You can’t go far wrong if you K.I.S.S.
No, I’m not being inappropriately friendly.
I’m talking about Keep It Simple Stupid. If you use that acronym as your guiding principle, you probably won’t go far wrong.
So, let’s break that down.
Keep it short
You are expecting people to type this into their browser bar, so don’t irritate them with a long and complicated address. Two or three words and up to twelve characters is acceptable. Any more than that and people will lose patience or forget the address.
If possible, basing it on your business name is usually a good idea
Your clients will find this easy to understand and remember. Plus, if someone doesn't know your website address, they will probably try your business name. Personally, I prefer a domain name that includes the company name, or owner's name or initials because it sounds more authentic. I would trust a website named djs-accountants.co.uk more than one called topaccounting.co.uk which sounds at best like a directory site and at worst spammy.
Keep it meaningful to your business
If you can’t use your company name, maybe because the domain is already taken, then choose something obviously related to your business.
Make your domain name easy to say out loud
Imagine yourself telling your website address to a potential client at a networking event. Will they be able to understand it easily?
Make it easy to spell
Puns and unusual spellingz R 2 B avoided!
Make it memorable
Keeping it short and simple will definitely help here. If you tell someone your domain name at a networking event, will they remember it by the time they get home?
UK companies should generally end their domain name with .co.uk
O.K. it’s complicated. Sometimes there are good reasons to use a different domain extension. I’ll do another post just on this. But in most cases if you are a company operating in the U.K., use .co.uk
Test, test, test!
It’s very exciting registering your domain name isn’t?
But wait! You may think you have found the perfect domain name but first you should do a bit of research.
Try it out on friends, family and, ideally, some people who don’t love you.
Tell them the domain name. Can they understand it? Spell it? Remember it? What impression does it give them?
Try putting it into Google. What comes up? Competitors? Anything you don’t want to be associated with?
And finally, make sure you don’t have any accidental words formed within your domain name. The owner of Cavendish I.T might think cavendishit.co.uk would make a good web address 😲
Have you ever seen any, ahem, "interesting" domain names?