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How to choose a domain name

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The domain name is the word-based website address that people type into the address bar of their websites in order to visit your website. It also forms the second half of your email address.

As the front door of your website so to speak, it’s important to choose a recognisable one. Make sure your domain name is relevant and related to your business and the keywords that relate to the website. For example, one of our clients uses: www.nc-painting-contractors.co.uk This uses the two main keywords actually in the website address that correlate with the nature of the business: Painting Contractors.

We use www.toolkitwebsites.co.uk because along with being the name of our business it includes the name of our big product, the Toolkit, and "Websites" to show that we’re in the business of being website designers. If a lot of your business is region specific you might want to register a domain name that includes the region. A good example is: www.lincolnshire-neighbourhoodwatch.co.uk/

This is also a good example of how you can use hyphens in domain names to break up words and get the domain name you want.

There’s one last thing to consider. Here’s a quote from a 2009 report from Nominet, the Internet Registry for .uk domain names: "Research carried out earlier this year by Opinion Matters indicates that British Internet users appreciate the value of .co.uk domain names. When searching for information online, 77 per cent of people will choose a .uk address ahead of a .com address."

If you’re a UK business, and you intend to do business on a global scale, go ahead with a .com domain name. But if your main focus is the local or national market in the UK, make sure you have a .co.uk domain name. After all, 72 per cent is a lot of people online. A .co.uk domain name helps show that your business website is local, relevant and useful to the person searching online. Website Toolkit is a Southampton-based web designer and web building company.

Related articles The reputation doctor: "How do I get traffic to my Flash website?"Has someone stolen your internet domain name?

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