How to choose a good domain
December 28, 2019
So before even setting up your business, you may have considered what to call your new enterprise. You may have inherited an established company or work for a business which happened to be set-up before the internet was a big thing, and you are now looking to branch out online. Whatever your reasons for building a new website as with most things online, you need to start with a suitable name that is easy to remember and importantly represents your new project in a positive light.
So to help you find that perfect domain name for your new project, I have included a few helpful pointers below which should set you in the right direction.
Which comes first?
If you are in a lucky position to be registering a new domain as part of a new startup, you will have an easier job than trying to purchase your company name after because it is highly likely that your perfect matching domain will already be registered. However, don’t fear if you have an established name as I still have some suggestions to come.
When you have a new project, you should include the domain name registration as part of the business naming process. There are several tools available online which I will list later to help speed up your domain search; I often find having a matching domain helps narrow down possible options for what to call a new website.
When selecting a domain name for your new website it is always worth remembering that it is highly likely that you will be repeating this web address several times a day, you want something which matches the following criteria;
Easy to pronounce; if like me, you have difficulty in pronouncing R and Ws don’t call your new domain name ReallyRockingWebsites.com as it will lead to much confusion.
Avoid hyphens; imagine how many times you will need to tell people ‘don’t forget the hyphen’ when they fail to find your website.
Think hard before including service name in your domain; I have seen so many companies which start out offering one service and then pivot or branch out. For example, imagine a window cleaning business which takes on gutter cleaning, a logical upsell right! If the business owner trades using the domain name TopWindowCleaner.com (which seems quite nifty at first) and then starts to offer gutter cleaning, we now have domain name confusion. Maybe a better title would have been TopCleaningServices.com.
Domain dott whatever; so you may have seen that you can now register lots of different domain extensions. This means that you can register .co, .eco, .app, .xyz etc. There are over 2000 different domain extensions on the market but unless you are in a specialised niche where it is normal for your business colleagues to use for example .co then you are entering untested territory and let’s face it if you are looking to generate lots of enquires or sell online, educating visitors about your new cool dott whatever domain extension will be low in your list of priorities so I always suggest sticking with tested domain name extensions such as .uk (org.uk, co.uk) or .com depending on your audience.
Go local or world-wide? If you are targeting UK based customers, I would always suggest sticking with the .uk domain extension. I have seen countless studies into .com vs .uk sites where .uk domains outperform .com sites if serving UK markets.
When you are dealing with UK audiences the .uk domain outperforms the .com in click-through stats even when given equal search engine placement. This is because if you are looking for locally-based services you will naturally feel an affinity with the .uk site. Whereas the .com domain has better resonance for international internet-based services where that location-based bias isn’t a deciding factor. So In short, if you offer location-based services, sell to prominently UK customers go for a .uk domain. However, if you are looking to launch a new app or have plans to sell internationally in a big way, go .com.
What is this .uk domain I keep talking about; The .uk domain I keep referring to here is the .co.uk and .org.uk extensions. However, there is also now a simple cleaner version of the .uk domain extension which you may have seen which looks like domain.uk. This domain format will become increasingly popular and is set to replace traditional formats in time. But for now, in late 2019, I would suggest using the .co.uk or .org.uk here possible.
Tools to find a new domain name
So now that you have hopefully got some ideas and found the above pointers helpful, I would suggest sitting down with a note pad or blank sheet of paper and writing down all the possible names you many have in mind. Don’t worry at this point how untidy or confused this list may look, this is still simply a starting point. Once you have exhausted all these ideas, go online and use the following tools;
Domaintyper.com, this is an excellent tool for speeding up the domain search. This site features live search and offers up possible name suggestions.
Thesaurus.com, use this tool to expand terms or words which have regularly come up in your name ideas. You may find that a lesser or related term relevant and gives your name an unusual but related twist.
Bustaname.com , a lesser-used tool but still has some great features for adding popular suffix and prefix words.
“I still can’t find any good domains!”
You may be unlucky and find all the suitable domains matching your project have already been registered. It is highly likely, don’t feel discouraged, you still have options.
When the internet was still the preserve of geeks and hackers, there were domain pioneers who understood the future value which one day would be contained in a quality domain name. These domain investors have renewed these valued domains for many years, with the long term aim of reselling their prized asset. It is an industry which regularly sees domains go for many thousands of pounds, so if you have deep pockets and willing to search marketplaces such as domainlore.uk and sedo.com you may find the perfect domain.
If you still find your ideal domain isn’t for sale or feel that you would like help in naming your new website, please contact me as I have helped many clients to obtain their desired domain name and have assisted in developing may successful online brands.