What do I call my website?

You may already have some ideas on what name to use to represent your business online. Perhaps your business already has a brand name which you would like to use. If not, here are some tips to help you decide. Remember that although it is possible to change your website name at any time, it takes many years to build up an internet presence using a particular name, so making a good choice from the start is the best approach.

Domain Extensions?

Before thinking about the name, you need to decide on the domain extension. This is the .com or .co.uk part which you type at the end of a URL. What is the difference? .com represents commercial
and is probably the most used extension on the internet today. In fact, it is so widely used that the “commercial” aspect of the name has now been lost.

However, if your business targets clients mainly in the UK, then it could be well worth using a .co.uk extension. .co.uk is specific to the UK so in a Google search, it may be given preference to other extensions if the searcher is searching from a UK IP address.

Recently, even more domain name extension have become available. You can now chose subject specific names, related to your business, from .accountants through .rentals to .yogo.

Perhaps if mybusiness.com and mybusiness.co.uk are already taken, then one of these other extension could be used. Be careful though, not to infringe on the name rights of another business. The owner of a rental property myproperty.co.uk might not be too happy if you start trading under myproperty.rentals, especially if the name is very closely linked to the particular business.

Choosing your Name

This is the tricky part, which is probably why you are reading this in the first place. The best domain names are short and easy to remember but might not always be the best choice for a small business. A short name must represent a brand and that brand needs work and lots of money to make it known. You make think www.tinga.com is a catchy, easy to remember name for your business but without expensive promotion, it’s unlikely to ever appear in a search result.
If, however, you have few million to invest, then tinga.com could be the next Google, the next Nike or even the next Apple.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Use relevant keywords
    Try to include keywords which may be used in a search for your business. For example the website name for a holiday rental property would have an advantage if the location was part of the name.
  • Easy to remember
    Even if people can’t remember your exact URL, they remember part of the name and enter this into Google to find your site.
  • Keep it short
    After about 3 words, people will forget the name but avoid using abbreviations.
  • Consider hyphens for readability
    Hypens can be used to make a name more readable, especially if two words are joined by vowels.

 

And some things to avoid:

  • Use numbers unless very relevant
    You may have a Gmail address of sexydude78363 but don’t do this for a domain name.
  • Copy names from existing businesses
    You may be able to register nike.rentals but “Just don’t do it!”
  • Be scammed
    If you’re not sure how to buy a domain name, let someone else show you or do it on your behalf. There are many scammers out there.
  • Be to hasty
    Think carefully about your choices. See what is available. Search for similar business and determine how your new domain name would fit in with these search results.
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