Why your domain name matters more than you think!

  28th May 2019

Picking the correct domain name for your website is essential – it represents your online brand and forms an impression of who you are.

Online visitors may not see your branding, your office or your appearance – so you need to think carefully about what you are choosing to portray.

An innovative name can be a significant influence in attracting guests to your site – but if it doesn’t reflect what you do, and you are unknown, being ‘clever’ or ‘too far out’ will see you struggling to attract good search positions.  That’s because your ‘URL’ is one of the factors Google looks at.

A little research can reap dividends.  SEO expert Lisa Baker explains:

“I built an HR News site for a former client – we chose the name “HRNews.co.uk” purely to drive SEO traffic.  As a result the site is now thriving.” 

How to choose the right name – think like a visitor

Let’s be honest, Coca Cola don’t need to register ‘SparklingColaDrink.com” – their brand is so strong that those looking for a Cola drink will probably type in Coca Cola and know who they are looking for.

However, most people aren’t in the fortunate position of having years of branding that make them the go-to product in their sector.

If you are a campsite in Snowdonia, “snowdoniacampsite.co.uk” is possibly going to do you more favours on Google than “mountainview.co.uk” – because chances are, customers will type in ‘snowdonia campsite’- so if this is your first web venture, have a think before you settle.

(Incidentally, a campsite has registered that domain name and pointed it towards their main site!)

Help! My domain name doesn’t do what it says on the tin!

That’s ok.  You are in the same boat as many other website owners.  You can wait for Google and your customers to find you, start writing keyword-rich content on your website, and use social media.  In fact, even if you have the perfect domain, we would recommend you do this anyway.

If this is something that you don’t have the time or the skills to do in-house, we offer SEO and social media management services. Our skilled team have been getting results for a number of years and are on hand to offer advice if needed.

Make your brand match your website

No matter what your domain is, you will need to think about branding.

Your domain name represents how your clients will perceive you – are you targeting the high quality end of the market, the bargain basement or somewhere in the middle?

It’s important to be honest with yourself about your product and make sure your brand identity and website target the right audience – your customer will know who they are, and what they are looking for. 

In short, don’t be a mini marketing to Rolls Royce buyers – if you know your market and target your site and digital marketing accordingly, they will come.

The same applies to a domain – nothing wrong with ‘cheapcars.com’ or ‘RollsRoyceWales.com’ so long as what you find inside matches the brand.

Pick the Best Domain Extension

The area after the “dot” can likewise help or damage your name.

We generally recommend avoiding the new ‘flash’ domain names, like .pizza and go for what people know and trust.

For US businesses, and some UK companies .com is a natural choice – with .co.uk a natural choice for UK businesses.  .Org usually indicates a charity.  Getting the right one will send out a subtle message to customers that you are authentic and trustworthy. 

It’s worth mentioning too, that no matter what domain you choose an SSL certificate is increasingly essential. 

Competition

Seen your competitors domain up for grabs?  It’s not worth trying to steal business from a competitor by grabbing a .com if they own the .co.uk.   This could be seen as ‘passing off’ and could cause business complications. Don’t waste your time, it could create more hassle in the long run.

However, to protect your brand, we may recommend you register more than just one domain extension, because a few quid is worth protection from the hassle of your competitor choosing to snipe your domain and you having to complain to the UK registrar, Nominet.  We can help with this if it has happened and you need advice. 

Give us a call

As North Wales website design and digital marketing experts, we’ve built our knowledge over years of practice and while we charge for our web design and SEO skills, a quick chat about the right domain name for your business won’t cost you a penny.

As always, we’re here to help.

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