Choosing a Domain Name
Choosing a website address
In this article, we will review what a website address is, along with the common terms that are associated with it. We will also examine the importance of choosing a website address; understanding the elements that should be considered, to provide you with the most beneficial website address for your business.
A website address provides access to the internet for a business, which means an increase in potential clients and customers. Choosing the right website address is a particularly important decision for a business. This is because as long as the company is operational, as will the website address be. Also, a decision to change a domain name mid-term could be catastrophic for search results and would mean changing all your offline marketing.
Common terms that mean ‘website address’
Common terms you might hear that mean website address are ‘web address’, ‘domain name’ and ‘URL’ (Universal Resource Locator). URL is more commonly used for specific pages.
Things you should think about when choosing a website address
The website address should ideally coincide with the company name, which should reflect what the business is about. If the company name is already taken or, the company name was created before the decision of having a website was made, you may want to add a descriptive word to the name that will reflect what the business does. For instance, “Dreams” is a bedding company which already exists, but the company that we will invent today sells handmade candles. Therefore, the company’s website address could be “dreamscandles”.
Once the wording has been decided upon, you may also want to consider whether it is easy to type; does it look confusing and is it memorable. Taking the above example, “dreamscandles” is confusing. It could be misconstrued as ” dream scandles” rather than “dreams candles”. Therefore, perhaps it is wiser to use “dreamswax” instead.
A descriptive keyword in the domain name has its advantages. It can actually help surfers find your website. With regards to marketing, if you use the domain name as a sign on your vehicle, people can see that Dreams sells wax-candles without needing to include any additional writing. In terms of search engines, it can pick up on words within the domain names, therefore the word “wax” will affect the search results.
How many characters?
In addition, consider the length of the domain name. Perhaps try to keep the domain as short as possible but also make sure you choose one that is meaningful. Generally, avoid names with more than 16 characters. This helps make the name memorable.
What about – Hyphens?
That said, it brings our attention to hyphens. Traditionally, search engines recognise hyphens as spaces; but these days search engines will easily phase out the keywords within the address, especially if your site is SEO optimised. Therefore, if your domain includes more than one word, hyphenated names can be easier on the eye as people will be able distinguish the words in the URL more effectively. That said, the use of hyphens correlates highly with spammy behaviour, so do not use more than one hyphen in a domain name. In theory with regards to our example, “dreamswax” can revert back to “dreams-candles”, which is beneficial when considering keywords.
Choosing a suffix
Finally let’s consider the definitions of domains and which are adopted more frequently. Country-specified domains are that of, for instance, .co.uk, .ca, .jp. Such are beneficial if your target audience are based in a local community or, if you are delivering to an audience in a specific country. Whereas .com domains are beneficial if your target audience is international.
The .org extension describes a non-profit organisation, for instance, charity based organisations would adopt this type of domain. Whilst a .net is used for an internet-based company, and .uk.ltd may be used if you are a limited UK company.
The most popular adopted domain is .com. This is because the “average Joe”, on hearing a company name would, by default type it into their browsers. Therefore, where this type of domain usually reflected a commercial company with an international target audience, currently businesses of any size are adopting .com domains.
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