Written by

Ian Andrew

A quick overview to help you choose and use domain names effectively


This short paper is designed to provide information on choosing and using domain names in your business. It will provide an insight into some of the opportunities and pitfalls in this area.




The 3 Golden Rules when choosing and using domains


The two main uses of a domain name

1. A company name. Most companies have a domain name already and it is likely to be the same as, or at least strongly aligned to their company name. This is your online identity. It is who you are online. It cannot easily be changed so it is important to get it right.


You would consider choosing a domain name when starting a new business, rebranding or maybe starting up a new division.


The best choice is an exact match to your company name with either a .com or extension. If an exact match is not available, then find the next best fit which follows the 3 Golden Rules.


2. A project / campaign. The other significant use for a domain name is for a project or campaign where it is the call-to-action. Again, the most effective name will be Readable, Meaningful and Memorable.


Another strategic use for owning a domain name, is to prevent the competition from owning and using it.


What do you get when you buy a domain name?

For around £10 per year (at you will get;

- The name itself and every variant using capital and lower case letters (

- Rights to every email address possible with the domain ending (

- Sub-domains of the name (


How to use a domain name

Keeping the 3 Golden Rules in mind, how would you display / print your domain name?







...exactly! The shorter the better. These days you do not need 'www' or 'http://'


Most readable and memorable

Many domain names include more than one word so, when deciding how to present yours, consider which combination will make it most readable and memorable.


The most readable will be those that distinguish each word clearly. One of the best ways to do this is with capital letters at the beginning of each word e.g


Other ways of making each word quickly recognisable include putting alternative words in bold or, as Marks & Spencer does on its vehicles, present the words in different colours.


Descriptive domain names

An interesting (and valuable) sub-section of domain names are those which are entirely descriptive in that they describe a generic product, service or process. For example;,


Take the examples of and Someone looking for a hotel, faced with the option of using the services of either of these two companies, MIGHT know what Expedia does but many people will not. Therefore has the immediate advantage of attracting those who are unfamiliar with an unconnected brand name. This is because states what you will get by going to their site.


Who owns the domain names that match the keywords most often used in YOUR industry?


Descriptive names, as well as being used as a company name, can be used for campaigns. They can also simply be used as redirects. For instance, if you go to you will be taken to a website promoting Crest, one of Procter & Gamble's toothpaste brands.



Follow the 3 Golden Rules to use domain names effectively in your organisation and reach their maximum potential.

Clearly readable:


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