People sometimes ask me about what domain names they should register. A few years ago, Google decreased the benefit you get from having a keyword-specific domain name. I guess we could see that coming because people are getting used to ganging the search engines a bit by registering a particular domain name like plumbingservicessydney.com And you would get the keyword of like that phrase Plumbing Service Provider Sydney will come up in Google quite quickly because you have that domain name. Moreover, I guess you can see that Google would think, “Oh, well that is the company name so that should be the first one,” and all that sort of stuff. You can see where the logic is but that has decreased in priority. So your domain name is not as valuable as it once used to be.
Okay, so if you are an international business or you are operating, and you expect people to find you in other countries, it is probably a good idea to try and get a .com. If not then a .net would be okay as well. For a local market, so if you are in Australia or New Zealand or Canada or U.K., then you want to register your local country the second level domain name as well. So for Australian businesses, which is the ones I have the most experience with, at first preference is always let’s get .com.au. Now if we can, we will get the .com of the same thing. That is the basic. If you can get those two for business, then you are pretty much all right, and that will be a good minimum. Also, certainly the .com.au if your work is location-targeted. So if your customers are mainly in Australia, I would certainly prefer to have a .au than a .com. There are some benefits of being a .au domain name if you are ranking for Australia. Similarly, like in New Zealand, you have got .com.nz, Canada is .ca, U.K. is .com.u.k., and all the other countries have got their relevant domain names as well.
Okay, so if the .com and the .au are taken the next step is the .net and .net.au. There are fewer of those registered. The Australian namespace has about 2 ½ million domain names registered. I think about two million of those are .com.au and then maybe 1 ½ million are .com.au, and there are 500,000 .net.au or something like that. So there’s still room. There’s still opportunity to register .net and .net.au. If you want to protect your name, the business name, if that is important to you then you ought to register the .net.au and the .net. Also, that is probably the extent I would take it. It does not seem like there are many benefits of getting a .biz or a .info or .org. If you are planning on being a multinational brand or something, then knock your socks off. Get everything you can because you do not want other people registering them. However, as a small business, you do not need 50 domain names.
Also, Google does not give a rat’s if you have 100 domain names. You get one website for one website address. That is it. You do not get to show up 50 times because you have 50 domain names. It does not work like that.
Also, you want to pick a domain name that’s not too difficult to spell and is reasonably short. If it has keywords in it, that is great but do not make it sound silly when you read or try to spell it. I guess the classic one is the website called Experts Exchange and have a hyphen in their name. However, if you take the hyphen out, Expert Sex Change. Not the ideal choice for a domain name, you might think, and that is probably why the hyphen is in there. So my principles for choosing a domain name are you want something that’s short or as short as is reasonably possible. You want words that are easy to spell and not like 15 different variations on that spelling. Words, you have more than one in a domain name, so you preferably want words that don’t start and finish on the same letter. So if your first word in your domain name is international, try not to make the second-word lozenges because it starts and ends on the l and then people do not know if there is one l or two L’s and it is just confusing. Also, do not use “international” in your domain name. Don’t repeat letters if you can help it, make sure the words are distinct, easy to spell, preferably like two or three words is okay. Don’t make them too long.
Sometimes it is appropriate to have the business name as the domain name. Not always. So if the company name is quite long, you might want to pick a keyword domain instead. So an example of this is, we recently did the website for Intimate Moments Wedding Hire. It is quite a long name– A lovely name, but it is relatively long. It turns out Newcastle Wedding Hire was available as a domain name, and that is also a perfect keyword concerning what people are searching. So that is what we ended up using. It is shorter, easier to spell all that sort of stuff because you might have to use this as an email address. Like if you want to have email@example.com, you do not want your business blah, blah, blah to be long because otherwise, you are just making it hard for yourself when you start writing it down or giving it over the phone.
I am just trying to think of any other rules. Okay. Don’t use hyphens. Oh, my God. Do you realize how few people know this? So hyphen, this thing here, this little minus sign, that is the hyphen. Some people sometimes call it a minus sign, a hyphen, a dash, a stroke, the thing next to the zero. I am trying to think of some of the other words, but people do not always know what it is. Also, if you use a hyphen in your name, you are just adding extra challenges for yourself at no benefit. You do not impress Google by having hyphens in a domain name. Maybe there’s a case where there are two words, and you need to join it, and it makes sense to do that. Okay. Fine. However, I would have to say, in general, bad idea. The number of people who have come back to change the domain name because the first one they picked was too long, or had hyphens, or just weird spellings happens more often than you would think, so avoid that like the plague.
You cannot put fancy characters into domain names. Moreover, those are changing in the East, East Asian languages and Arabic. You can use domain names with those letters or characters. In general, the Australian English type domain names, you cannot use things like dollar signs, percents, all that sort of stuff. So you need to be within the normal character range for it to work.
Okay. I think that is probably all my thoughts about registering a domain name. Mainly try to make it simple, easy to remember, not too long and include your keywords or your business name if you can, or some variation on those or even an acronym. Though abbreviations, even four-letter acronyms are getting pretty rare, there are still some of them available, but it is getting unusual. So I would say pretty much all three-letter acronyms just about will be gone even in the .net.au space. So acronyms are getting less easy to organize.
By Season M. / Keen to Design