4 Key Considerations When Picking Domain Names For Small Businesses

It cannot be overstated how important your domain name is. It gives your website a unique identity on the Internet, for example, the URL www.yourdomainname.com makes the site name a one of the kind address on the web.

Having a good domain will also make your business look credible, likely increase your online presence and help to build your brand, amongst other benefits.

Domain names

Here are 4 key considerations you should make when picking a domain name for your small business.

1. Pick a powerful domain like .com

Your domain suffix is crucial for the success of your domain name. Popular examples include co.uk, .edu and .org

Branding experts Novanym suggest choosing domain names with .com, as it is still the most widely used and trusted domain suffix. Over ¾ of websites still use a .com extension. While other domains may be be more unique, .com will still be more memorable.

Using a .com domain is also likely to have significant SEO benefits for your business. As Google usually ranks websites based on the most important and trusted websites, the more trustworthy your domain is, the better you will rank.

As .com is the most trustworthy domain, this will give you the best possible chance of being ranked highly. Unusual domains will simply create a handicap for your business before you’ve even started.

If you are unable to choose .com, then it is recommended that you use other well-known extensions instead, such as co.uk, .net or .org.

2. Check your domain is still available

Make sure you check that the domain you want is still available. You don’t want to incorporate your business name to then find out that you can’t use the domain name you wished to.

Checking this is straightforward, with a number of domain checker websites allowing you to simply type in your chosen domain name to see if it is already being used or not.

However, even if you do find out that the domain you wanted is unavailable, you still might be able to use other domains like co.uk, or even modify the name slightly so that it can still be used.

Adding a prefix or suffix to alter the domain to a small degree could make it useable still.

3. Avoid keywords

Whilst it may appear that including keywords in your domain name would be beneficial for your sites Google ranking, doing so could actually thwart your business’ success. This is because Google launched an Exact Match Domain update in 2012. This decreased the influence of keywords used in domain names, as it was seen as a cheap way to attract traffic to websites.

Using generic keywords and related phrases to your line of work will not only sound bad and likely be unmemorable, but they also are unlikely to have much SEO benefit for you.

Additionally, if your domain is based on a single service or search phrase, you could find it difficult to broader your services should you business grow, as you website will be tied to a single offering.

New domain name extensions
photo credit: querkmachine / Flickr

4. Don’t copy competitors, but do choose a name that suits your industry

It is inadvisable to choose a name that is similar to your competitors. Firstly, it can lead to your business name yielding irrelevant search engine results due to the confusion with that competitor.

Yet, most significantly, you could also be infringing on their trademark, which could lead to you being sued and forced to give up your domain.

You should, however, choose a name that suits your industry, increasing the chances of your business coming up in any searches related to that industry.

This should in turn tell people what your business is all about and make your brand memorable. Any confusion surrounding this will again hinder you.

A good example of an apt domain name is www.deliveroo.co.uk. The name Deliveroo is a clever take on the word deliver that gets right to the point of describing the company’s service. It is very suitable for the industry of food delivery and is extremely memorable.

Another good example of a descriptive business name incorporated into a domain is www.sportsdirect.co.uk. This is again straight to the point of the company and is also broad enough to encompass all of what they sell.