One of the things you need to set up when you create a website for your small business is a domain name.
Your domain name is your business’ online address, and it comprises 2 parts:
- The name itself
- A Top Level Domain (TLD) – .com Is the most well-known one
Domain names do have an impact on how and where your website turns up in the search results, so you need to choose yours with some care.
Choosing your domain name
The name you choose (point 1 above) is generally going to be your business name. But it could also be a name based on keywords that describe your business.
Keywords (or search terms) are what people type into the search engines when they’re looking for something.
If someone types in a search for blue widgets and your website lives at blue-widgets.com this will help it appear higher up in the results.
So the first decision you need to make is whether to use your company’s name for your domain name or choose one based on keywords.
Choosing your Top Level Domain
The other part of a website address is the Top Level Domain (TLD).
The most common TLD is .com, but there are many others, including country-specific ones, such as .com.au, .co.uk, .com.hk and simply .hk
Choosing a TLD can be influenced by where your target market is.
For example, if you’re a local Hong Kong based business, and all your customers live in Hong Kong, then a .hk or .com.hk TLD would be the best.
On the other hand, if you’re a Hong Kong based business but your customers come from outside of Hong Kong, you would be better off with a .com TLD.
A .com TLD would help your site appear better in the search results in your target markets’ countries of residence – which is where you want it to do well.
An example: people living in Hong Kong are unlikely to go online to search for an Irish pub in Hong Kong, but people visiting HK from the US or Europe may well do so, and do so before they leave.
So before choosing your TLD you need to define where your target market is.