There are so many things that you need to consider when getting a website built for the first time. Although all aspects of web design and development are considered crucial, choosing your domain name is exceptionally important.
A domain name is the name by which your website will be called so naturally, you would want it to be perfect. It must be easy to remember and it must stand out from the crowd. As a complete web design and SEO company, Ignition Media appreciates the impact of having a great domain name. That is why, we provide our clients with necessary assistance in finding the perfect domain names and later on, in registering them.
If you’re thinking about getting a website for either your company or business, below are a few of my tips on how to choose a great domain name that will also increase your chances of succeeding online.
Make it unique
There are millions of websites on the internet making it difficult for newcomers to come up with unique domain names. This is generally why many websites have no other choice but to register plural versions of existing domain names. Let me tell you now that this will not help you in any way. It is very seldom that a copycat surpasses the original idea. Also, you run the risk of losing your traffic to the original, already-established website. I often hear stories where companies have spent countless hours and thousands of dollars promoting a website only to have lost 15-20% of their audience due to miss-spelling or confusion with the domain name.
Make it descriptive
One of the qualities of a good domain name is that it tells visitors right away what the website is all about. If your domain name is not very clear on what products or services that you sell or what goals you’re trying to achieve, this I can say much – it is bound to fail. There is an exemption though. If you’re promoting a very popular brand name or business that has been long established, there is no need to use keywords or descriptive terms as people will already have an idea what the website would be about.
Taking the previous point one step further, one of the very foundations of search engine optimisation (SEO) is keyword usage and this should start with your domain name. Begin by identifying at least five keywords that are directly related to your business and website. For example, if you’re launching a mortgage related site, some of the keywords that your target audience would be looking for are house payment, interest rate, finance, mortgage, equity, etc. Ensuring you have a keyword in your domain name not only helps customers identify why you website is about before they visit it, but it will also help (not a great deal, but help all the same) with your rankings for that given keyword or search term. I find it helps to use Google’s keyword Planner tool; it helps identify the actual search terms used by your target audience along with their search volume; the higher the search volume, the better. Mix and match until you come up with a domain name that sounds good, is easy to remember, and easy to spell. Believe me; you don’t want a domain name that is hard to remember as this will cost you later on.
Keep it short
Ideally, I recommend combining the most relevant keyword to your niche with your location when choosing your domain name to keep it short and simple. However, these domain names are hard to come by and are generally already registered. Just remember, the longer your domain name, the higher the chances of your target audience forgetting about it. So instead of using this www.goldcoastwebsitedesignandsearchengineoptimisation.com.au, a better domain would be www.goldcoastwebsitedesign.com.au. Yes, keyword usage is important but just don’t go crazy over this.
Don’t give up
A lot of people put in so much time and energy to come up with a domain name for their website only to find out in the end that it is already taken. When this happens, keep in mind that you still have the chance to buy it. Using the WHOIS tool, you can identify the owner of the domain name and get their contact information. Through this, you’ll know if the domain name is for sale or is about to expire. If this sounds a bit complicated for you, Ignition Media can help you out. It is our goal to provide you with the kind of assistance that you need to ensure that you get nothing but the best domain names.
Lastly, when registering your domain, you’ll want to register both the .com and .com.au prefix particularly if you’re promoting a business outside of Australia. I recommend going with Zip Hosting or Crazy Domains for your domain name registrations.
Free versus paid domain names
You have the choice of using a free domain name, or purchasing your own. Although I wouldn’t recommend a free one, believe it or not, there are a lot of people that opt to use a free domain name for their business website. If you have to cut budget somewhere, ensure that you don’t start with your domain name. Aside from the fact that a free domain name does not sound professional, free web hosting companies impose certain limits. In addition, these companies make money by posting ads on your website. These could be relevant or irrelevant to the overall theme of your website so they are more likely to give your visitors negative experience, or take them away from your website. More so, should you decide to expand your website later on, the limitations imposed by the hosting company may prevent you from doing so. Also, you won’t be allowed to use your current website should you decide to move it to a paid hosting company. Yep, that means starting from scratch all over again. So make the right choice from the very get-go. A domain name costs as little as $9.95 per year so there really is no excuse.
Advantage of a good domain name
Spending time and resources choosing a good domain name pays. Personally, it is one of the most crucial decisions I make when starting up a new website. Once you have your domain name, chances are you’ll put a lot of time, energy and money into promoting that domain name. It’s important that you make well-informed decision based on the tips I have outlined to avoid having to change your domain name in the future.
Should you succeed choosing a great domain name for your website, you can expect to reap great rewards including the following:
- More traffic: The ultimate objective in having a good domain name is to maximise your website’s potential when it comes to traffic-generation. Simply put, if your domain name contains a keyword and is easy to remember, internet can simply type it in the address bar. This avoids users having to perform a keyword based search which returns hundreds of other websites in competition to you. When people know your domain name, you’re not competing for their attention and they’ll go directly to your website.
- Improve page ranking:this is how search engines work; when a user searches for a particular keyword, Google and the likes will respond by giving them lists of relevant websites. One element that determines how websites are displayed in the search page result (SERPs) is based on how Google relates the websites to the keywords searched. If this keyword is found on your domain name or at least closely related to it, you have a better chance of having your website listed on the SERPs. This is the first step of getting your website found by your target audience.
- Gives your company a more professional image:This applies to domain names that are descriptive and use a .com or .com.au as the extension. This benefit does not extend to those websites that are built on free platforms like FinanceMortgage.blogspot.com. When you purchase your very own domain name, it tells your target audience that you really mean business; that you are willing to invest in establishing professional image and that you care about quality. This is one of the things that online users will look at when they’re deciding whether or not to trust you.
Domain names are very important for the success of your website. They must be descriptive, easy to remember and unique. When it comes to getting a domain name, you really are better off buying your own domain name and hiring a professional web designer – especially if you’re creating a business website. Believe me, it will save you from a lot of trouble later on. By opting for this route, your website is all yours and can be tweaked depending on your needs – whether you want to improve the navigation, give it a more personalised feel, or make it search engine friendly, once you own your domain name and website the sky’s the limit.
Whether you need to find a great domain name for your website or need assistance with domain registration, you can count on Ignition Media’s expertise. We also offer website design and development services among others.