There are two main aspects when considering the best domain name to get for a website which are the domain ending (.com, .org etc) and the purpose of the website. Let’s have a look at these in greater detail.
What is the Best Domain Name Ending for a Site
First, you might want to give a little consideration to what type of Top Level Domain (TLD) you purchase.
For example, if you intend your website content to be aimed at a worldwide audience, you will probably want a .com ending (for a commercial site), with .org and .net domain name endings as the next best alternative options.
If your site is aimed at a specific local market, then a Top Level Domain name ending for that locality may provide benefits.
For example, you may find that a domain name ending of .uk (for the UK) may well rank higher in local Google.co.uk search results (but is less likely to show up in other territories).
Additionally, UK based residents may just type in what they’re looking for, followed by .co.uk directly into their browser. It can also help reinforce your site as being UK based in the eyes of your intended market which might also be an advantage to you.
If you want to aim your site at a local market in a different country, be aware that some countries have strict rules on who can register domain names with their country code. Canada, for example has Canadian Presence Requirements that must be met by registrants of the .ca ccTLD.
Conversely, some country codes for which their are no, or few, registration restrictions are used for branding and marketing purposes – such as .mu (for Mauritius), which is often used by the music industry, and .ly (for Libya) which is often appended to other words such as possib.ly and definite.ly etc.
In general though (leaving the local marketing considerations mentioned above aside for now), for commercial purposes a .com domain name is usually considered preferable. If the .com version is unavailable, then .org and .net versions can also often be good options for search engine rankings, but you may miss the other visitor traffic that being a .com site sometimes brings.
Domain Names for Branding
Often a domain name is bought as part of the branding for a business. If your business is intended to have a global online audience, then the .com version will likely be a preferred option.
Again if you are looking to address a country specific market – perhaps you are a UK based plumber or restaurant, or an Australian based pest control service, then a specific country code domain ending can be a good option for you. Potential visitors to your site will search for the business name and probably add .com or .com.au or .co.uk etc to find you.
They are less likely to add .org though. Think about the way you search for particular businesses yourself, especially if they don’t readily appear in search engine results.
Domain Names for a Business Activity
Another alternative is to use a domain name that says what you do. Say if you’re a plumber in a town then the domain name www.PlumberTownName.com may be a good domain name to purchase (likewise www.PlumberTownName.co.uk for a UK town etc).
It says what you do and where, and when it appears in conjunction with other branding such as letterheads, advertising, van and truck logo’s etc it will help associate your business service with that term.
It is also likely to help your site rank well in search engine results for the term (assuming the site is otherwise well optimised for the term concerned)
If that domain name has already been taken, consider a variation like www.BestPlumberTownName.com (or .co.uk etc as appropriate).
Domain Names for Search Terms
Taking the last scenario a little further, you may want a website that just addresses a particular topic or product with a view to generating revenue from it in some way. In this instance you would perform some keyword research to discover what search terms people are looking for in relation to the topic and then see if some of the more popular terms are available as domain names for purchase.
For example, you may want to make a website about repairing dead widgets because you have written and sell an ebook on this topic. Or you want to refer visitors to another company that specialises in this and who give you a commission for each sale you generate for them (affiliate marketing). Or you plan to generate revenue from advertising on your site.
After some keyword research you find that Repair Dead Widgets is a good search term to work with. In this case www.RepairDeadWidgets.com or .org, or .net are all likely to be good options that also help with optimising the site for search engine results.
Be aware that using other companies names and product trademarks in domain names may result in legal action by the companies concerned. If in doubt, you should seek approval from them first.
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