One of the most important decisions you can make as a business is choosing your domain name.  This is the name that is going to appear on business cards, stationery, advertisements and more so it is not a decision to take lightly and there are some important factors you should consider before deciding on a name.

Your Brand

The domain name should be your brand and not the key words you want to appear for in Google (Although if your brand is your keyword even better!).  So although a domain like cheap-plumber-in-manchester.co.uk might give you an initial small boost with SEO purely for it’s keyword content, the negative effects associated with it far out way any gain.  It looks unprofessional and cheap and unless this is the image you want to portray for your business then it should be avoided.

Length

Don’t make it too long, a long domain name will not only make it difficult to remember, but will also be difficult to find space to put it on your stationery and advertisements without impeding the main content.

Special Characters

If possible you should avoid dashes, underscores and other special characters.  They make the name confusing for people and will ensure they don’t remember it or remember it incorrectly which will cause frustration for them before they even visit your website.

Pronunciation

Make sure you can pronounce it easily so when someone asks you what your website is, you can tell them without the need to spell it.

The Correct TLD

Choosing the correct TLD can help you in rankings and the correct one is very much depending on your business, but as a general rule if you are a local business with local customers then go for your countries TLD (for example: .co.uk), and for any other type of business go for .com.  There are an array of other TLDs you can get now, but the problem with them is they are not engrained on peoples minds like .com or .co.uk so people forget them or if they don’t remember they will generally try .com which will send them to another website or worse a competitor.

Ideally if you can, always try and buy both the .com and the country TLD of your domain name, this will help stop competitors from purchasing it and trying to take your traffic, and for the cost of a few pounds per year it is a valuable investment.