Choosing a Domain
Choosing the right domain name for your website is really important because you want to make it easy for your clients, prospects, readers and followers to find you on the internet. If you’re an established business, you will want to register a domain with your business name in it or one that reflects what you do. If you’re a blogger, it is a bit more open, but you could choose a name that reflects what your blog is about, your own name or something random. In the last case, a random name is fine, as long as you’re willing to work hard to promote your blog name so that it becomes associated with what you’re all about.
First let’s look at how your domain helps people find you and what a URL is made up of. To keep the explanation simple and relevant to us, a url is made up of four things.
- The protocol: this is the http:// or https:// part in the browser display. It’s actually an important part of the URL because it lets the browser (chrome, explorer, safari etc) know how its communicating with the webpage. While this isn’t really relevant to choosing the domain name it is really important to have the correct one.
- The domain: is the unique reference that identifies you on the web. This is the part that you register as your “domain”.
- The path: can refer to many things but for our purpose as a business or blogger, it refers to the specific page on your website the URL takes them too.
- The extension: this is the final part of the URL right on the end. It is the .com, .com.au, .net …..
As an example, this is how my URL is made up:
protocol domain extension path
Let’s look at an example. So let’s say you’re a plumber in Toowoomba Queensland Australia. Your registered business name is Top of the Range Plumbing Services. One domain name you would definitely want to register is ‘topoftherangeplumbingservices’ because
- It is the name of your business;
- People who know you are likely to just type this in to their search bar, so it will be easy to find you;
- People looking for plumbing services might be looking for a ‘top of the range plumber/plumbing services’ and this domain would bring you up in a Google search.
But what if someone else, in another country or state, has already registered this domain?
Well alternatives might be ‘top of the range plumbing’, top of the range plumbers, top of the range plumbing Toowoomba, top of the range darling downs. You could also include the business owner’s name and this might be a good thing to do if everyones know you as a great plumber. So if your name was Brendan Smith, you could have Brendan Smith plumbing, Brendan smith plumbing Toowoomba/darling downs.
Now you’re probably wondering why you would want to list all these possibilities! Well, because if you find your name is already taken or your domain could be classed as a ‘premium domain and the registrar wants $10,000 for it.
.com or .com.au? .net or .net.au? .co, .org ….
There are so many extensions today, so it can be confusing which one to choose! The simple answer is,
- if you’re a local service business the .com.au extension is the one you will most want to register.
- If you could service international, try for the .com. If both are available, register both.
So now that you have a list of domains you may want to register, lets see what is actually available for you to register!
Register a domain video here
Now that we have seen what’s available and what our choices are, go ahead and register the domain or domains, so you own them and use them to carve out your piece of real estate in the world wide web.
Reasons why you should register more than one domain
There are also reasons why you will want to register more than one domain. The biggest reason for businesses is Brand Protection. As a business owner you know how hard it is to establish yourself and how important your reputation is. You need to protect it. One really easy way to do that is to own the domain names that could be associated with your business to prevent someone else using it to promote their own business by associating their business with yours and using the domain to direct traffic to their site and away from you.
This is a huge topic. If you’re interested in protecting your ‘brand’ and you should be interested, I have written about Brand Protection on my blog. You can read it here and learn my top strategies for brand protection. But when it comes to the online world, registering your business’s domain is where you’ll start. So if you haven’t already done a domain brainstorm, do it now and identify the most important domains to register to protect your brand and your business.
Once you have a domain registered you can start setting up your website!