When setting up your business website, you will need to choose and register a domain name. This domain name is the address at which your site can be found. It is also a good place to start the search engine optimisation process. A search friendly domain name will hep customers and search engines to find your website.
As with the main text content of your website, the domain name itself is ‘read’ by the search engines. Making sure this name is keyword rich will help it to be correctly indexed and will assist customers in finding the site.
Choosing your business domain
So what should you choose as your domain name? This can depend on your business, and on how customers will choose to look for it. Typically, a business domain will include your company name, your primary business function and your location. The name is your brand, the unique element of your domain. The main function shows customers and search engines at a glance what your site is all about, and the location allows you to close in on your target customer base.
Local businesses and domain names
An example of a strong domain name for a typical business is www.abcbuilderskent.co.uk. This domain gives the company name (ABC Builders), so anybody looking for the company specifically and searching for the name should get this result returned to them. It also gives the primary business function as a keyword (builders), so it can be correctly identified and indexed. It then gives the location (Kent) so that customers looking for services in this area can see that they have come to the right place.
Global businesses and domains
For international and global brands, adding the location to the domain name may not be very helpful, as customers come from all over and may not search by location. In this case, choosing your strongest keyword and adding this to your domain name can be extremely helpful, for example www.abcexpresscouriers.co.uk. As above, we have the company name (ABC Express) for customers who search directly for this name, but we also have an additional keyword (couriers) to demonstrate to customers and crawlers what your website is about. This can also be a good method of domain SEO if your company name does not contain a function keyword.
Brands and domains
Large, well known brands may find that their key search term is actually their company name or brand name. In this instance, the domain name may consist of just one keyword, the brand name itself (e.g. ebay.co.uk, adidas.com). If your customers are familiar with your brand name and are most likely to search for you using this, you may wish to register this as a domain name. However, this approach would be inadvisable for smaller businesses, such as the building company mentioned above – potential customers would be far more likely to discover them by searching for ‘builders in Kent’ than by searching ‘ABC Builders’, so adding a keyword and/or location to the domain will improve website optimisation.
Target markets and domain SEO
Knowing your target market and understanding about how your customers look for your services will assist you in choosing the best domain for your site, one which is keyword rich and search engine friendly.