How to choose the best domain name

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The first step to getting your business website set up is to choose the best domain name for your business. This simple checklist of considerations is based on my 17 years of experience with helping businesses get online.

Many business owners waste money buying a huge number of different domains that they might want to use. Unless you actually run 20 totally different businesses (wow! respect!) you probably will only need a couple of different domains.

Use this list of considerations to save yourself money buying domains that you will never use. After reading this list – If you would like expert advice specific to your business you can book a domain review with me.

  1. Which domain extension should I buy? (.com.au, .com, .net.au etc)
    Many Australian business owners feel unsure about whether they should have a .com.au or a .com or some other domain extension.

    Should you buy both the .com.au and the .com? Do you need to buy up all possible domain name versions so that other businesses cannot use them?

    Here are the most important things that you need to know. If you are an Australian business that is planning to operate /expand internationally, then you absolutely need to have a .com domain. This is the Tier 1 international domain which signals to Google and humans that you are an international business.

    If you are planning to operate only in Australia, and are the kind of business that will only have local customers – then your website needs to be on a .com.au (Australian) domain extension.

    People using Google within Australia to find your business are more likely to find you on .com.au.
  2. Does my domain name need to match my business name?
    When you purchase an Australian (.com.au) domain – the conditions of your business holding a com.au are regulated by auDA. There is an expectation that your .com.au domain will be your business name or an abbreviation.

    If you register a domain that was the registered business name of another Australian business or Trademark registered in Australia, it could be disputed by the other party. You could be forced to transfer the domain to the Trademark or registrant of the business name; if you do not hold the registration for the name.

    This is why it can be important for Australian businesses to register their business name. If another business has already registered the name that you want to use, then you may need to re-think your branding.

    For .com, .net and all other international domain names, the only consideration is whether the domain is still available for you to register. If you can register the domain – it’s yours.
  3. Is my domain name too long?
    Domain names need to be kept as short as possible. How short depends of the kind of business you have and your marketing strategy. It will also depend on whether people will be able to easily type your domain. If it is easy for them to type your domain into a search engine, it will be easier for your customers to find you! You do want them to find you don’t you?

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