Choosing the Right Domain Name01 December 2014 by Zoe Harrington
Your website’s domain name is possibly one of the most important choices you’ll have to make when setting up a website. Every website out there has its own unique domain name, so make sure to have a few options that you’d like to have in case your first choice isn’t available.
Once you’ve decided on what you’d like your domain name to be, you’ll need to take into consideration what you’d like the top level domain (TLD) to be – this is the suffix at the end, such as .co.za or .com.
Choosing the right domain name takes a lot of thought; especially when you realise that you need to make it easy for search engines to find too. By now, most of us are aware that websites need to be SEO-friendly for search engines such as Google to find them, but few people know that your domain name, or website URL, counts just as much. Let’s take a look at what it takes to choose the best domain name for you or your company.
Domain Name Features
Not only does your domain name represent your company’s online presence, it’s also really important to take the search engines into account when choosing one.
Take a look at some of our tips to help you along the way:
- It’s important that the domain name that you choose needs to be relevant to your business or your industry. If it isn’t, you won’t do very well with the search engines and you’ll have a massively high bounce rate due to visitors thinking your website is something else they’re looking for.
- Try to keep your name short and easy to spell because you want your website visitors to remember it easily and not get frustrated while trying to type in the complicated URL; which brings us to our next point.
- Make sure your domain name is uncomplicated. Besides the two points above, also avoid using numbers in place of words such as “2” instead of “to”. If you keep your words short and spelt correctly, it will prevent a lot of confusion.
- Always try to include a keyword in your domain name. As many of us know, Google and other search engines love keywords; so if your URL contains an important keyword for your website, you’ll reap the rewards.
- When checking for domain name availability, always look to see if you can get .com first. If it’s unavailable, look at your other options. If none of them are available on .com, then it’s best to start looking at country or city-specific ones.
Domain Name Extensions
When choosing your domain name extension, or top level domain (TLD), it’s important to go for what is relevant to your business. As we mentioned, having a .com website is usually first choice, but there are so many you can choose from if .com is taken. If you’re a photographer, you can choose to have the .photography extension; or if you’re a dance school, you could opt for the .dance extension. There’s a full list of TLDs for you to take your pick from. These days, there are so many extensions to choose from, that it’s impossible to buy them all; but we do recommend that you try to secure at least .com and co.za for your domain.
South Africa’s domain extension is .za. Since 4 November 2014, South African city-specific domain extensions became available to all. Local companies can now choose .capetown, .joburg or .durban.
What we can do for you
At Online Innovations we offer you a domain registration service, whereby we can check the availability of your preferred domain name for you. We also offer advice and can make suggestions for alternative names should yours be unavailable. For a small admin fee, we will buy the domain name for you, register it and set it up with email or any other services it may need.
Don’t have the time to manage and host your website and emails? We will do that for you too once we have registered and set up your brand new URL. Give us a call or send us a mail to set up your free consultation with Online Innovations.