How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Business
There is an extensive list of factors to consider when setting up a business, such as your logo and branding, website design, and of course, your domain name. Each decision you make brings you closer to having a complete brand.
Whilst, for some people, a domain name could be an afterthought, this decision is crucial to your website’s success and shouldn’t be made quickly or with little research.
Thus, we’re providing our expertise to offer you support in how to choose a domain name for a business, whether you’re just starting up or having a complete rebrand. In addition, we’ll explore the importance of selecting the right one for your company and how your decision will affect your website’s performance in terms of SEO.
Why Choosing the Right Domain Name Is Essential
A domain name is one of the most important representations of your company. It’s much more than just the name of your website, it is one of the first indicators of your branding that people will notice, so it must represent your business and speak for who you are and what you do. In addition, this highly valuable business asset must be memorable, as customers, clients, employees, and other people in your sector will need to access it to know who you are and what you stand for.
In addition, a domain name is one of the most crucial SEO assets a business will have. All traffic will lead to this web address, whether from a social media post, a PPC ad, an external blog, a news article, or a form of physical advertisement. Therefore, it must be memorable, simple, and accurately represent your business.
Choosing a Domain Name When Starting a Business
As previously stated above, there is much to consider when starting a business, and how to choose your website’s domain name should be at the forefront of the list. So let’s take a look at how you should begin this process and how we, as a B2B website development agency, can help you out.
Is ‘www’ Necessary?
During the rise of the internet in the 1990s, choosing to have ‘www’ (World Wide Web) at the beginning of your website address was common practice, as it was used to differentiate between sites that provided a web server in comparison to other servers such as ‘ftp’. Now, it is not as essential, and many companies choose to leave out the prefix when determining their domain name. But how does this impact SEO, and why is SEO important for small businesses?
Now referred to as a ‘naked’ URL, website addresses without the ‘www’ are a popular choice for new businesses and those rebranding and improving their online presence. However, if you choose to go with the naked URL, you must ensure that you index the ‘www’ version of your website, which will, in turn, redirect those who type the prefix before your domain to search for your site. By doing this, you are ensuring that all traffic is directed to your website.
In addition, it is crucial that once you have chosen whether you will include the prefix or not, you stick with your decision. If you don’t, it could lead to confusion and detrimental effects on your SEO, as you will essentially have two websites competing for rankings.
If you’re starting up, your SEO is crucial, and you must do everything you can to improve your rankings to build your brand and make your company known as a leader in your field. As an SEO marketing agency, we can assist with your SME marketing strategy, including helping you make the best decisions regarding your domain name.
How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website
Once you have decided whether ‘www’ is suitable for you or not, you can move on to choosing the best name for your website. Many business owners decide to go with their company name, but there is a good chance that this may have already been taken, with over 1.93 billion websites currently live on the internet. Interestingly, this is where you can incorporate your keywords. You may be under the impression that keywords are to be solely used in your content, but this is not the case. Choosing a targeted keyword in your domain name will assist search engines in understanding your website and display it in relevant searches.
In addition, avoid using underscores, as many people mistake them for spaces when typing out a URL, as the underlined link can often conceal the underscore. This can lead to misdirected traffic and much confusion. Instead, consider using dashes.
Finally, your domain name shouldn’t be too long. You want visitors to find your website easily without remembering long and complicated links, so having a short, snappy URL is essential.
Which Domain Suffix is Best?
A website domain suffix is just as important as the other elements of the URL. Some examples of these include:
Choosing the most suitable suffix for your business’s website is crucial, as it will help search engines and users alike learn more about your company. For example, if you are based in the UK and trade only with those in the UK, we recommend using ‘.co.uk’. However, for a business that wishes to trade abroad, “.com” could be more appropriate.
Changing an Existing Domain Name
If you’re wondering how to choose a domain name for a website that already exists, following the above advice is best practice. However, in addition to this, there are some extra steps you must also consider for the benefits of SEO.
If you are changing your domain from an existing one, you must transfer your SEO to the new domain to ensure you don’t lose any of your rankings when you move over to your new URL. During this process, you must update your keyword links from all content across the site and 301 redirects.
301 redirects guarantee that users who request your old domain name will be redirected to your new website, ensuring that all traffic is sent to the right place. This can be a long process, depending on how large your website is, but it’s nothing that the team at SQ Digital can’t handle.