In most cases, if you want to visit the website of a well-known brand, you simply enter the name in your address bar and add “.com.” Then with one click, you’re there.
We just assume that we’ll reach our destination that way. And that’s exactly what you can take advantage of as a website owner! With a cleverly chosen domain, you can make sure that you reach even more visitors. We show you how it works.
Consider whether you want to target visitors in your country or are you interested in an international audience? Always choose a domain ending that works for your audience. If you’re targeting visitors in the U.S., that would mean choosing a domain with a “.us” extension. In the United Kingdom “.co.uk” is the standard and for India “.in.”
If you want to appeal internationally, then a “.com” ending is still the right choice! This also applies to multilingual websites.
How to find the right URL
Determine the purpose of your website. Are you creating a business website, blog or is it a site for your hobby? The key to finding a suitable web address for your site is having a clear idea of what type of website you want and what search terms visitors will use to find it.
The company website
Your company name should, of course, appear in the domain for your company. This is how visitors can directly recognize your “brand.” It’s not just important for visitors but also a crucial criterion for Google.
If you have a long company name it’s worth considering an abbreviation that you could use. This usually works very well. Especially as they look better than endlesslylongdraggedout.com company names. It’s important in any case that the domain is easy to remember and spell.
Are you a photographer based in a specific region? Or writing a travel blog about South America? Maybe you market organic apple juice from your area? In these cases, it makes sense to include the region or city in your domain name. As a rule of thumb, if a regional reference is part of your business model, it can contribute to the success of your domain.
If you’re a wedding photographer from Texas, a general domain such as thebestweddingphotos.com doesn’t tell the visitor much. However, the web address www.weddingphotos-texas.us increases the recognition value, automatically addressing the regional target group and is rated well by Google.
Blogs and hobby sites
With professional or personal blogs, it helps to think of your website as a brand. What feature would you highlight to present your “brand?” The feature can be the theme (travel, DIY, sports, etc.), yourself or, more generally, the name of your blog.
To give an example, the domain of a blog about DIY tips should include terms like “DIY,” “do it yourself,” or the specific topic, like “sewing.” The Jimdo user DIY Eule, for example, has made “DIY” part of the business name and uses it for their website www.diyeule.de.
Similarly, pages for a hobby: users should already know through your domain what they expect on your website. If it fits, so integrate the name of your activity in the web address – which also pleased Google.
Is the domain you want available?
You’ve thought of the perfect domain name then you check the availability…. and it’s already taken. But it’s not the end of the world! You still have a few options.
You may be tempted to change the domain ending from .us to the lesser known .net or .info ending but this won’t give you any advantages. Interested visitors looking for your website will search for .us out of habit. This means they could mistakenly land on a completely different website which isn’t beneficial to you or your visitors.
It’s better to make your domain truly unique. Try these tricks:
- Use words with hyphens (tip: try to stick to a maximum of two)
- Try an abbreviation
- Integrate your location or region
- Add labels like “blog” or “shop”
Last but not least, it can help to ask friends what alternatives they would come up with. An outside perspective can sometimes give you inspiration for domain names you never even considered.
Keyword domains and exact match domains
A few years ago, there was a trend for choosing so-called keyword domains to up your ranking on Google. The idea: match the exact keywords visitors use to search for a specific service on Google to your domain name. In the case of a wedding photographer from London, for example, this would be “www.wedding-photography-London-price.co.uk”. However, Google has been interpreting these domain names as spam for quite some time and we advise against trying this.
Also popular are “Exact Match Domains.” These also include one or more keywords, but don’t try to emulate a complete search as in the above example. An example of an “Exact Match Domain” would be “www.weddingphotographer-london.co.uk”.
The first thing you should consider is whether the domain accurately reflects you or your service. An “Exact Match Domain” can work very well and could be the right choice for a wedding photographer. But if you have your own name, brand or club, etc., it’s also important to add this to your domain.
Google has developed and now rates websites according to a complex algorithm. The domain name alone will not cause the search engine to rank a page perfectly.
Our final tip when choosing a domain
Make sure that it will survive the test of time and represent your company, hobby or your blog accurately in the future. When choosing the domain don’t just think about search engine optimization. It should be unique and represent you, your website and of course your customers and visitors.
On top of that name you can use a limited time second domain for marketing campaigns. Read our Beginner’s guide: What is a Website Domain Name? to learn more about how a second domain works in combination with your primary domain.