any domain names that are extremely short in length. They have been long since snapped up but there are still a few out there if you know where to look. To test this theory, think of the biggest companies in the world and ask yourself how many of them contain more than 15 characters.
We hope that this post has provided you some useful tips. For more information about domain names you can call us on 01733 902070 or email us via our contact form.