How to choose a domain name for your small business

So you’ve decided to take the next entrepreneurial leap and bring your small business online. It can be daunting and exciting in equal measure, and there can be a lot to think about. But one of the first, and potentially most crucial, parts of setting up your online presence is choosing and registering a domain name. Your domain name is the physical name of your website that helps people access your site. For example, if you type Inside Small Business into your browser, it will bring up search results. But if you type the domain, straight into the website address line you’d be directed to the website.

A domain name acts as the foundation of your digital presence and a critical component in shaping your overall online business identity. After all, you can’t build a website without a domain name. So here are a few tips to help you choose and register an appropriate and memorable small business domain for your venture:

Keep it simple yet memorable

Because a domain name is meant to make it easier for people to visit your website, it’s important to keep it simple and memorable. Your domain should be easily recognisable. If it’s simple enough and available, you might want to consider using your business name. If not, try using keywords that clearly explain exactly what your business is or does. This can help ensure potential customers have an easier time finding you among the crowd.

For example, if you’re in the business of making jam, go with something simple and applicable like Not only is it short and sweet, it also explains exactly what your business does, and where it is located. Do your research, too: it’s worth ensuring that your domain idea isn’t too close to another business name, as well as making sure that it’s not already trademarked or in use.

Consider unique alternatives

If the domain name, or the .com version, that you had your heart set on isn’t available, don’t despair. In recent years, domain name

registrars like GoDaddy have started to offer hundreds of alternative, unique options such as .fashion, .marketing, .retail. Many TLDs (top-level domains) are specific to particular activities or business types, which means there are hundreds of alternatives to select from if your first choice isn’t available. Make sure to choose one that’s relevant to your business, such as There are geographical options too, so if location is important for your business, you could opt for, for example.

Once you’ve decided on a domain name you like and checked it’s available, try running it past your friends and family. This can be a useful way to help ensure it makes sense, is memorable and easy to pronounce and spell.

Register your domain name

After you have chosen your desired domain name and it passes the all-important friends and family test, it’s time to register it. The cost of your domain name registration can depend on various factors including its perceived popularity, the TLD extension you use, the length of time you’re registering it for, as well as additional options chosen such as domain privacy. Once you’ve decided what works best for you, and have paid, your domain will be registered and you’re ready to build your website. You might also want to consider automatic renewals for your domain name, so that you don’t miss the renewal date and possibly lose your domain name.

Choosing and registering a domain name for your venture might seem to be challenge at first, but once you know what’s involved, the whole experience becomes much easier. So, once you’ve cleared that first hurdle in starting your online journey, it’s time to get out there, build a website, create your online identity and grow your business.

Tara Commerford, Vice President and Managing Director Australia & New Zealand, GoDaddy

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    June 26, 2019 at 13:07

    Astute users of the internet know how to filter search results so that only areas they want to trade with are returned e.g. Australian

    When you register your domain name make sure its a .au name, for the same reasons big online retailers do – Dell, HP, Coca-Cola all register .Au domain names to avoid the confusion and make the visitor aware they are visting the Australian website. Otherwise if a potential client wants to serach for a service in Australia they will assume is US based, for the same reason or are based in the UK and NZ respectively.

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