A domain name is simply what will be used to find your business on the web, and in most cases form part of your email address. It can be your business name, or represent a product or service that you are known by.

When we first started designing web sites way back in 2001, choosing a domain name was as simple as picking a name you liked and buying it. Today there are more than 1 billion websites and the pool of available domain names is ever dwindling.

Then there’s the issue of online marketing and the ability to choose a name that is easily marketable and search engine optimisation (SEO) friendly.

Not sure what your domain name should be?

Here’s 3 simple tips to help you choose a marketable and SEO-friendly domain name.

Branded domain or keyword-rich domain?

When brainstorming a domain name for your business, you’ll either go for a brandable domain name or a keyword-rich name. What’s the difference?

Brandable domains – a domain that contains your business name instead of your industry keywords. For example, Facebook.com, Pepsi.com and Nestle.com are all brandable domains.

Keyword-rich domains – are domains that contain one or more industry-related keywords. For example, BrisbaneRealEstate.com or BrsbaneCarInsurance.com are keyword-rich domain names.

Keyword-rich domain names were often picked by businesses thinking they would rank higher in Google, and years ago that used to be true. However, Google over the years has adjusted its algorithm to give little ranking privilege to keyword-related domains, making them much less effective in today’s online world.

There’s really no need choose a keyword-rich domain name unless the keyword is actually in your business name. Single-word brandable domains are always easier to market.

Pick a name that you can sell

Your name will be on every email, every social media account, and often on the packaging or tags of every product you sell. When choosing your domain name (whether you opt for brandable or keyword) it has to be a term that people can get behind.

Examples of brandable keywords that have become household names: Uber, DropBox, SnapChat, WhatsApp, Skype, Kindle, Apple, Nike.

How many highly successful keyword-related domains can you think of? Again, it’s why we strongly recommend local and new startups in Australia go with brandable over keyword-rich domains.

Pick .com or .com.au domains….

…if you’re a local business or a professional startup in Australia.

When to use .com.au – If your target market is located in Australia only, then stick to a com.au domain as it will rank better in nationwide searches. This is our recommendation to most Australian businesses. To qualify you must have an ABN or ACN.

Not Sure What Australian Domain extension You Need?

.com.au is used by commercial entities such as companies with an Australian Business Number and businesses registered with State governments.

.net.au is recommended for organisations and companies that are using the Internet as an integral part of their operations.

.id.au is reserved for the people of Australia to create their own online identity.

.asn.au is for incorporated associations, trade unions, political parties, sporting and special interest clubs, and partnerships between disparate organisations.

.org.au is for verifiable non-profit and charitable organisations.

When to use .com – If your business is targeting a global audience then it’s much better to use a .com domain.