When it comes to launching a new website, the domain name is simply something you cannot afford to get wrong. Getting the right domain can make all the difference to your rankings and brand image so in this post, I want to explore just a few factors that you should be aware of before picking the perfect domain…
Should My Domain Be A Brand Or A Keyword?
This is a common question that comes up when a company wants to buy a new domain. There are two choices for a company, they can either buy a domain that matches their brand or they can buy a domain that is an “exact match”, meaning that the domain matches one of the keywords they wish to rank for.
In some cases, having an exact match domain can give you the edge over your competitors in the search engines, however it’s important to think of the big picture…
Having an exact match domain limits you to a single keyword and gives a very clear message to users what your site is about. This may cause issues long term if you decide to refocus the site to different products or services.
The search benefit of these domains is likely to go away in the future as many spammers are using them to get quick wins in the results.
A memorable branded domain is without a doubt your best bet (with exceptions of course). It will help visitors remember you and no doubt help you to gain links in the future.
Users will prefer to visit a website such as “hortbreadfactory.com” rather than “wholesale-shortbread-manufacturers.com“.
Which TLD Should I Use? (.com, .co.uk, .net)
This is another common question and important question; “which top level domain should I use”. There are many out there such as .com, .co.uk, .net, .biz, etc. There are also many new TLDs that appear each month, most recently, .co and .xxx.
It’s best to stick with established TLDs such as .com and .co.uk as users know and trust these domains. Also if you want to buy a domain with age then these trusted TLDs will likely be the oldest and most established.
If you’re running a website for a specific area then you should consider buying a localised country domain. .co.uk for British websites or .fr for French websites and so on.
If you do buy more than one domain then you should redirect them back to a single domain, if you run copies of the same website on multiple domains then you’re creating duplicate content which will harm your site.
Does It Matter Where I Buy My Domain?
The short answer to this is no, all leading registrars are fine to buy from and won’t harm your websites chances of ranking.
As long as you pick a natural sounding domain that matches your brand and one that uses an established top level domain then you shouldn’t run into any issues. A domain while important is part of many factors that help a website to rank!