Securing your company’s domain name is now nearly as important as securing your company name. Your domain name will be your company’s name online. It will be your website address & form half of your email address. It will feature alongside your company name on your business cards, signs and other communications. When choosing company names it is therefore worth thinking about what domain names are available. Equally when choosing a company name it is now worth thinking about how it will do in the search engines.
Registering a domain is simple. You can use a domain name search like the one on our website to find ones that are available. When registering domain names it is worth going through an official registrar rather than a reseller as there is one less layer of people to deal with if things go wrong (and one less layer of people looking for a cut of your money). Nominet are the UK domain authority and keep a list of registrars (we are there under our registrar tag COMPANYWAREHOUSE).
Once you find a domain you like it is a simple process of handing over some payment details and placing your order. Domains can typically be registered for between 1 and 10 years at a time. Once your domain is registered you need to link it to a website and to the servers that website is hosted on. This is done through the DNS system, the exact procedure for this varies from registrar to registrar but it is usually pretty simple.
But what about picking the actual name itself? What should you look for? Our basic checklist would include the following:
- Make sure you own the .co.uk and .com variations of your company name (even if it is only to stop anyone else getting them)
- Look at keyword domains. Research what people search for to buy your product or service. People are more likely to search for ‘garages Chelmsford’ than ‘Smith and Sons Garage’. Using keywords in your domain will help you to attract more visitors.
- Keep your domain short. 15 characters is about the limit.
- Avoid hyphens, they make your domain harder to remember and look spammy
- Go for standard Top Level Domains such as .co.uk & .com these look more credible
- Before buying any domain name do a normal web search for it and see what comes up. If there is another website with a very similar name avoid it.
Whatever name you pick you are likely to be stuck with it for a while. Changing the domain name on your website will reset the site as far as the search engines are concerned. Having said that, remember there is nothing to stop you from having multiple websites with different domain names catering for your business name, keywords and combinations of the two.
If you would like help picking a domain name for your business get in touch with our Business Consultants and they can talk you through the options.