If you have a great business idea, why not join the millions of successful enterprises out there and get it online? The Internet could be your greatest ally, opening up a whole world of opportunities for your new venture.
Having a website means you are no longer limited by physical or geographic boundaries, and it enables you to reach an international audience. Maybe you already have an idea of how you want your website to look and feel, but many businesses don’t consider one of the most important elements – choosing the right domain name.
Choosing a domain name may seem like a relatively simple task, but it’s of vital importance. Your domain name will be the public face of your business, it will also help you to attract your target audience, as well as safeguard the future of your online identity. Register it before someone else does!
What’s in a domain name?
A domain name, or website address as it’s sometimes known, is made up of two parts, separated by a dot. The first part is the domain name, which typically consists of words describing the business, brand or product to the user, and the second is the domain extension, or suffix – an abbreviation that can identify a geographical area (for example .ie) or a type of activity (.gov, .org).
What should your domain name convey?
- Your domain name should communicate the content of your website at a glance – make it easy for your users to understand.
- Keep your domain name concise to convey your company’s image most effectively and make it easy to remember.
- Relevancy is also important for search engines, consider using keywords that people would use to search for your products or services online, in your domain name. This will help to improve your search engine optimisation, and improve your rankings, driving more traffic to your website.
Is your perfect domain name available?
The Internet is a vast space containing millions of websites. So, it may be that your first, and maybe second choice of domain names have already been registered. But don’t give up!
Maximise your chances of finding a great domain name by writing down ten adjectives which best define your business. Then, combine them with your product name or words describing the content of your website. This exercise will help you understand what domain names could have the biggest impact.
Can you remember your domain?
Try memorising some of the options as Internet users are more likely to visit a website that has stuck in their mind. So try and steer clear of acronyms, numbers, initials, extra long domains and words using a different language.
Staying on the right side of the law
You should also bear in mind that there might be legal consequences if you choose the wrong domain name, so do some research first. Make sure that you aren’t infringing another business’s copyright, and that you are able to secure the relevant domain extensions to protect against (potentially damaging) illegitimate third party use.
Choosing the right domain extensions
Domain extensions are as significant as the domain name itself since they are able to define the markets in which your company operates or the type of business you do.
- To target a global market (from the outset or in the longer term), it’s advisable to secure a .com extension – the World’s most popular domain.
- If you are targeting locally, you can show off your Irish roots with a .ie domain which has restrictions in place that give the assurance that a website has Irish connections. A .ie will allow you to maximise your marketing efforts in Ireland and get ranked more highly in google.ie and other Irish search engines.
- If you’re targeting Europe, the .eu domain is advisable. It’s also restricted, to European residents, which can help to build user trust in this market.
- Alternatively you could choose a domain name that reflects the nature of your business, for example .biz for business content or .org for a charity.
So before you make any registration decisions, follow this simple guide to help you get the most out of your new business domain name. Ultimately your domain name choice is one of the most important decisions you will make when setting up a company, as it will be the online identity and public face of your business.