Richard Lillycrop

Choosing Your Domain Name

One of the first decisions you will make about your new website is choosing the domain name. This is the www-address that people type in to find your website eg. www.richardlillycrop.com. This is one of the most important decisions you will make about your website, as it is a balance between your branding and your Google ranking.

Traditional Thinking

The domain name is a big factor in your search engine ranking, so choosing the correct one is very important. Traditionally people would choose a domain name that was their company name. For example the owner of ABC Services, a property renovation company, would have chosen www.abcservices.com. If this company was using traditional advertising, showing their company name and web address, then their customers would probably put 'abc services' into Google as a search or go to their website www.abcservices.com directly. The downside of this is that the company is relying on traditional advertising to get business. Unless their search engine optimisation was done very well, anyone searching for 'property renovation' may not come across their website.

Modern Thinking

Given the cost of traditional advertising the cheapest route to getting new customers is through people searching for your business through Google or another search engine. If your search engine optimisation is done correctly, your business should appear on the first page of Google, when people are searching for what your business is and in position #1 when searching for your company name.

Using the example above of ABC Services my recommendation would be to use a domain name of www.abc-property-renovation.com. By using this domain name, it contains exactly the keywords that people are searching for 'property renovation' and stands a much better chance of ranking higher on search engines.

Ultimately what you choose for your domain name is your own decision, as there are pros and cons for each way of thinking. Here's a video from Matt Cutts who works for the Google Webmaster Team.



General Recommendations

In addition to the thinking above, here are some more tips:

  • Make sure your domain name isn't too long or made up of technical/complex words that people can't remember
  • If you choose to use words put together, make sure other words can't be made that are rude or mean something else
    eg. Speed Of Art - www.speedofart.com !
  • Check what your domain name means in other languages
  • For UK websites use .com or .co.uk
  • If you separate words use a dash '-' instead of a underscore '_'

It can be really difficult to find the perfect domain name. When you do find one available, check that there isn't a competitor company using the same name with a different ending. For example if www.norwich-electrics.co.uk is available, check there isn't a company that has www.norwich-electrics.com already, otherwise your customers may go to their website by mistake.

Please e-mail me to discuss your website requirements at richard@richardlillycrop.com.

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