The frustration faced by web designers trying to get their businesses off the ground is that many people looking for “cheap web design” expect to pay someone £50 and receive a fully functioning singing and dancing website. This is because there are plenty of platforms for building “free” websites across the web. Some customers find these sites, give it a go and realise they can’t be bothered or become stumped with the technical aspects and start to look for a professional to help them out.
But what many internet users aren’t aware of is that professional web design isn’t just about making things look nice. It’s an intracate, skilled and analytic process. Building a unique website that functions correctly takes time and experience. Professional web designers don’t use off the shelf design packages for one simple reason – they have major limitations. A site built in a “free” design package will not rank properly in search engines, might not keep your customers details secure and will be likely to be slow running and mis-behaving. The design aspect of the site is likely to be pretty limited too. If your site is built on a free platform, you’ll have to put up with this. If your site has been designed by a professional especially for you, your web designer will have installed correct coding that can be easily identified and updated by other designers if something stops working or you fancy a colour change.
The lesson here is, you get what you pay for and if you want a long term stress free solution for your website it’s worth the investment of paying a professional to do the job right first time.
We talked previously about using extra creative domain names and being inventive with country codes. This is a great way to create short, memorable domain names that will help your customers to recognised your brand. However, if your focus for your website is going to be heavily based on search engine marketing and where you sit in the Google results, you’ll want to make sure that the domain name you use is helping with your rankings, not hindering them.
1. Make Your Domain Name Relevant to your Business
A used car salesman with his new business named after himself might call his company Smith & Partners. However, poor old Google, who becomes more intelligent by the minute, is not clever enough to recognise a new site called Smith & Sons will be selling cars until it starts looking at the content of the site in more detail. So, Mr Smith would benefit from choosing a domain name that helps Google work out what he does. “Smithsusedcars”(.com) or “Smithsmotorstore” or “Smithautomotives” or similar patterns will help Google to know that Mr Smith’s site is related to cars.
2. Don’t Give Up on Your First Choice
If your first choice of domain name isn’t available in .com or .co.uk, don’t give up on this domain name. You may well be able to find a variation of the name you wanted. You can add hyphens (-) like “smith-used-cars” although you should check you are not infringing upon any registered trademarks. You may also want to be careful if the company that already owns your first choice of domain is locally to you, as this may confuse the locals about which company is which. Or you might want to consider shortening or lengthening the domain name: “SSonsMotors” or Smithusedcarestores” although condsider whether a long domain name will look good on your stationery and business cards if you try this option.
3. Try to be Original
Although it’s possible to choose domain names similar to those that already exist by restructuring them a little, nothing beats being original with your domain name. It will help you to dominate the search results for the keywords in your domain name. Try brainstorming lots of different words and phrases that could sensibly be related to the business you are in and your industry. You’ll be surprised how many ways there are to cook an egg…(or decribe your business)
4. Be Greedy
When you’ve found your perfect available domain name, make sure you register your domain name in the various options that are for sale to ensure no one else can buy them. If you get a .com, it makes sense to buy the .co.uk and the .net and the .biz and so on. You’ll protect your brand name this way too and pointing all of these domains to your site will help you to drive more traffic and dominate the search results.