What You Shouldn’t Include In Your Restaurant Domain Name
Your restaurant’s website domain is more than just a string of letters. It’s vital to your online marketing.
The foundation of your restaurant’s online presence depends on your domain name because it’s what customers see in your print marketing as well as all over the Internet. It’s what they click on and see in their address bar.
Just what is a domain name? It’s the name that Internet users use to find your website. For example, our domain name is www.restaurantengine.com.
In this article, we’re going to look at what you shouldn’t include in your restaurant domain name. Then, we’ll take a look at some best practices and offer suggestions.
Don’t Pick the Domain Before the Restaurant Name
This makes it more likely that your domain and business name match exactly. If you wait too long to get a domain name, and your restaurant name is already established, you might run into problems.
Don’t Make It Too Long
Long domain names are hard to remember.
Plus, search engines like Google prefer simple, easy-to-understand URLs that give users what they promise.
When your domain name is too long, people are also more likely to misspell it and not find your website.
Your goal is to keep your domain name short, memorable and relevant while making it easy to pronounce and spell.
Don’t Use Odd Characters
You don’t want to use dashes, abbreviations or numbers in your domain name.
Again, you want a catchy name that your customers will remember.
It’s hard for people to recall abbreviations and symbols, and your web traffic will suffer.
Don’t Forget to Research Domains
One of the worst problems for your restaurant is when your domain name is similar to someone else in the same area.
For example, let’s say the competition’s domain name is www.aaronspizza.com, and you choose www.erinspizza.com. This could spell disaster for both of you.
Before choosing a domain name, make sure to do your research. You want a unique domain that isn’t like anyone else. (tweet this)
Let’s say you want to have the domain www.pizzaforless.com. You go to choose it, and you find that domain is already taken as is www.pizzaforless.net.
While neither of these are competition in your area, you think you can pick a different extension and keep the name, going with something like www.pizzaforless.co.
This is a bad idea. Don’t get frustrated and choose the first option that’s available.
Bottom line – you don’t want any other extension for your restaurant website.
Your restaurant should have a .com address. That being said, if you want to protect your domain name, you can purchase .net, .co and others. Just don’t use them. You can hold on to them to protect your brand name.
Now let’s look at a list of tips for choosing the perfect domain name.
Picking the Perfect Name
Your domain name is your identity on the web. It should match your restaurant name, be easy to remember, and it should be easy to promote.
Check out these basic rules for choosing the right domain name:
- Make sure it’s easy to type. Don’t use slang or words that can have multiple spellings.
- Keep it short and simple. You don’t want to encourage misspelling.
- Use keywords. For example, if your restaurant is a burger joint, consider adding the word burger/hamburger in your domain.
- Target your area. If you have multiple locations in different cities, you could add your city name at the beginning or end of your domain name.
- Don’t use numbers or hyphens.
- Make your domain memorable. Ask your friends and family for their opinions. Again, it should match your restaurant name, but if you must venture slightly away from it, you want to make sure you test it with people first.
- Do your research. You don’t want a domain name that’s trademarked, copyrighted, had issues in the past or is being used by another company in some form. By doing your research, you’ll avoid a costly legal battle.
- Always use the extension .com for your domain name. It’s the most well-known and recognized.
- Use your domain name on all of your marketing collateral to really build your restaurant brand. You can also buy multiple domain names to protect your brand. Consider buying domains that are similar, have misspellings or other extensions.
- Choose quickly. Register your domain name so you don’t lose it.
Your restaurant domain name is a marketing powerhouse. It defines your restaurant and should be the same as your name.
It’s worth noting as well that when naming your social media pages, it’s best practice to use the same name that’s in your domain. So, if your restaurant website is pizzajoint.com, your social media pages should look like this:
- Facebook.com/pizzajoint, etc.
You also want to check with whois.net to begin your domain name research. You can learn about any problem domain names, domains that are already taken and what’s available.
When you’re ready to purchase a domain name, you can buy it from a domain register. Oftentimes, you can buy it from your hosting company.
A word of caution – buy your domain name from a company that offers support, so if you need help, it’s always available.
Finally, you will renew your domain on a yearly basis. Some registrars allow you to choose two, three and five year plans as well.
The one thing you don’t want to do is let your domain name expire. If you do, you may not get it back, or you’ll have to spend a lot of money to do so.
You can usually set up an auto-renew on your domain name. This is a good idea and will help you from losing your domain.
Keep your credit card info up-to-date in your account and always pay attention to emails from your host, especially the ones referring to your domain name.
Once you’ve chosen a domain and safeguarded its renewal, you are well on your way to branding your restaurant’s website, maximizing search engine traffic and making your website memorable to customers.
At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but we’ll highlight your restaurant name and logo on your website. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!