How to Choose a URL and Domain – First Whats the difference!
Hi and welcome to the blog for Buzzweb. Today’s little topic is one that we get asked about all the time. How to choose a URL and or a Domain name. As unbeknownst to a lot of people, they are different. Different parts of the same thing. So for those of you that don’t know what each one of these is, allow me to explain a little. This way you can go through the rest of this blog with some understanding.
URL – or Uniform Resource Locator is actually the whole thing together that you see at the top of this page in the address bar. Such as; https://www.colourderma.com.au/second-skin-services/
A domain name is a middle bit, in this case, the colourderma.com bit
The 2nd level Domin is – colourderma and;
The TLD or Top-level Domain is the .com part.
The bit at the end /second-skin-services/ is the page identifier or Page Slug. Which identifies the page from all the others with the same domain. Together it is all known as the URL.
So now you know, apologies if you already knew that stuff, but others won’t get confused should I now ramble on about TLDs and URLs.
At this point of course I could go on some unholy rant about how really, every web address is actually a numerical address and the Domain Name System (DNS) is what actually changes it into the name that you choose.
But I honestly think it’s best we don’t.
Anyway, moving on…
So you have a Business
You have your business all set up and ready to go. You understand the need these days to have a web presence and a tidy website to tell everyone that you are ready, out there, and working. You need a Domain name and something to call your website.
How to choose A URL? What is important to have in a domain name? And, What makes a strong Domain name? Let’s go through this one step at a time then on, ‘How to choose a URL?’.
What makes a strong domain name?
Use what you do – Ok, using what you do is a great way how to Choose a URL. No matter if it is niche or mainstream, it will help using what you do in your name. Helps with both Local SEO and Search Engine Pages (SERPs). However, if you have your heart set on a .com here then 9/10 you will be a little disappointed, I feel. That’s because these are the first to go.
If you are a plumber and you want Maiamiplumber.com You will find someone who will have bought it. Some industrial Domain Name buyer. You see, there are a lot of people out there that actually just buy Domain names and hold them, then if someone wants it, they will sell it for a premium. However, don’t despair, it may well still be possible to buy it with a New TLD attached, such as Miamiplumber.XYZ, so just go for that.
I will do a new full blog soon that will explain how having what you do in your Domain Name will help with Local SEO. This and loads other stuff to help you with Google My Business, Maps, and Local SEO. So look out for that.
Using your Name – If you are a consultant of some kind, Lawyer, Plastic surgeon, or another kind of customer-facing professional, then yes use your name. If you are looking to display a personal brand, then yeah great certainly use your own name. If your business is all about you and you are the Unique Selling Point, then go for it. But, my advice would be to look to the future.
It may be that you wish to grow or sell the business. If you have done what you are supposed to, which is creating a business plan, then you should have an idea of some sort of exit plan. Therefore, having Joeblogsplumbing.com, now doesn’t seem so good.
Use a location – Adding a location to your Domain is a great idea should you be looking to your local area for business. It certainly helps should you have an eye on Google My Business listings.
PlumbingSydney.com or PlumbersMiami.com are great for that type of business that would just deal in the local area. However, again should you be looking to expand, open up in other cities in the future or even take your brand global… it isn’t brilliant for that.
Use an English Word – This is to say. If you had a Jewellery company and called it Amour, then who would say no. Most people know it as the french for Love, but should you have that in German Say “Liebe” well, outside of Germany, it may not work.
So look at your Audience on this one. Will they understand it? will they get what you are trying to portray? If in doubt, leave it.
Keep it easy to pronounce and spell – This goes hand in hand with the above. I once worked for a client that made Irish style jewellery in Silver (A large international Brand). So they wanted the Irish word for Love as their Domain name. This being said Agra.com was taken, so they settled on Acushla.com But do you know how to actually pronounce that? It turns out, like most Irish words it isn’t said as seen. Arkishala is the correct pronunciation. Needless to say, as a brand outside of Ireland and say, New York/Boston Mass. it just didn’t work.
Use something Catchy, short and easy to remember – Ok, so for a domain name you can have anything from 3 letters to 60 for your domain. I suggest you keep it short, to Max 10 letters, but make it even shorter if you can, 7 is perfect (hello buzzweb). Long domains are hard to remember for people. Another old client was a company that went literal with, www.sydneyandwestpaintingandropeaccess.com – They painted tall buildings in Sydney Australia. Of course, when SydneyRopeAccess.com came around… say no more.
Use something that is brandable – Think of how you are going to actually market your website and business. Think of how you can create a brand and how the Website will fit into that branding strategy. How will you use it on social media? HeroPlumber.com is a great example of how you can build a whole branding strategy from the website domain.
Don’t use industry Jargon – Try and not to do this when looking at How to choose a URL. T2ph.asia was an example here. The domain says nothing. What they actually sell is a personal lubricant and could have gone a whole other way. It turns out it had something to do with a formula and the ph balance… whatever!
Think of the Future – The majority of what I have said here, is really just trying to get you to think of not just today, but what you can do with your business and Domain Name in the future. URLs/Domain Names are assets to a business. Google loves a Domain name that has age, as age builds Domain Authority(DA). The higher the DA the more chance of someone wanting to link to you.
However, every business should have a growth plan and an exit strategy. You don’t go blindly into business not knowing how you will get out at some point in the future. Make sure you have that in your decision-making process when working out How to Choose a URL.
Questions and Answers on How to choose a URL
Can you build the website first and then choose the domain name – The answer here is sort of yes. You can do that, we will build a website on a Development site and then park it until you are ready with your Domain name. But then the branding may not be correct, certainly, the wording within the content won’t be and the SEO will need some amount of re-hashing to get it right. So yes we can, but I don’t recommend it. Get your URL secured first, we will help you.
What can I do if someone has already bought the name I want – There are a few things you can do. You can buy something else that is close to it, or you can try and buy it with a different TLD like above. Another option is to contact the owner yourself through whois and ask him to sell it. Or go through a Domain Broker and ask them to try and buy it for you. GoDaddy offers this service for about $150.
As I said earlier though, it could be someone who has bought it on the off chance that they could sell later and make a quick profit. Either way, none of these options, bar the different TLD, will be relatively cheap.
Where should I buy my Domain name? – If you have just googled “How to choose a URL” and found us, then sure read this and use the information. However, if are getting your Website through one of our packages, then we will provide you with 3 domains to choose from, we will then buy you the one you want in your name.
Otherwise, buy it from a reputable Domain Registrar, like Namecheap Domains.com or GoDaddy. They will help you deal with the domain name and nameservers when you are ready with the website.
Which is best a .com or a new style TLD like .biz – I would say neither are ‘best’, as they don’t really matter that much. However, if in doubt go with a .com, if you can get it. Neither works any better with SEO.
It’s just everyone knows .com as it’s traditional. Some people say it gives the company legitimacy, but the reality is nobody notices and or cares really. Check out this blog on the matter here TLD.
Should I use www. or not? – Another question that is asked of us frequently. The guy who invented the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners Lee, said that he “wished he had never added the www. thing as part of the address, as it’s useless”, so for me that answers the question.
Once I have done everything and launched my website, can I change my domain name? – Yes, you can. This website has actually changed its name. We started out as cheapwebsite.com. Feedback told us that the name was wrong for our value proposition. So we made the switch. Pretty glad of it actually. Anyway, yes you can, don’t actually recommend it, but it is possible to do. Just make sure you do all the required redirections at the server level, not at the website level.
If you have any further questions, comments, or you want to call us regarding ‘How to choose a URL’, then do so and speak with the team that makes all this possible. Please do so. We are here to help and provide you with a high-quality web presence that will make you money online. Or visit some of our other blogs, like this one all about Web Design