In a previous post we talked about why and how you would go about protecting your business name, which we also cover in a lot more detail in the Intellectual Property and General Law module of our Small Business Management and Start-Up course. In this post, we thought we would talk a little about domain names, which, today, are a very important aspect of any business.
Choosing Your Domain Name
The domain name of a business is so important today that often business names are chosen based on how easy it is to remember, and secure the use of, a domain of the same name. In other words, if your business name is hard to spell or doesn’t use the custom spelling of the word (think about the blind and shutter company, Wynstan), it may be wise to think of a different business name for your company.
That being said, often the alternative spelling of a word as a business name can work in your favour, particularly when it comes to remembering the domain (Flickr and Tumblr are good examples of this – and even our friends at Wynstan with the slogan “Wynstan with a ‘Y'”). Plus, alternative spelling can make you easy to find in Google, which brings us to the next important consideration: search engine optimisation, or SEO.
Using Google to Find You
You don’t need to be an SEO expert to know that the majority of people, even if they know the web address already, will use Google to navigate to the web address of a company.
For this reason, it’s important to ensure that your business name is unique enough that when people Google you, they don’t instead stumble upon other, similar businesses, or pages of irrelevant websites that share the same name or topic (for instance, trying Googling the singer, ‘Foxes’, without appending the word ‘singer’ to your Google search).
Once you’ve decided on a business name, with a corresponding domain, it may be wise to try and secure other variations of that same domain – for instance, you may want to make it known that you’re an Australian business and use a .com.au domain, but it’s still worthwhile to secure to use of a .com domain, so that if people misspell your web address they’ll be automatically redirected to your site; it also prevents people from setting up mirror companies.
Once you have registered your domain name, it is registered worldwide, so unless you fail to renew your domain name, no one else can use that domain as their web address – so ensure you use an email address that you check regularly so your domain names don’t expire.
Protecting your intellectual property is extremely important for any business, which is why we cover this subject in great detail in our Small Business Management and Start-Up course; we also cover domain names in our Online Marketing Course.