15 March 2022
Over the past few months OwlTree has taken on several new clients all embarking on the exciting journey of starting a new business. While our clients have been busy developing their initial plans and strategies, we started the process of developing their website. One of the important things we consider early in the process is choosing the right domain name.
What makes a good domain name? Your domain name will be a customer’s first impression, a search engine’s first glimpse of your website and the portal to your online presence. Your domain will need to be memorable, brandable, and easy for people to type and pronounce. It is also advisable to avoid anything too long or overly specific. In our article we have detailed some tips to consider when choosing the right name.
Choosing your domain extension
A Top Level Domain (TLD) is the piece of your domain that comes after your website’s name. The most common are co.uk, .com, .net and .org. There are other options, but it is advisable to stick with the most popular and an extension people are familiar with. Sometimes the popular extensions may not be available, so just make sure that whatever choice you do decide on makes sense for your audience and business.
Do your research
Are there any businesses in your industry with similar domain names or business names to the name that you want? You wouldn’t want to confuse your customers, so doing research before committing to your domain is advisable.
Make it unique and memorable for the right reasons
You name should be unique to your business. Be creative whilst considering your domain will be the fundamental focus of your entire website. On the internet, having your business name the same as your web address will help people remember your site and they will automatically know where to search for you. Avoiding unfortunate word combinations is also advisable, seemingly innocent words that, when put together, read completely differently should be completely avoided. Some might be funny, but some might also offend.
Keep it short and sweet
Short domain names work better and are easier to type and remember. They are also beneficial for branding purposes. Long complicated names won’t do you any favours and may make your address look suspicious.
Using the right letters and format
Where you can, stick to letters only. Domain names containing numbers and hyphens are harder to verbalise, can often be difficult to remember and can be more difficult to type. Names with numbers to represent words, like www.owltree4you.co.uk for example, are great but it can be tedious explaining the number ‘4’ when telling somebody about your website. There is a risk some people may forget about the number entirely and end up on someone else’s website. Don’t give a potential customer any reason not to find you. Using doubled letters in a domain name is also to be avoided. Doubled letters are hard to read and even harder to type correctly.
Social media availability
You will probably want to promote your website via social media so it’s good to have the names of your social media pages the same as your domain name. Look at what is available before committing.
Just because a domain is available doesn’t mean it isn’t trademarked. Even using a similar name could be classed as infringement so be very careful. It might take some time but once the owner of the trademark knows, they will more than likely act. You could be faced with a costly rebrand along with the inevitable damage to your reputation.
If you need help with developing a website for your business and choosing the right domain name, then please get in touch with us for a free consultation.