You have a great name for your business, but the domain name you want for your website is unavailable. What are your options?
If you’re lucky, you have a very unique, brief business name and you were able to secure an exact domain match. If this is not the case however, all is not lost. Simply because the domain name you want has been taken, you can still have a catchy and effective domain name for your business website by employing a little creativity. There is no requirement that the domain should exactly match the business name.
In the event that your business name is long, it’s likely that you can secure an exact domain match, e.g. if the business is called Irish Industrial Welding Services, you might want the domain to be irishindustrialweldingservices.com.
However, imagine a prospective customer typing this into a browser, or emailing you, e.g. email@example.com. They are likely to make a spelling error with such a long piece of text and might give up in frustration.
On the other hand, you can get creative with a domain that is short and catchy, like IrishWelding.com, BestIrishWelding, or even WeWeldBest.com. You could even register a few domains with relevant keywords that all point to your website, to increase the likelihood of your website appearing near the top of a list of search results. (A caveat here: this is just one factor in Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. Other factors include: a “mobile responsive” website; relevant keywords placed throughout the website; well written content, fast page loading, and many more.)
Even if you have been using something like the first domain name in the above example for some time already, you can still register one of the shorter names, and forward it to your website and email, making it easier for your customers or prospects to contact you.
Other tips to keep in mind when choosing your domain name:
- Try to avoid digits and hyphens. The likelihood of errors increases if people enter ‘five’ instead of 5 for example, and might forget to enter the hyphen.
- If your business is region specific, it might make sense to include the town name in the domain if possible.
- If Ireland is your primary market, you might consider a .ie domain. According to the IEDR, a .ie domain has a higher chance of appearing in the first page of an Ireland-specific internet search, and “…is one of the safest domains in the world, with lower instances of cybercrime and cybersquatting than other domains.”
- Set up auto-renewal with your domain provider, and link to your credit card. This way, you won’t need to remember to renew your domain annually, avoiding the unpleasant situation of your website and emails going down, which may cause your customers to shop elsewhere if they can’t contact you!
Whatever stage you’re at with a domain name, the good news is that you always have options to optimise it. If you have any questions on this, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to advise.