What is a domain name?

Register Domain Name. A domain name is your online address eg. www.yourname.com.au  As a website owner you will need a domain name.  You register a domain name with a “domain registrar”.  It is important that you own and manage your domain name.

  • .com.au = Australian, require an ABN to register a .com.au
  • .com = International / US. No need for an ABN to register this

At the time of writing this article, I use www.godaddy.com as our preferred domain registrar, but there are certainly plenty of others to choose from.

When register a domain name it is important to stop and consider the following

  • Is this your company domain name (brand domain) or a promotional domain (SEO etc)
  • Does it contain keywords that people could be using when they search for you
  • Easy to spell
  • Easy to say
  • Not too long
  • Describe what you do

You’ll need an ABN for .au domains

When you register a .com.au, org.au (or any domain extension with a .au) you will need to have an ABN

How much do they cost?

  • A domain name should cost around $15 or less per year.
  • You will pay less or more depending on the registrar you choose.
  • A .com is often costs a lot less than a .au domain
  •  You will need to register a .com.au for two years

When registering a domain name, one of the key questions is should it be “keyword focused” or “brand focused”? I’ll cover both below

Keyword-Rich Domains

Domains which include a keyword or two about your business are referred to as keyword-rich domains. These domain names are very focused, so your business should definitely reflect the fact that what you do is represented by those keywords.

Keyword-Rich domain names are desirable for several reasons, including:

  1. They have historically ranked well (and quickly) in search engines for the keywords used in the domain name.
  2. Visitors tend to click on domain names which exactly describe the product they are searching for.
  3. Perfect promotions
  4. Great for websites with only one type of product or service.

You’ve probably seen dozens of keyword-rich domain names, they are composed as follows:

  • Keyword.com (farmequipment.com.au)
  • Keyword-word.com (farmquipment-sales.com.au)
  • Word-keyword.com (best-farmequipment.com.au)
  • Keyword1keyword2.com (farmequipmentkyneton.com)
  • Keyword1-keyword2.com (kyneton-farmquipment.com)

There are also various downsides to keyword-rich domains:

  1. Most good non-hyphen domain names are already registered (mainly the .coms).
  2. You may have to purchase the domain you want, sometimes at a substantial cost.
  3. A domain name with one hyphen is acceptable, but multiple hyphens make it look spammy.
  4. Multiple hyphen domain names are not easy to remember.
  5. Forgetting the hyphens or placing them in the wrong places, might send your customer to a competitor’s site.

As an example, if you sell only fire doors, it’s easy to decide on a domain with both of those keywords (firedoors.com). However, if you sell fire doors, and also firemen’s gear, then firedoors.com would probably not be your best choice. You may want to consider domain branding instead.

Branded domains

Branded domains mostly don’t contain the keywords, but usually represent the business name.  What’s important to remember is that this domain name will represent your company does, what you sell etc and that you must build up your brand around it.

The vast majority of the top 100 websites started with branded domains (Google, CNN, Yahoo, Ebay, Amazon). Advantages of branded domains include:

  1. Covers all the products or services that your company offers, it is not specific to only one.
  2. Easier to find available .com names.
  3. No hyphens necessary
  4. Memorable
  5. Unique

Just like keyword-rich domains, branded domains have disadvantages as well:

  1. The domain name is not indicative of the website content.
  2. Marketing and advertising costs are initially higher as you develop brand awareness.
  3. It may take longer to rank well on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).

New Domain Extensions

A exciting new development has recently occurred in the domain name arena, and that is the release of new domain extensions. There are now over 1200 new domain extensions on offer for us to consider.

  • www.think.digital has a new domain extension (.digital)
  • There are extensions related to industries, like .plumbing, .consulting
  • At this stage these new extensions are only new and people are only just understanding them
  • One of my favourites I registered recently was www.getoutdoors.today

I am happy to assist you with your domain name questions, just post them below or contact me directly.