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Domain Considerations

In research it has been found that new businesses don’t consider there domain needs until very late in the development of their business plan and then spend very little time in choosing the appropriate domains for their business. As you are users of the web relate the considerations below to how they effect your behaviour on the web. We believe in this day and age it is important to develop a domain strategy as ealy as possible.

The amount of domains in your strategy will depend on your budget and expectations of the success of your new website.

Here are some considerations in choosing a domain that we have found over the last few years should be considered, some are more relevant than others depending on the purpose of your domain.

Short as possible

as few words as possible make as easy to remember as possible

Presence & Leadership

does your intended domain sound established and leading the field and this factor can often lead people to buy a domain as although money is spent it can be recouped by the extra traffic it help generates. This factor is especially relevant for those who intend to use the google ads and the like as you need every factor in your favour to generate traffic.

Generic

All the generic dictionary words (over 150,000) have already been registered for some time and if expire will be registered by proffesional domainers and they will almost certainly cost a small (or large) fortune to buy.But you could invent you own new word e.g. Moblin.co.uk

Keyword rich

almost certainly the ‘word’ or ‘words’ that describes your industry or subject are registered And if it is for sale it will almost certainly be very expensive Cruises.co.uk sold in 2008 for £1,000,000 Con difficult to get top of rankings but you can often register the keyword with another word to make personal

Thesaurus

when you find your preferred domain e.g. rarebooks.co.uk is registered August 1997 and the site linked to the domain simply says “Website coming soon...” so use theseraus.com ofr alternate words raritybooks.co.uk and rarestbooks.co.uk

Left brain thinking

Lateral thinking about phrases or words used in your partlicular area of activity that will describe and these will often be more memorable so for rare books how about 1stEditions.co.uk

Random words

take any 2 random generic words such as ice and bear and see if icebear.co.uk is not available as registered in june 2007 try iceblue.co.uk reg August 2002 how about iceframe.co.uk reg March 2007 finally icehat.co.uk is available but icehat.com reg in March 2003.

Acronym

if have long name of several words consider taking the first letter of each word it has worked well for quite a few companies Industrial Business Machines see IBM.com

3 or 4 letter domains

Very short and memorable but not many available to be registered (no 3 letters available to be registered and unlikely to buy for less than £1,000 and more likely to cost £2,500 – £5,000). It is possible to buy list of all currently available 4 letter domains as it can take a while to find a suitable one - send us an email if you want a list.

Your business name

even if you intend to use a trade name or genric domain for your website consider also registering your business name as users will use the name to return to your site. See Redirect 301.

Geographic

Usually people add town,city,county or district as this helps identify to the user that you are local to their needs and helps with search rankings.

Scope of name

Consider where your business may be after a few years rather than at the start. e.g. if selling gifts in dorest to start with but later would expand into the south of England would your name still make sense.

Delebriate misspellings and phonetic

eg kidz

Play on words

Using the double meaning of words

Avoid Known Brands

Avoid domains that knowingly have a brand name e.g. Disney in them unless you have the permission of the holder of that brand. It will not help you and will probably bring lots of problems to your door.

Use of numbers

These are memorable and there are lots of 4 number domains available to be registered.

Hyphens

Avoid domains with more than 2 hyphens and always try to obtain the domain without the hyphen. But register your domain with hyphens if you would not want anybody else to have it.

Singular/Plural

Register or aquire both if available

Common Prefix's

at beginning of domain main ones used are: The, 4, Just, my, uk, e.g. TheWhois.co.uk as Whois.co.uk registered in 1997. Some are more appropriate and others such as 'go' are suitable only for certain industries or purposes. This can a great source of ideas for a full list click here.

Common Suffix's

as the last word used at the end of a domain e.g. 4u, online, forYou, ltd and uk. his can a great source of ideas for a full list click here

Common second word concepts

if your need a domain with a certain word at all costs and all prefix and suffixed that you would consider are registered try using a common second word concept such as a colour; 'blue' is the most popular or how about a random number or direction such as 'west'

Txt speak

depending on your audience txt/sms abbreviations may be a consideration 4luv.co.uk for a dating site.

Spelling

make it easy to spell and one you have found domain try to get a shorter version of word if that would be easier to spell.

Letter running

as no spaces in domains the last letter of one word can be same of first letter of next word if so also register domain with only 1 letter as it looks like your domain at first glance and otherwise a cyber squatter may register it for miss type traffic e.g bordersstores.co.uk did not register borderstores.co.uk as you can see, so they have lost potential traffic as they may try a link or go to their 2nd choice Amazon.co.uk

Memorable

repeat visitors and referrals are going to much higher with a memorable name 'tip': show your domain name on your site

www

www prefix for domains with a lot of traffic to improve user experience register domain preceded with www e.g. wwwba.co.uk will redirect you to BritishAirways.com

Sounds like

if you advertize your domain on radio/tv then consider registering phonetic version of your domain e.g. if main domain “suits for you .co.uk” you should consider registering suits4you.co.uk and suits4u.co.uk

Email

does domain look good as email address

Bad domains

Is it a blommer as domains without spaces expertsexchange.co.uk can be read several ways Experts Exchange is a great site but is can be read ExpertsExchange.co.uk or ExpertSexChange.co.uk!

Tld’s

Tld is the extension after a domain main ones .com and .info ) Although .com is the widely accepted extension for domains .co.uk for those trading in the uk can communicate also some web users in uk avoid .com as they consider them to be American and not relevant to there needs. You should also consider .org and .org.uk - if you are not for profit organization .ltd.uk - not widelty used but if you own the company name you can register the equivalent domain .plc.uk - not widelty used but if you own the plc company name you can register the equivalent domain .me.uk - invisaged to be used for personal email addresses but has never rally taken off but if correct words it can be memorable and relevant to users. .net - for non country specific if required domain is not available to you in your required tld .biz – if you get desperate .net.uk – not a registry and a bit more expensive to maintain but you will be probably get the domain you want .eu – as better chance of getting what you want

Whois

Use TheWhois.co.uk to find out the owner and their contact details and you can contact them or catch if it going to expire see CatchMy.co.uk.

After you have your domain – it's not over!

Tip – make sure your hosting company sets up you zone file properly so if client types your domain without www it will still get to your domain check. Try on web browser google.co.uk and www.google.co.uk they will both get to website but if you try (at time of writing anyway) www.snc.co.uk it is okay but not snc.co.uk as no zone file record.

Tip - Consider DomainDisplay.co.uk to show your domain in proper case too aid reading of your domain.

Tip - Register Spelling variations of your new domain too avoid cyber squaters later when you are successful.

Tip - Google ads, if your name is unique and nobody else uses your name as ad word then if you are top of Google don’t do pay add as you are throwing money away

Tip - How to get on Google: as it takes 3 weeks on average before they visit put up simple home page with basic information about what you do and submit to top 5 engines manually and update site when you have more complete website – this ensures you will at least get found for your new site and it will get visited again when updated later.

Tip - Feeding your site from satellite sites is another useful purpose of relevant domains. Imagine if you have 10 different sites with different content on same subject and they occupy the top 10 places on Google’s first page – with no competition in site you every change of getting that visitor


Any comments / questions on above would be welcome at Domains@Domains4.co.uk