Factors to consider when choosing your domain name
You have taken the exciting decision to launch your business on the internet, but now you need a home for your website. The domain name you choose for your website is very important as this is the name people will have to type or link to every time they want to visit your site. The domain name you choose will be the address your site and your business will be come to be known by.
The name you choose should therefore either be your company’s name or be about the products and services you render. Take the following factors into consideration when choosing the domain that is right for your business:
Select a domain name that will build your brand
If you are going to invest time and money into building a brand, you should also use that brand as your domain name. That will further add to value of your brand is at then becomes the visible name of your business on the internet. Every link and search will refer back to this brand. The name of the site should therefore reflect your company and its ethos.
Select a domain name easy to remember and easy to spell.
You might think it is cool to have alternative spellings of words, but if people hear the name, they should be able to type it into a browser and be taken to your website. Never use weird dashes or underscores in your name; people will never get them right and will end up somewhere in the outer reaches of the cyber-universe.
Select a domain name that uses keywords
If you are not using the name of your business, use keywords that will reflect your services or products. When people search for a certain product, they could then come across your company, even they might never have heard your name. Choose a keyword phrase that people are most likely to search when looking for the product you sell. If you are a plumber in Port Elizabeth you might have considered www.plumberinpe.co.za.
Select the best domain name extension for your business.
The TLD should reflect where you are doing business and who your target market is. In South Africa you should either choose .co.za or .com. This will show that you are a business and if you only want to serve South African customers, .co.za is definitely the first choice option. Use .com if you want to service predominantly international customers.
If you consider limiting yourself to a very specific city, you might consider something like .joburg or .capetown, but you should still also register the .co.za name to prevent cyber squatting and to avoid confusion in the market place, should someone else start using the .co.za name. If you are a non-profit or academic institution you should consider .org or ac.za.
Do not use numbers in your domain name
Using numbers within your domain name can cause problems, as when you tell someone your web address, you will continually have to explain to them that it is the number and not the word. For example, if you selected a domain name like number1lawyer.co.za, if you were to tell someone your web address, they may try to type it as ‘numberonelawyer.co.za’ instead of ‘number1lawyer.co.za.’ This type of domain name will cause grand confusion and frustrate you endlessly every time you tell it to someone.
Do not use long domain names
Even though they may more readily be available for registration, long domain names are not a good idea. They are hard to remember and most people are using their mobile phones when they are looking for you. Trying to enter a long name error free on a cell phone is especially challenging for someone who has fat fingers like me. They’ll just move on to someone with an easier name.
Avoid Trademark Infringement
Prior to registering a domain name, you may want to consider searching the South African CIPC to ensure your potential domain name isn’t infringing on someone else’s trademarks.
This is important as trademark infringement could cost you your entire site and even business. It is your responsibility to ensure that your potential domain name doesn’t infringe on any registered trademarks, as the trademark laws that apply in the hard copy world also apply on the Internet. A company with a registered trademark has the right to protect their trademark and has the right to notify you that your domain name is infringing upon their trademark.
Now select the final domain name right for your business.
Now that you know what to consider when selecting your domain name, create a list of a dozen or more potential domain names, as chances are, your first choice will already be taken. Probably by some schmo’ who is just squatting on it waiting for his pay-day. With any luck, one of the domain names on your list will be available and you can become the proud new owner of a thriving website.
Take your time and select a quality domain name that will grow with your business. It will be well-worth your time and effort in the long run. Clickalytic can help you choose and register the domain name that will tick all the boxes and make your online presence the place to be. Contact Clickalytic today.