After a week’s holiday, it feels like I’m starting all over again, so it seems like the perfect time to get my new “Digital Marketing Beginners” series going! In essence, the series will cover the various steps you should take to hit the ground running, either with a new website or a rebrand. And to kick things off, we’re going to look at Domain Names and what you need to consider when creating one!
What Is A Domain Name?
Come on, we couldn’t do a “beginners” post without actually talking about this, could we? A domain name is the web address of a website. It is how people find you! So, it needs to be memorable, easy to type out and follow certain guidelines and recommendations.
So What Are Those Recommendations?
Choose The Right Domain Prefix
To begin with, you need to determine which prefix you want to be using; http or https. Now, this basically refers to whether your website is a Secure Site or standard site. If you are running an ecommerce website that takes people card details, for example, you will absolutely need to have a Secure Site (https) which means you’ll need to build the site securely and then pay for an SSL certification, but we’ll be going into that in more detail in a later post.
Essentially, if you store data from users, or even user generated content (outside of things like comments), you probably want to be HTTPS. On the other hand, if your website is just a services or products brochure site, you’ll be fine with just a standard site (HTTP).
Also, whilst Google have said in the past that they give extra weight to a site based upon whether or not that site is HTTPS, I have seen this to be very hit and miss… You’ll either get a small boost, or a massive drop… So unless it is really necessary for your website, I would stick with a standard site for now… (Note: for now)
Don’t Use Your Target Keyword As A Domain Name!
I would hope this one would be obvious, but you really don’t want to be using a keyword as a domain name! It was probably in the old days, but SEO has moved on and Google has gotten far smarter. Instead of helping you, this kind of domain name is likely to hold you back, considerably!
But that’s not the only issue you’ll find with these kind of domain names. Keyword domain names look spammy, and give someone an instant negative opinion of your site. For example, which of the following would you trust more?
I’m guessing the second, right? Well, that’s the same with pretty much everyone online these days. We’ve come to expect that domain names like the first run belong to sleezy websites that are likely to scam you. And I’m guessing you don’t want to be associated with that kind of crowd, right?
Finally, the other thing you need to take into consideration is which domain extension is best for you? Whilst it used to be limited to things like .com and .org, there are hundreds of different extensions available these days! Are you creating a Social Media agency? Why not something like example.agency? Or perhaps you are creating a blog? You could have awesome.blog!
There are so many different types of extensions available that you should really do some research! Take a look at your competitors (especially new and up-coming ones), as well as what types of extensions are available for your industry! You could even use it as part of your rebrand! For example, you could be called socialmediaguys.com, but buy the domain name awesome.social, and brand yourselves as “Awesome.Social” going forward!
And That’s Enough To Get Us Started!
As this is just the first of a series, and that’s the major considerations for a domain name, I think we’ve got enough to get your started! At the very least, I hope this gets you thinking and exploring the different possibilities for your domain! If you found this helpful, or have any questions, I’d love to hear about it/them in the comments section!