How to Ensure Your Clients Choose the Right Domain Name (and What to Do if They Don’t)
June 14, 2018 | Contributed by: Kelly Shelton
Domain names are more critical than many people realize. They play a central role in brand image and influence how easy it is for customers to find a business online. Plus, they can be important for ranking well on search engines.
This is true even for businesses that have a physical brick-and-mortar location. After all, there is no such thing as an offline business anymore — everyone needs representation online. It’s for these reasons that you need to be offering domain name advice as part of your SEO services.
If your client is choosing a new domain, you’re in a prime position to share some best practices advice. Make sure to cover at least the following.
There are many different domain extensions to choose from. Options include .com, .edu, .biz or .info. Tell your client to to avoid domains like .biz or .info and stick to .com or the most relevant top-level domain based on the client’s location.
For example, if the business operates within the UK, having a co.uk top-level domain instead of .com may help the website appear higher in search results on Google.co.uk. Furthermore, top-level domains not only affect how Google ranks the website, domain extensions like .com appear more trustworthy to average Internet users. A trusted top-level domain will help lead people to the website.
Remember that there are some things you certainly DON’T want your clients to do when it comes to creating a domain name. This includes using special characters and numbers. This tends to look unprofessional. Can you imagine if Google were www.Google1.com instead? Plus, it makes the domain harder to remember and more difficult to say out loud.
Changing a Domain Name: A Warning
If your client already has a website, you need to bear in mind it can be very damaging to change the existing domain name. This is true even if the domain name is far from perfect. The most obvious ways changing a domain name harms the business is that current customers will no longer be able to find the website or they may not recognize the new domain name as being the same company.
In addition to this, the website’s SEO will suffer. Google prefers websites that have a long history. The search engine may rank a new domain lower than the previous domain, despite the all-round better name. Domains that are registered for several years have a much higher trust factor than domains registered for less than a year.
For a closer look at how to avoid the huge risk that comes with changing a domain name, check out this article.
Helping Your Client Pick the Right Domain Name
Spend some time discussing potential domain names with your client. Brainstorm ideas together, talking about their strong points and their weaknesses. As a domain name should be for life, this is a decision you mustn’t rush. As you narrow down the options, be sure to check the availability of your ideas. The last thing you want is to arrive at the perfect domain and find that it’s already taken.