In order for your brand to look professional a dedicated domain name is essential. This article explains all you need to know when choosing a domain name for your website or blog.
What is a Domain Name?
It’s the main part of your website address and what people will use to find you. It is uniquely yours and yours to keep for the length of time you continue to pay for it.
My Dad seemed to think as it was his name he should not have to pay for it. So to clear things up you do have to pay for your domain name. And if the name is already taken you are not going to be able to have it. You will have to think of a variation or something completely different.
When choosing a name for your company, website or blog you should research available domains and social handles before setting anything in stone.
How much do Domain Names Cost?
This will depend on many factors:
- The Name – If you are choosing a name that includes a good keyword, chances are prices will be higher.
- The Registrar – domain name registrars are the companies like GoDaddy (who I use), BlueHost etc.
- The TLD – .org, .com, .co.uk etc
- Age of domain – if the domain has been in use before and gained a lot of power then it can cost more money.
If you are choosing something quite new and unique, for example, your name, then prices will be up to around £15 a year. For anything else, it’s hard to say. Use search tools on registrar sights to find available domains and see the cost of your ideal name.
Choosing the Right Name
So now you know what a domain name is and that the costs vary, it’s time to come up with some domain ideas. If you already have an established business then this will limit your range of options.
If you are doing this domain research in the early stages of business and haven’t settled on a name. Then you can experiment a lot with this to make sure you get the best possible domain for your new business.
First Impressions Count
Your domain name is to your website what a shop sign is to a brick and mortar business. It’s one of the first things a potential client/customer/reader will see of your business.
Make it Memorable
Choose a name that’s memorable. There are millions of registered domains and business names. You need one that is going to be catchy and easy for people to remember.
If you are going to have your website on the side of your van you need something people will be able to remember and write down when they stop.
If you’re at an event and run out of business cards, you can tell people your website address and there will be more chance they will look it up later if it’s memorable
Make it Easy
Make it easy to read, write and say. Keeping your domain simple reduces the chance of errors, misspellings or mistyping. It also makes it easier to remember. To keep it simple avoid the use of hyphens and never use underscores. Using numbers is also a bad idea, it adds another possible confusion point. Do I spell five or is it a 5? Keep it simple and make it easy for people.
When choosing a domain name consider what people are searching for in relation to your business or blog topic. Including a keyword in your domain can help increase the chances of ranking in search results. This is NOT a number one priority, do not try to stuff keywords into your domain. It is more important for the domain to be easy and memorable and relevant than to include a keyword.
Make sure to check that your business name is available and not trademarked and copyrighted. Make sure it is not in use by another company. A good Google search should answer this for you.
Where do I get a domain name from?
Domain registrars are where you can buy your domains. Many offer domain and hosting combos and various deals. Make sure to look around and compare prices.
When purchasing your domain consider buying a few variations and misspelt domains. For example, If you can get the .co.uk and .com, it means that competitors will not be able to register those domains. Once purchased you can forward these domains to your chosen domain, so all traffic goes to your website.
To Sum Up
Have fun and get creative when choosing a domain name for your website/blog. Remember to keep it simple, short and easy to remember!