Domain Names - Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I buy a .co.uk (or .uk) domain name?

There is one quality that a country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) such as .co.uk has over all other domain extensions which is it's geographical location. So when it comes to attracting the all important click-through's visitors can do it with the confidence that they are most likely engaging a UK owned, or focused, business. UK consumers have learnt to trust .uk domains and in this respect it provides a better address than .com, or any other. For businesses that are UK focused we usually recommend the use of the .co.uk, or the new .uk, over the .com., and although .com still offers a stronger corporate presence, it's quite likely that a .uk domain will see better CTR (Click Through Rates) and conversions.

Who should buy these keyword rich domains?

Different domains play different roles and the suitability of any one name is dependent upon what you want to achieve with it. Generic multi-word domains don't tend to make good brands as they can't be trade marked for their literal meaning, however they do tend to make for high performing ecommerce focused websites. A single word generic domain will make a great brand, with a nice short and memorable address, but may struggle to drive traffic from search engines and will likely need a large advertising budget to become visible. Anybody who publishes a website can benefit from keyword domain names, and increasingly publishers are opening multiple sites, alongside their corporate site, using very targeted domain names to reach a particular niche.

Do the domain keywords make a difference?

Yes, they do, in a number of ways. In SEO circles keyword rich domains have long been prized for their ability to get visible presence on the exact matching search phrase. This is an artificial factor built in to the search engine algorithms, and will change over time, but is driven most likely by the fact that for exact match searches keyword rich domains perform above average for CTR (Click Through Rate) and conversion rates. For a search engine this means that they can include your listing in the results with confidence that it's what their visitor is looking for; assuming all other factors being equal. For very popular keywords where there is high competition it'll take more than the matching domain to get visibility, but it will still be boosting your chances, and if you get there it will tend to outperform other domains alongside you. This is also true when using PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, where improved performance can help your campaigns and potentially reduce your costs. The more specific, or niche, the domain keywords are, the higher the conversion rate tends to be, as there is such a high relevance for the visitor.

Can anyone register a UK domain name?

Domain names ending in .co.uk are available to be registered by anyone, but there are rules as to how they can be used and the avoidance of abusive registrations, such as infringing on the rights of existing trade mark holders. Registrants of .co.uk domains can be individuals or companies and be located essentially anywhere in the world. For registrants of .uk domains (eg. yourdomain.uk) then registrants must have a valid UK address for service, which cannot be a P.O. Box. This is due to the higher level of registrant data verfication that is required for these premium domains.

Are the prices for your domains per year?

No, when you buy a domain from us the price you pay is for full ownership of the domain name. Once we have received your payment the domain will be transferred across to your chosen individual or company name. From then on the only fees that you will be responsible for are the annual renewal fees, which for UK domains amount to a few pounds per year. These fees are not payable to us, but to the domain registrar you choose to manage your domain(s), who will also set the price. We can suggest suitable domain registrars if required.

Is it okay to use a hyphenated domain name?

Hyphenated domains have the same advantages as their non-hyphenated equivalents, but verbally they are hard to describe as so many people are confused by the hyphen, so they tend not to make good brands. There are always exceptions to this though, and in these cases it's prudent to have ownership of both versions. As far as performance in the search results are concerned there's no evidence of discrimination and therefore for the more popular keywords hyphenated domains can perform very well and often get used to support search engine optimisation and PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising campaigns. They will nearly always be a cheaper option too.

How do you calculate the value of a domain name?

The process of domain valuation is a very subjective one, even when all of the more obvious metrics have been considered, there is still plenty of scope for variation, not least of which is the owners willingness to sell. No two domains are equal, but by looking at certain factors it is possible to get close to a market value for a buyer to consider their likely returns. Some of the more obvious factors to consider with domain valuation are the keyword popularity, the competition level, is it memorable, the number of words and characters, spelling or pronunciation issues, existing trademarks, average order size and many others.

Are domain names a good investment?

Based on recent years domain prices have overall remained strong. Increasing numbers of website owners are realising the benefits of having a strong domain name (web address) for their business, plus more businesses are coming online. The need to distinguish your website from the competition is increasing and a great address is one way to do this. There is also the new opportunities that may well arise from getting access to the new .uk domains, the value of which will be seen in the coming years. There still seems to be much room for growth in the demand for good keyword domain names. The right domain name may become more of a necessity than a benefit.

Looking ahead there is no obvious alternative to domains on the horizon. There is a lot of speculation currently around the introduction of the new gTLD's (eg. .movie, .travel, .shop) that are now starting to be offered alongside .com, but these will be unfamiliar to the public for many years, plus they won't contain their location in the address. .uk is very much engrained in the UK consumer's mind and we feel it's set to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

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