How to Choose a Good Domain Name for Your Business

March 20, 2012 by  Filed under: Domain 

Choosing your domain name is an important decision that should not be taken too lightly. After all, it will be on the forefront of your web presence. Here we discuss some handy information to help you choose your new domain name.

Keywords or business name?

While having keywords in your domain such as “web design” can help your rankings, from a professional branding perspective, you would be best off using your company name. If you were looking for shoes, chances are you would not go to “”, but a brands name such as “”.

Of course, if your company name is something like “John and Jake’s Garden Services”, you may want to steer away from using for obvious reasons.

To Localize or Not?

If you have a country-specific domain such as or, Google will more likely bring up your website for people searching within that country. With a .com, .net or other top-level domains, this is not an issue.

If you are a South African based business and are not aiming to target an international audience, the .CO.ZA domain should suffice. However, if you think that you may set your sight on an international audience at some point, I would highly recommend choosing a non-country specific domain such

With Google Webmaster tools, you can change the geo-targeting of your website for generic top-level domains – so even if you register a .com or .net, you don’t have to miss out on location-specific searches. The hard part of course – is finding a .com or .net that is not yet registered.

Keep it Short, Simple and Readable

Your domain needs to be easy to remember, easy to type and easy to sound out. Avoid words that can be mistaken for other words and ensure that people don’t have to pick up a dictionary or thesaurus to understand it.

A longer domain means more space for typing errors on potential visitors behalf. So keep it short.

Don’t Hyphenate

Hyphens provide more space for error – people may forget where they go or completely forget to put them in. Hyphens also make saying the domain out loud a bit harder – especially if you have more than one.

On a more opinionated note – I believe hyphenated domains look “cheap” – as if the website owner was left with only the second choice. Avoid that appearance if at all possible.

Register It Now

Don’t ponder for too long, someone may as well snatch up your domain. New domains are being registered constantly.

Jethro Solomon lives in South Africa and is a partner in a Web Development and Web Design company.

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