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Choosing Effective Domain Names

4 min read

What is an effective domain name?

There is no right answer. What is good for one person may not be right for another. These suggestions may, however, be useful. Certainly we encourage you to think carefully about the way the internet operates and to consider registering linked sets of domain names for current and future use. Even more important, we encourage you to act now while there are still millions of excellent domain names available for registration.

Think Internet
Keep them simple
Make them memorable
Chose guessable names
Consider the image you want to project
Aim to get high search engine rankings
Plan for the future
Register brand and trademarked words
Think global
Remember English is not the first language of many potential customers
Mis-spelling misheard and plurals
Try made-up or combinations of words
Think carefully about the use of hyphens
Select organizational and country codes with care
Buy protection from competitors and potentially hostile third parties
Act legally
Act quickly
Think Internet
Webnames tend to be short and snappy and an inappropriate or long name could lose you thousands of potential visitors to your site. You may find that in addition to a name that reflects your registered business name ( you also need a range of names that are specifically designed to make life easy for your customers or to bring in new business online through the internet search engines, directories and listings.

Keep it simple

Try to select a name that is easy for people to use. You don’t want to lose contacts because people have difficulty typing, spelling or speaking your domain name.

Make it memorable

You want people to remember your domain name so that they can easily return to your website or recommend it to other people. A single word is ideal if they associate that word with you (and you can find one that has not already been registered). Attention-grabbing names that are different and stand out from the crowds also work. Try using colour, movement, physical attributes or strange combinations of words to make your name memorable

Chose a ‘Guessable’ Name

People will often try to guess what your domain name is. Make it easy for them. If there are several ways they might guess your name, register all of them. Consider registering the .com version of your name and also say, the and versions, as well as those key countries in which you operate (if you are eligible to do this) Register your name in full, by initials and any other way by which you are commonly known. This is good customer care as well as clever marketing. The price of a few additional names is probably nothing compared to the extra business they are likely to generate.

Consider the image you want to project

You have only a few characters to get over who you are and why people might want to visit your website. Try to project an appropriate image as this will influence the type and number of visitors to your website.

If you want to be seen as trading in the global marketplace consider using a .com address. If you want to be associated with a specific country then flag that up by using, for example, a .uk suffix. Do you want to be seen as a traditional or modern company, perhaps using the full title of your company ( or a short snappy brand name ( Do you want to be seen as commercial or not-for-profit focussed ( or

Aim to get high search engine rankings

Many people use search engine listings to find the type of webpages they want. When they get long listings they tend to look only at those at the top of it. To attract new business think about the words people are likely to use when making search engine inquiries and then register additional domain names incorporating these words. The reason for this is that many search engines give a higher weighting to a word when it is contained in a domain name than when only found in the text.

If you want to sell lighting worldwide you will find a name like will bring you in many more new customers than a name like (though you may find it valuable to register both types of name). In addition, think about the verbs that people are likely to use in intuitive search queries, for example, “I want companies selling modern lighting”. If you have the three words “sell”, “modern” and “lighting” in your domain name address it may help you get a higher ranking than if you just have as your domain name. If you want to be even more sophisticated you should register two additional names, one which picks up the people who say “I want to buy modern lighting” and another that tries to attract people who ask ‘who sells modern lighting’?

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