Starting a new business always has been a fraught process but arguably in the modern internet age it is even more difficult. These days, when being discovered on the internet is of paramount importance, you have to ensure that the URL you chose for your business is easily searchable and of course appropriate to what your company is doing!
And there is a shortage!
You will be forgiven for thinking that in comparison to actually starting the business choosing a URL is child’s play. Well in reality nothing could be further from the truth particularly when there is a worldwide shortage of URLs! Yes, you did hear me correctly!
To build a brand or not to build a brand?
You almost have to decide the answer to this question right at the start. Do you want to build some kind of brand or just have a straight ‘vanilla’ name for your business. Those involved in marketing would have you believe that you should always try to build a brand but it is important to be aware that doing so can take a very long time and be very expensive.
I would argue that it is far more important actually to make sure that your URL is both memorable and easy to say or write. If at the same time you can make it brand-able then so much the better but this should be a secondary goal! Keeping the name fairly short is also often a good idea as this helps in writing it, memorising it and indeed sharing it on social media.
Is it important to have the right extension?
Whilst in theory this should not matter, I would say that where possible you should opt for a dot.com extension. It is true there are many other extension now available but dot.com is certainly the most recognisable and easier to remember. It is also a psychological fact that for some reason it carries more ‘weight’. Of course the problem here is that, as I have said earlier, there is a worldwide shortage of URLs and as a result getting a dot.com extension for your business may not always be possible.
Do a little research…
So you have gone through this process and hopefully you have arrived at what you believe is an appropriate and workable URL for your business. Prior to purchasing this URL it is advisable to search to ensure that there is nothing similar to it already in existence. The last thing you would want to find is that you are competing for discovery with some well-known brand or company which would make your business more difficult to find in any search.
Paddy is passionate about marketing and in particular helping new businesses to get their marketing mix right. He works very closely with a number of start up and early stage companies, helping them to define their product strategy and targets markets.