If you are thinking of creating a web presence for your small business, one of the most important tasks you need to do is choose the right domain name. Here are ten tips from the Bytestart team:
10 small business domain naming tips
1. Can you secure the .co.uk and .com at the same time?
If possible, choose a domain name which is available in both .co.uk and .com formats, as a minimum. This will prevent competitors from buying variants of your name in the future. Of course, as time goes by, the chances of securing both variants of a decent name are reducing. You may have to resort to a domain name reseller if your desired name(s) are unavailable.
2. Keep it simple
Try to keep your domain name as simple and concise as possible, and ideally don’t use hyphens. This is also easier said than done with the number of available short domain names reducing by the day.
3. Future proof
Try to future proof your domain name. If you are hoping to expand the products or services you initially offer, you may be better off going for a generic rather than a niche domain name.
4. The name doesn’t have to be intuitive
You don’t necessarily have to include the name of your trade or industry you’re in when selecting a business domain name. many famous brand names bear no relation to the products or services they sell – just look at Apple or Amazon!
5. Matching business and web names
If you are concurrently thinking of a business name (or limited company name), it is wise to think about domain naming at the same time. The best-case scenario is to have the same names for both your business and domain name.
6. Use a reputable registrar
Use a reputable domain name supplier such as GoDaddy and ideally use the same supplier for all your domain name purchases. It makes things so much easier to manage if all your ‘parked’ domains are held with the same company.
7. Don’t breach intellectual property
As with limited company naming rules, don’t be tempted to use other companies’ trademarks within your own domain name, for obvious reasons. You could be accused of ‘passing off’ (deliberately using other companies’ trademarks to secure custom).
8. Don’t hesitate
If you are not ready to go ahead and set up a website right now, it is worth securing potential domain names right now, as next time you search, they may no longer be available.
9. Domain names are inexpensive
Domain names are inexpensive to buy – around £15 for a .co.uk and £25 for a .com address (for 2 years) would seem fairly competitive. You may be able to pay a lot less, however, you should not expect rapid service and on-demand help if you pay pennies for your domain names.
10. Don’t be shy
If you are unsure what to choose as your domain name, ask colleagues, friends and family for advice. All too often, small business people operate in their own bubbles, when people you trust will be more than happy to provide their opinions from an objective standpoint.
Last updated - 8th October, 2015