Choosing a domain name for your new business website can sometimes be a worrying and frustrating process.

Many business or holiday property owners worry about the choice of domain name and often hear lots of conflicting advice. Add in the mountain of email spam and cold callers your recieve from businesses apparently warning you that someone is going to steal your domain and it can be a worrying process leaving you feeling vulnerable and distrusting.

Our guide to choosing your domain name answers many of the questions we are asked by clients and will help you through the process of choosing, buying and securing your website domain name.

Shouldn’t I simply use my brand name? If you have a brand, you ideally need to secure the relevant domain names. If you have a unique trading style, the chances are that someone in your organisation may already have done this. Check to see if that’s the case and obtain all of the account settings to give you access and control over it. If you’re unsure how to obtain a domain name, we can help buy one on your behalf, then transfer ownership of the domain to you once your website goes live.

Try and choose a domain name with a useful keyword in it. Google claims that keywords in domain names no longer have the significance that they once had but, time and again, we see evidence to the contrary. Consider a domain name with a keyword or two woven into it. For example if you have a holiday gite in the Charente in France called Chalias, you may consider chalais-charente-holiday-gite.com a good domain name. The exception to this would be if you’re trying to create a memorable brand for promotions, when a shorter domain name will help.

Beware of a technique call ‘keyword stuffing’. The search engines watch for this and will penalise you. So don’t buy french-holiday-gite-chalais-in-the-charente-with-swimming-pool You’ll be spotted!

Do I need other services at the same time? No. When we build your website, we will arrange business email addresses and hosting for you as part of the package.

Don’t forget the mis-spellings. If you want to be super-efficient with your domain name and there are common mis-spellings of your name or brand, consider buying those too. It may sound a little obsessive, but domain names are cheap these days and every little helps.

Buy all of the alternative suffixes that you might need. We can use a little setting called a redirect to make sure that visitors who mis type or input a .co.uk automatically go to your main site. Don’t become too obsessive over this, it simply isn’t possible to buy every domain possibility that may occur to you!

What if my first choice is taken? Don’t despair. Try adding a hyphen and a second word and check once more. Sometimes the .co.uk, for example, may be available but the .com isn’t. It’s still worth buying, but check to see what the .com is being used for, as people guessing your domain may enter that. Sometimes domains become available, you may see a domain you’d like ‘parked’ and not in use. It can be worth asking if the owner would part with it, but very often they sense a big profit and the response, if any, is unrealistic. You’re better off working hard to create a good website and keeping a weather eye on that domain name, as sometimes they do become

Choosing a domain name using these guidelines will help make the process less daunting and is one of the first steps in building a successful website that attracts customers. If you have questions and would like to chat, drop us a line using the contact form here.