12 tips for picking a good URL
Picking the perfect URL is a pretty big deal. It’s your online identity, it’s got to fit your business, and it’s got to be easy to find and promote. Not to mention, if you change your mind down the road it’s a pain to go back and undo.
So, to make your future easier, here are 12 tips to help you settle on a good URL the first time around:
1. MAKE IT EASY TO TYPE
You want it to be as easy as possible for people to type your domain name into their browser, hit enter and land on your site. If it isn’t, you run the risk of losing potential visitors. So, try to avoid the use of slang (using ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ for example) or words with various spellings (like express and xpress).
2. KEEP IT SHORT
Tying in with tip number one, keeping your domain name short reduces the chances of people mis-typing or mis-spelling it. Plus, long and complex URLs can be hard to remember, and you want people to remember you, right?
3. WATCH OUT FOR BLOOPERS
Here’s a prime example for you: penisland.net. The company’s called Pen Island, but we don’t need to tell you what the domain name can be interpreted as…
The moral of the story: always check for embarrassing double meanings before you buy your domain.
4. INSERT KEYWORDS
Try to include keywords relevant to your business. For example, if you’re a door repair company, you might want to register for a domain along the lines of doorrepair.com or doorreplacements.com. Keywords not only aid your organic efforts, but they just make sense to your customers.
5. GEOGRAPHIC TARGETING
If your product or service operates on a local basis, consider tying this into your domain name too. Sticking with the door repair example, this could mean having a domain like: vegasdoorrepair.com or doorrepair.vegas. Again, this makes your domain easier for your target market to find and remember.
7. AVOID NUMBERS
Numbers can be easily misunderstood. For example, a numeral number 5 could be misplaced with a spelled out number five, and vice versa.
7. SKIP THE HYPHEN
Try to stay away from using hyphens, too. They can be forgotten about which, you guessed it, makes your website more difficult to be found.
8. DO YOUR RESEARCH
The last thing you want is a legal battle on your hands, so make sure you research your chosen domain name to make sure it isn’t trademarked, copyrighted, or being used by another company.
9. DON’T GLOSS OVER YOUR EXTENSION
When we say ‘extension’, we mean the end bit of the url, like .com, .net, .org and .info, for example. Here’s a breakdown of how each is typically used:
.co - an abbreviation for company, commerce and community
.info - informational sites
.net - technical, internet infrastructure sites
.org - non-commercial organisations and non-profits
.biz - business or commercial sites
.me - blogs, resumes or personal spaces
Don’t be afraid of straying from the standard .com. It’s by far the most popular, but because of this, it can be tough to get your hands on a short and memorable URL that isn’t already taken. The key to choosing one that’s right, is making sure it’s relevant.
For example, if you’re a non-profit organisation, it wouldn’t make sense to opt for a .biz extension. It might throw visitors off the scent and make them less likely to remember your link.
10. BUY BACK-UPS
Everything up until now has been centred around building a URL that’s sheltered from being misspelled. But, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so it could be worth registering misspelled versions of your domain too, so people still make their way to your site anyway.
11. BAT OFF YOUR COMPETITORS
Stop your competitors from stepping on your toes by purchasing similar domains to your own and redirecting them to your primary URL. For example, if your domain is doorrepair.com, you might also want to consider owning:
12. CHECK ITS HISTORY
Originally published on Hue & Tone.