By Ricky Law.
There’s a lot to consider when deciding on the domain name for your business website.
What extension is right for you?
Choosing what type of domain extension is right for you and your business is one of the first decisions you’ll need to make. The best way to approach this is to ask yourself where your customers are.
This is when choosing a more local extension, such as Dot London, may be a good idea.
For example, if your business is a local plumbing service based in London avoid choosing a .COM or .NET domain name for your website, as these extensions can often imply your business has a global or international presence – yet you might not even work outside the M25, let alone in a different country!
Extensions such as .co.uk, and especially Dot London immediately let customers know where your business is based.
Keep it memorable
So you’ve decided to go for a Dot London domain for your plumbing business website, now what name to choose? Keeping it short a memorable is vital.
www.rickysindustrialplumbingandheatingservicesltd.london is certainly a descriptive domain name, but it’s not something your customers are going to remember, or even be bothered type out.
The page copy within your website can elaborate on the service you provide, so try and keep it short and sweet. Something like www.rickys-plumbing.london is much easier on the eye, and it won’t cost the earth to print on the van!
Should you put keywords in your domain?
Many moons ago the SEO world was a lot simpler. Tricks such as stuffing your page content with tonnes of unnatural keywords would be fairly effective for gaining a better ranking in Google’s search engine results pages. Similarly, adding relevant keywords into your domain name was also a well-practiced tactic – but does it still work today?
The short answer is yes, but not quite like it used to. Adding a keyword such as “plumbing” or “London” into a domain name is still regarded as a ranking factor used by Google, however it is no longer deemed not as strong a factor as it once was.
Back in 2011 Matt Cutts (head of Google’s Webspam Team) did indeed confirm exact match keywords in domain names could be a positive ranking factor. But the following year Matt also mentioned via Twitter that a new update to Google’s ranking algorithm was being released which was to “reduce low quality exact-match” domains in search results.
Since then there has been various studies by third party companies to see whether domain keywords are having a positive effect on ranking. Research by Moz and eConsultancy both seem to show that keywords in domains have some positive effect on rankings – but domain keywords should be considered only a small part of what makes up a well optimised website.
Apart from having the obvious service keywords in your domain name, it has always been common place to include a geographical identifier to help boost your visibility in local searches; this is where Dot London has the edge.
Using the Dot London extension, www.rickys-plumbinglondon.com, turns to www.rickys-plumbing.london. Your location is already within the domain name extension, which helps keep your domain even shorter and more memorable.
Before you start making business decisions which may include reference to your new website, such as van decal or business cards, you must be sure your preferred domain name is available to register. There is nothing worse than having a great idea for a domain name, only to find somebody else beat you to it.
Search for your domain name and register as soon as possible.
Let’s go over the key areas to consider when choosing your domain name.
- Choose the right domain extension for you! Think about where your customers are? If you’re trading in London, or have customer base in London, a Dot London domain is a great choice.
- Keep it memorable. Keep your domain name as short and snappy as possible.
- Include keywords. Add a relevant keyword into your domain name, so long as it’s relevant and natural – but don’t expect SEO miracles!
Ricky is a digital marketing executive at LCN.com – one of the UKs largest web hosts and domain registrars. With a real passion for technical SEO and social media marketing, you can find him writing tips and guides for SMEs over at the LCN blog.