Search Engine Optimisation

What domain names (website addresses) should you buy?

Domain NameThe following article answers 4 common questions:

  1. “Do I need .co.nz, .com, .net.nz, .mobi and others?”
  2. “Should our domain name just be our brand name?”
  3. “Should our domain name have keywords in there too?”
  4. “What about miss-spellings?”

1. “Do I need .co.nz, .com, .net.nz, .mobi and others?”

It depends on 2 things:

  1. Where is your target audience?
  2. What domain names are already taken?

My advice is pretty simple:

  • If your target audience is New Zealand only, make a .co.nz your primary domain name.
  • If your target audience is international, make a .com your primary domain name.
  • If you are a non-profit organisation or an association, go with .org.nz.
  • Don’t bother with any of the others (unless protecting your brand name is a concern across international boarders)

2. “Should our domain name just be our brand name?”

Some brand names a quite long (take lawyers for example) so you should buy your full length domain name (eg SandersNightengaleIversonFredricks.co.nz) and the abreviation to make emailing easier (eg snif.co.nz).

3. “Should our domain name have keywords in there too?”

Yes, that is ideal, but don’t get carried away. If you own a photography business and you choose the business name “Identity” (sorry for the poor example), then you could make your domain name www.identityphotography.co.nz. This would include an important keyword in your domain name.

4. “What about miss-spellings?”

You will know if your brand or domain name is commonly miss-spelled. If mistakes are common, yes, buy the miss-spelled domain name (and it can stop a competitor from buying it and trying to steal business from you if your brand name is very popular).

Then you have 2 choices:

  1. Either redirect the miss-spelled domain name to your primary domain name (the user-friendly option)
  2. Or, leave the website with the “this website can not be found” message (some really big brands choose to do this so it forces people to get used to using the correct brand name. Sorry, I can’t think of an example right now.)