Aim to have a unique and memorable name so people can find your business online easily and, ideally, remember your web address.
Keep it memorable and simple
On the internet, your business' name is your identity and your address. The simpler and shorter it is, the more memorable it will be to customers. Choosing your business' name is the obvious choice, and you should always register that address if it's available. But if you have a playful brand, choosing something fun and memorable can work well too - registering 'Welovecurrantbuns.com' for your village bakery, for example.
Avoid tricky spellings
Don't have a domain name that's difficult to spell, and try to avoid spellings that could be misconstrued if you're telling someone the website address over the phone. Be wary of using numbers or initials that could be misread - such as the number 1, lower case L (l) and capital I; or the number 0 and letter O.
Optimising your name for search engines
Including a search keyword (a term people type into search engines like Google to find businesses like yours) in your domain name can help you get on or higher up that all-important first page of search engine results.
Registering your domain
Decide what kind of suffix you want. .com or .co.uk is most common, while suffixes such as .tv or .biz are more industry-specific. It's worth buying up other suffixes for the name you settle on if they're available and cheap, then setting up automatic redirects from them to your main address.
What to do if the domain name you want has been taken
This is common nowadays, but there are plenty of ways round the problem.
- Shorten part of your business name to an initial - from sunlightplantationfunding.com to spfunding.com, for example. Again, be wary of initials that could be misread (I and lower case L).
- Choose a different suffix - if .com is taken, could you take .biz or .net instead?
- Choose an address that describes your products rather than your business name - Ecogardeningtools.com, for example, rather than Wilsonstools.com.
- Choose a name that reflects what your business does rather than uses your business name, as London's Evening Standard newspaper uses thisislondon.co.uk.