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Domain Name Best Practices

Domain Names Best Practices

Posted on January 18th, 2017 by David Taplin

Choosing a domain name is probably one of the first and most important places to start when forming a business.

It should be consistent with your brand and act as the focal point for your websites presence online.

So how do you choose the ideal domain name?

Well, there are some key considerations that should be taken into account when you are looking to purchase a domain name, here are our top 10 tips:

1. Shorter is better

Generally, the shorter the domain name the better. There are obviously other factors that come into play, but a shorter domain means it’s easier to remember, easier to spell, easier to copy and paste, to share on social media, and to embed. So in short the fewer characters you have in your domain name the better.

2. Easy to spell

Choose a domain name that is easy to spell, this may be easier said than done if your business has an inherently difficult to spell name, however there are ways around this, such as an acronym or a shortened version of your whole name. Remember that potential visitors or customers may only have seconds to read, remember or hear your domain so if it’s difficult to spell without seeing it, this could cause problems.

3. Altered Meaning

It’s always good to check that the domain name does not have an altered meaning once words are placed together. There have been cases of companies that have perfectly fine names, but when words are placed together in a domain it reads as something entirely different. An example would be ‘I.T. Scrap’, a company that obviously, as the name suggests, scraps old I.T. equipment. However when the two words of their business name are combined in domain form, it reads www.itscrap.com, which obviously means something entirely different.

4. Consistent with Brand

It is extremely important that your domain name is consistent with your brand and website. There are many reasons for this, but generally, having a good level of consistency with your brand online will help your visitors feel more comfortable with their journey. It can also help your search engine rankings when aligned with the content of your website. Having consistency online will ultimately give the visitor more confidence that they are not being dragged from pillar to post, but to build confidence in your brand as they navigate your online estate.

5. Easy to Remember

Sometimes in the desperate attempt to snap up as many domain names as they can, businesses can forget that their domain name needs to be easy to remember. This may seem like such a simple pre-requisite to purchasing a domain name, however if a company has been around for a long time and employees are very close to the name it may not seem like such a big thing.

Our suggestion is to always put yourself in the shoes of someone that has never heard of you before. If you mentioned your domain name would they remember it?

6. Check Alternatives

It can be a laborious task searching for your perfect domain name, however make sure you check for alternatives, not only with regards to the naming convention and whether you have aligned and optimised the domain with your brand and business, but also to look into the various top level domains you are now able to obtain.

For example you may think that the only option that you have left when it comes to purchasing a domain for your company called ‘Marketing Media’ is www.marketingmedia.info however you there may be the possibility of securing something like www.marketing.media. 

7. Too Lengthy

Making your domain name too lengthy is not a great idea for many of the reasons mentioned in this list. When a domain name is too long, it may not be easy to read, remember or spell, so with that in mind do not make it too long. To give you an idea, the average length of domains that advertise on Google is 11 characters not including the .com.

8. Chosen with a Human in Mind

Probably one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a domain name is to choose it with a human in mind. You really want to get into the head of your perfect website visitor and understand what would make sense to them. Many website designers and SEO experts will tell you to ensure the domain name contains keywords that are pertinent to your business and the website, however sometimes this is worth overruling if it does not align with the though process of your perfect visitor persona. 

9. Keywords

Having mentioned that a good domain name would be to choose it with the perfect visitor persona in mind, there is still a lot of validity to using the keywords that you are targeting for rankings within the domain name. This is true for several reasons, but mainly it is a good indicator for those that see your link, whether it has been copied, posted, emailed or searched for, that they are heading in the correct direction and not being railroaded to a website they had not intended to visit.

10. Try to keep simple

If you have chosen your domain name with the other nine points in mind, then this point should have already been ticked off. It is imperative that you keep your domain name simple. By this we mean do not be too cleaver with hidden meanings or using variations of your business name that potential visitors just won’t get. Simple is better.

My Hosting Bubble are one of the UK’s leading domain name and hosting providers, so feel free to navigate to our Domain Name page for more information on how to purchase them.


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