How to choose a domain name that will make your start-up successful

How to choose a domain name that will make your start-up successful
Katrina Douglas
Katrina DouglasKatrina Douglas Marketing

Posted: Mon 3rd Jan 2022

Choosing a website domain name is an important decision for small business owners. Start-up marketing coach Katrina Douglas talks through the simple steps involved in picking one that will strengthen your brand and online identity and help drive sales.

Buying a domain name is a bit of a landmark for most budding business owners. Quite often, it's the first tangible step we take towards turning our idea into a real business.

It's a small step, but a significant one. And we can get so caught up in the emotion of finally making progress towards building a business that we lose sight of some very important factors when identifying the perfect domain.

In this blog, I share some of my top tips to help you make the best possible decision for your business when choosing your domain name.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is your address on the internet. It's what people type in to their browser's address bar to get to your business online.

Most commonly, you use it for your website, but you can also use it to direct people to a simple web page and even your social media profiles.

One of your first decisions when you're thinking of launching a business is what to name it. Making yourself stand out is vital. And having a credible name that your target audience recognises easily makes sure it doesn't get lost in the crowd of businesses that people are starting every day.

This recognition with customers is just as important online. Taking your business online opens up a new and potentially worldwide audience to speak and sell to. To make sure you're identified on the internet, the obvious and initial route is to get a domain name.

How do I choose a domain name for my business?

Rather than settling on a business name and then checking to see if the same domain is available, consider choosing both at the same time. This helps give your brand a consistent online presence right from the start.

Selecting your domain name early and lining it up with your business name (or vice versa) lets you focus on building your business (and website).

What makes a strong domain name

Your name should be simple to remember, but also convey who your business is, what you do and/or where it's based.

Domain names don't have to be really short, but should be easy to remember. For instance, the name of the site you're on now – – isn't the shortest you'll find, but is a memorable domain.

While you may feel you need to showcase what your business does, consider making your domain name as simple and recognisable as possible.

For customers to find your website and browse what you're offering, they'll need to get it right when typing your address into the search bar. This will give your customers the best chance of reaching your website and make sure you're not missing out on web traffic.

This also goes for punctuation. Try to avoid too many dashes as, again, these can be hard to remember. It might be that you can't find a domain name that's an exact match with your company name, but don't include lots of punctuation to make that happen.

Web addresses: Beginning, middle and end

The 'www' stands for 'world wide web' and the middle is your domain name, but what about the end? The end is made up of a domain name extension – also known as a top-level domain (TLD) – which is certainly important as well.

The .com TLD is known around the world and many large companies have a .com domain name. But smaller businesses use .com too. And with .com being the global standard for doing business online, if your business expands to new countries, you'll be ready to go.

Registering other domain extensions (such as .net) and a number of different domain names may also boost your online presence. It's very easy for someone to misspell something when they're typing, or they may even guess at a company's domain name.

Having variations of your domain name helps your audience find your website, even if they don't get it right the first time. And redirecting several names to your main website is easy.

Tips for picking your small business domain name

Consider keywords

Think about what words people might be searching for when looking for a business like yours online, and use the most relevant keywords in your domain name. For example, if you specialise in wedding flowers for brides in Hertfordshire, consider something like ''.

Most businesses automatically opt for their business name as a domain name, which is perfectly fine and does add to your brand recognition. However, another approach is to choose a domain name based on keywords people will use when looking for your product.

For example, if you're starting a business making hats for boys, consider branding your domain as That way, you're going to appear high up in the search engine rankings when people are looking for what you're selling.

Use a domain name generator if you're stuck

You might already have encountered the frustration of wanting to buy a domain name that isn't available. The internet is huge and always growing, so being prevented from using your ideal domain is a problem that will persist. But there is help.

If you get stuck, use a domain name generator. There are lots online – just type 'domain generator' into your search engine. If your dream domain isn't available, these tools will give you lots more ideas.

Be mindful of wording

I've seen many a faux pas when it comes to domain names that can be misread and misunderstood. Take these examples with perfectly acceptable business names that read all wrong when used as a domain name.

  • Choose Spain >>

  • Partners Talking >>

The key message here is to remember that your domain name has no spaces. So, make sure that when you put your chosen words together, there's no room for unfortunate interpretations.

My advice is to choose something that's easy to spell and to remember. Make it as simple as possible for people to find your website.

Build a portfolio of domain names

You've registered your domain – great! But you might to want register some more to guard against people misspelling your brand. Also consider registering domain names for specific products and services.

One domain is rarely enough. It's important to have all bases covered so your competitors and other businesses can't attach themselves to your brand.

For this reason, I'd suggest securing your .com and the top-level domain for the country in which you're based or does business (for example, .uk, .fr, .de).

Think big and long term

It might be some way off in the future, but will you be entering new markets and going international? This is the great benefit of a .com - with this as your domain, you're accepted as a global business from the outset.

If your first-choice name isn't available as a .com, consider using the domain name search tools which are now available with most domain registrars. They'll suggest plenty of options that are similar to your first choice.

Buy it now!

Domain names go beyond just being a website address. You can use your domain to redirect traffic to your social media channels or a splash page, or set up custom email addresses that help you look more professional when contacting customers.

This is why, when starting up, it's best to register the domain as one of your first tasks. You can point from it and use it in your email before you get down to business with building your new home on the internet.

Relevant resources

Katrina Douglas
Katrina DouglasKatrina Douglas Marketing
I believe that you are the best architect of your business, you dear Enterprise Nation member are your businesses unique selling point! Which is why after over a decade spent building my experience and expertise as a marketer, I now create marketing blueprints (aka marketing strategy) for purpose driven business owners who want to market their businesses in a way that is unique, authentic and profitable. My mantra is this: STARTING A BUSINESS IS GREAT BUT WHAT YOU REALLY NEED IS MOMENTUM! I believe Momentum comprises two things: 1) Marketing - because it doesn't matter how great your idea is if you don't know how to promote your business effectively it will go nowhere fast 2) Motivation - because if you can't stay motivated and pushing your business forward in the good times and bad, it's likely to die a premature death. So, if you're ready to uplevel your marketing and create a strategy that fuels your passion and delights your customers, get in touch.

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