A lot more than you may think. Before you start developing your website for your new startup business spend a bit of time doing some research into your domain name. Your business may be new ... no one will know about it yet and getting found amongst all the competition and established websites out there is going to take a little time. Make sure you choose something that is going to optimise your chances of getting found. Here are a few important points to consider regarding your domain name ... especially if you are going to be one of many small local businesses. The situation is of course different if you are going to be launching a big brand with a promotional budget to match.
So, you've set up a new business ... ' Go For It'. The first thing you do is research the availability of that domain name and hooray ... goforit.co.uk is available! But before you register it:
- Does it say what your business does?
- Does it say where your business is?
- Are the words you've used distinctive and unique?
The third point initially, will be very important. Before your website gets found organically for your chosen keywords that are relevant to your products and/or services, people you have met or who have maybe heard about your new business will be searching for the business by it's name and they will probably be using a search string like 'go for it high wycombe'. Chances are those three, high frequency words, appear on thousands of websites and your new site is not going to get found by it's name alone. So even people who know you and have maybe already done business with you will struggle to find your site unless they know the URL.
So consider using a domain name that includes something specific to what your business does and possibly also references the location. For example, lets say you are offering personal development and coaching, coachinghighwycombe.co.uk would probably serve you better. However, the chances of this combination still being available are probably slim. So, goforitcoaching.co.uk may be a good starting point.
Once you've established the basics of your domain name also bear in mind the following points:
- Keep the name as short as possible
- Make sure it's easy to type
- Try to avoid hyphens ... especially if the domain name is otherwise similar to one of your competitors. You don't want your customers ending up on their site.
- Make sure it's memorable ... you want people to be able to return easily once they have found your site organically.
These are just a few guidelines and are possibly more applicable to small local business than a future multi-national brand! If you're still unsure, take a bit of time and talk to your web designer and discuss potential options before you rush in with your domain name. Domain names are cheap to buy, so if you make a mistake it's not the end of the world, but if you've already ordered business cards and set up a few mailboxes it could be harder to change.