Choosing A Great UK Domain Name
Posted by nick_niesen on November 1st, 2010
The first, and most critical, step for registering your domain name is choosing the right one. The perfect domain name is memorable, unique, easy to spell, and will rank high in searches. Here's what to do.
1. Keep it simple. The shortest and most direct domain name is always the best. You'll have to get creative to find it, though, because almost every single word in English is gone. Most of the best domain names being registered today are a company name, a person's name, or two-word combinations. If you use a two-word combination, try to own it both with and without the dash: happydogs and happy-dogs.
2. Try to use a domain name with your keyword in it. If you have a dog-oriented business, the happydogs/happy-dogs domain names are perfect.
Why? Because when you use your keyword, the search engines take notice. A dog-oriented web site with the word "dog" in the URL is always assumed to be closer to what a searcher is looking for than one that doesn't have that word in it; because the search engines are in the business of giving searchers what they're looking for, they will rank that site higher.
3. Don't use creative spelling. Your customers aren't looking for a puzzle, they're looking for you and your product. You can use the number 1 in your title, but don't register the website Cre8ive; no one will ever find it, and it means nothing to the search engines.
4. Before you register, try to come up with at least a dozen different names; your top choices will almost certainly be taken, but it's much less frustrating to register names when you have plenty of alternatives ready to go.
5. If you have a business that does a lot of volume in the UK or that is targeted specifically at a UK consumer base, getting UK in your domain name is a great way to rank higher in the search engines. The primary extensions for United Kingdom websites are .com and .co.uk.
However, most of the best domain names with these extensions are taken. Avoid buying a .info or another alternate extension; few people look for these. You should also avoid the .org extension unless you're running a non-profit business. Acceptable alternatives to these extensions are the .uk.com and the .net extensions. If more than one of these extensions is available for your domain name, you should buy them all; domain names are not expensive, and you can point multiple ones at your web site. Buying multiple similar names ensures that you keep the competition away from your name, and that any search for your domain name will bring you up. Most large corporations use this trick; companies like Disney buy up every trademark they own.
6. When you register a domain name, as soon as the traffic starts picking up on it go ahead and renew it for multiple years. This is an investment. Even if you don't keep the site yourself, you can resell your valuable virtual real estate at a profit later. Renewing it for a long time can keep someone from sneaking in and registering your domain name if you miss the expiration, too.
7. Register with a company that has been around for a while and charges enough that you know they won't go bankrupt. This makes it much easier when you renew; instead of re-registering, all you have to do is let your registrar know that you want to renew. Shop around a bit, though, so you'll have a good idea of price ranges.Also See: Domain Name, Search Engines, Domain Names, Theyre Looking, Name, Domain, Names
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