Domain names, what the heck are domain names?
Don’t panic, by the end of this, you should be fully clued up on domain names, what they are, how they work, how much they cost and how they can help your SEO!
Domain names are, in plain English the ‘bit that goes in the address bar’ when you or your visitors want to access your website, they’re a vanity address which means people don’t have to type in the complicated IP address to access your website.
We use domain names every single day and they come in a variety of different flavours.
If you’re starting a new business or launching a new website, it’s definitely worth taking some time to think about your domain name, after all, it has a massive impact on the web from things like click-through rate, search engine performance, web hosting, social media, bendability, offline advertising etc. etc.
The domain name you choose not only acts as an address for users to find you online it also plays a part in your overall brand and marketing on and offline.
Here are some things to stick to when choosing a domain:
Stick to Brand
Meaning what it says on the tin.
If your brand is ‘Brian’s Flowers’ try your hardest to go out and get something along the lines of briansflowers.co.uk.
If you can avoid using hyphens or ambiguous words or phrases.
These make your domains hard to remember and they can often look sloppy on things like Business Cards or social media.
Make sure it’s pronounceable
You might be thinking, why? Most people will be clicking on a link to get to my website?
It matters simply because of how people process things.
It’s a proven fact that we human beings have a strong bias toward things we can easily say and in turn, remember.
Make it easy to pronounce and people will more easily remember you.
Make it short but sweet
The famous saying rings true here, it’s not how long it is, it’s what you do with it… 😉
How long (or SHORT!) the domain is has a strong link to the human bias I mentioned above.
The fewer characters a domain name consists of, the easier it is to type, share and say!
It also doesn’t get shortened when sharing around on social media helping to keep the brand strong.
Shorter is better!
Bias towards .co.uk
If you’re a business in the UK then .co.uk is best practice.
Google associates a .co.uk domain with the UK and so it will help toward giving you a little lift in the search results, not much, but it will help!
If the .com domain is available then it’s always best to register this and then point it toward your .co.uk domain, this will automatically redirect people to your website if they type .com at the end of your domain instead of .co.uk.
Avoid keywords, they don’t work anymore
Not so long ago if you were starting a new flower business in Norwich you could go out and buy flowers-in-norwich.co.uk and get propelled to page 1 in no time.
In time, Google (and other search engines) have ditched this from their algorithms meaning that now having keywords in your domain make little to no impact on your SEO progress.
If you’re starting a new business then the best thing to do at the very start when brainstorming your company name is to have a look and see if a domain is available that matches.
Here at NINE2 we follow this process:
1. Find out the company name, let’s use ‘NINE2’ as an example.
2. Check if nine2.co.uk is available by using a domain checker.
3. If the .co.uk is available we’ll then go and look to see if the .com is available.
If a domain isn’t available, don’t panic! – There are ways…
It gets a little more complicated but, that’s where we can step in and lend a hand.
Get in touch with us if you’re having trouble getting hold of your ideal domain and we’ll put our expertise to the test to try and secure the name you’re longing for!
Until next time…