What’s in a (Domain) Name?

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“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Juliet may have been right when she was talking about roses, but for businesses your domain name is an important part of your business identity. It will be the name of your website and email address, so choosing the right domain name for your business needs careful consideration.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is an electronic address that directs people to your website, choosing the correct name is a key marketing decision that will become a major part of your brand.
You can choose a domain name based on your business name or you can choose a name that relates to your business sector. If you’re starting a business it is worth considering and checking the availability of a domain name before you decide upon your business name, if they are both the same it could make your brand that much stronger.

Ideally a domain name should be easy to remember and simple to key in and spell.

You can include any letters or numbers up to 63 characters long, but ideally the shorter and simpler the domain name the better.
Although you can use hyphens within an domain name you should try to avoid it, often people forget the hyphen and every time you give out your domain name you will have to explain that the ‘dash’ or hyphen needs to be inserted, it’s just not worth the hassle.

But all the good Domain Names have been taken!

Up until recently the extension .com or .co.uk were favoured, however, with recent changes more extensions are being released, such as: .uk, .london, .wales, .direct, .club, .cool, .credit etc., (the list is pretty extensive) with more variations to follow. This means the domain name you want may already have been purchased by someone as a .com or .co.uk address could be available as a .london or.uk address so it’s worth checking if you really have a particular name in mind. Especially if the extension relates to your business sector, such as insurance, where the extension .insure is available.

So how do i get my Domain Name?

We would suggest you either get us to register your domain on your behalf or if you do register it yourself we advise avoiding buying a hosting package at the same time. This can be purchased later. Most of our clients prefer us to host their websites especially if we have designed and created them, often this means moving their domain over from the hosting provider they signed up to when they registered their domain name.
If you purchase a domain name without a hosting package it will be registered and live on the internet, ready to link to your website when it has been designed and created. It’s fairly straight forward to move your domain from one hosting provider to another, just as it’s is easy to move an existing website across from one hosting company to another.
Good domain names can be registered and sold onto other interested parties just like any other commodity, so if you have a good domain and no longer need it, it might be worth considering offering it for sale rather than letting your registration lapse.
Most domains tend to be registered for period of one year or longer, up to 10 years, but you will need to renew your registration prior to the end of the period to ensure you retain ownership of your domain and even your website.
You should also consider registering other domain names that your business might need in the future these can either be used when you are ready or can be ‘pointed’ to your website so that visitors are redirected to your main web address.

What should my Domain Name be?

Although the obvious choice of a domain name is that which is closest to the name of your business sometimes this might not be the best for getting you found online. Google uses the domain name of a website to help it understand if that website is the correct one to deliver to it’s search engine users. So it may be that if you are a local accountants who wants to be found online, instead of a domain name like www.walkersandsons.co.uk a domain name such as www.stourbridgeaccountants.co.uk might get you higher up the search ranking resulting in more visitors to your website – especially locally. Of course there is nothing stopping you from having multiple domain names and pointing them all at one website to maximise the benefits of domain names suitable for SEO purposes and ones suitable for branding.

I’m lost, this is all a bit too technical for me!

Remember, we’re here to help. We have the experience and marketing skills to suggest good domain names and register them quickly on your behalf.
We can check if your chosen domain name is available or if it is already taken who owns it and whether is it likely to become available.

So if you want to get a great domain name that suits your website’s marketing goals get in touch with us at ryan@zigzagadvertising.co.uk or call us direct on 01562 734040