Many people assume that the first step in taking a business online is to design a website. While this is an essential process, choosing the right name for your new website is equally important. In fact, getting a new website online all starts with a name – a domain name!
Your domain is your website’s first opportunity to make a good impression online and should, therefore, be considered carefully.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is essentially the online address of your website, it’s the name that people use to search for you online and it consists of four elements:
- Prefix: HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. This is the set of rules for transferring files, including text, images, sound and video on the internet
- Subdomain: This is a subdomain prefix for the “World Wide Web”
- Name: This is the name you choose to call your new website
- Extension or suffix: This part is intended to define or categorise the type of website represented by the domain name. It is used to specify a country code (such as .joburg or any web category (such as .org)
So, how do you decide what to call your new online space?
Your domain name should match your brand. You should always try to think of something that doesn’t need an explanation. You can either use your company, organisation or blog’s name, or you can use a word or phrase that represents what you offer.
Remember, it’s your first impression online!
Don’t try to be too clever with fancy words and tricky spelling. People need to remember your name, so keep your domain name as short and as memorable as possible.
Your domain name affects your SEO
Almost everything you do to or with your website will affect your search engine optimisation (SEO) score – including the domain name you choose. SEO is the method of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic search. When it comes to choosing a domain name, try to include a word that define what your content is about, also called a ‘keyword’. Search engines love keywords; so if your URL contains an important keyword for your website, you’ll soon reap the rewards.
Tip: Always register your domain name for the maximum period! This way, you’ll ensure that no one else registers your domain name when it expires.
Which domain extension should you choose?
Do you stay local with .co.za? Do you go classic with .com? Or do you go trendy with .mobi? If you are selling your products or services in South Africa, go for a local extension such as .co.za. If your focus is mainly on mobile users, go with a .mobi. When it comes to extensions, it all depends on your target market.
Use 1-grid’s domain name spinner!
Our domain spinner will show you all the available extensions for your domain name.
The more domain names you have, the better your chances are of getting found online. Having more than one domain also helps to prevent competitors from registering domains relevant to your brand.
The more domain names you have pointing to your website, the more likely people are to find you. We always recommend registering a geographic extension, such as .joburg, .capetown and .durban, to let customers know where you’re located in addition to a generic extension, such as .com.
When deciding on a domain name, keep in mind that this will most likely be your website’s name for many years to come. So, be sure to register one that you are completely satisfied with.