What is a Top Level Domain
A website is identified by the string of letters that is typed into a browsers address bar.
The domain name is the part between the “https://“ and the extension at the end; the “.com” or “.co.uk”.
The extension is known as the TLD, the Top Level Domain.
Originally there were only a few TLD’s:
.org for organisations (usually non-profit)
.edu for academic institutions
.net for organisations with a distributed network of computers
.gov for government websites
and .com for commercial and personal websites
Nowadays that list has exploded and all kind of TLD’s exist, like: .pizza, .builder, .plumber
Choosing the Right Top Level Domain
Select an extension that is considered trustworthy.
The most common and acceptable extension is .com however if your business is only within the United Kingdom then a .co.uk extension will definitely identify you as a UK based company.
A more recently released extension is just .uk and maybe worth considering
Thepizzagrill.co.uk sounds more firmly established and solid rather than the thegrill.pizza
If you have any affiliation with the USA then consider a .com extension
One Website Many Top Level Domains
Many companies register domain names with all the most popular extensions – .com, .co.uk, .net. But still have only one website. The other domain names are redirected to the parent.
A good example of this is B & Q, the DIY super store. Their main site has a domain name diy.com, but they also have bandq.com and bandq.co.uk both pointing towards diy.com
The idea is to catch any traffic that inadvertently uses the wrong address and the wrong extension
And if you’re really paranoid maybe register the common misspellings of your domain name. Plumbingservices.uk as well as plummingservices.uk
Choosing the Right Domain Name
Choosing the right domain name is one of the most important decisions when considering creating an online presence for your business.
A memorable name can draw in visitors and potential customers to your site whereas an uninspiring or difficult name will for sure drive them away.
Your online presence reflects your brand.
Identify the most important features of your brand and look for phrase, keywords that will help reflect those qualities.
Creative and brand-able is always preferable to some generic domain name.
A brand-able domain is unique and stands out from the crowd.
A generic domain name is stuffed with keywords and easily forgotten
First impressions. Customers will form an opinion of your business within seconds of viewing your site and the first part of the site they will see is your domain name in the search bar
Think like a potential customer. What kind of domain names related to your business would a potential customer type into the search bar?
Make it Easy to Type
If you use slang or words with multiple spellings it will be harder for your customers to find you
No double letters: Imagine typing https://presssetup.com without adding or missing an “s”
Make it Easy to Pronounce
Making it much easier for customers to share the domain name by word-of-mouth.
Verbalising the name: Is it 5guys.co.uk or five guys.co.uk
Keep it Short
Long and complex and your customers are bound to misspell it. And remember your business email address contains your domain name. Imagine typing your email address many times per day.
The most common domain name length is around 12 characters
Keywords describing your business. Keywords that your potential customers will type into the google search bar Plumberinexeter.co.uk, Plumbingservices.com
Make sure it reflects what your business does
Will help in search engine ranking
Target your area
If your business is local to Exeter then exeterplumber.co.uk
Make Your Domain Name Mobile-friendly
Approximately 50% Internet traffic is generated through mobile phones, so make sure your domain name can be easily typed using a mobile keypad.
Watch out for the auto-correct feature that can definitely send your customer elsewhere and the frustration of typing a hyphen or any other special character
Your domain name is your online address. It can significantly shape a visitor’s perception of your brand.
Unfortunately, most of the one-hit names like “pets.com” were taken up in the early days of the internet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a great domain name for your new website.
- Make it memorable.
- Keep it mobile friendly.
- Use keywords… if they make sense.
- Reflect your brand in your domain name
- Choose the right extension. While .com is still the most popular consider the newer and cheaper alternatives like .co.uk or .uk
And finally; your domain name is going to be with you for a very long time so take some time to make sure it works for you