How to choose the perfect domain name for your Local business

Choosing the right domain name is a tricky decision which will follow you for years to come. Make sure you make the right decision before you regret it and maximise your visibility in the process

Video transcript

Choosing the right business name when you’re starting out can be challenging. A popular choice for Local business owners is a combination of their personal name and their profession, like this hair salon run by clare ashton  https://www.hairbyclareashton.co.uk/ or this shoe repair shop http://jamesshoecare.co.uk/ run by James.

Their decision is obviously reflected in the domain name they have decided to use for their website as one is called https://www.hairbyclareashton.co.uk/ and the other one is called http://jamesshoecare.co.uk.

But is this the right strategy? Humm, Maybe not….

If you’re just starting out and have yet to decide what you’re going to call your business stay tuned as I am going to show you the process I go through with my clients to help them choose the right domain name for their business so they can maximise their chances of being found in Google local search results and drive visitors to their website as quickly as possible.

Did you know that two of the most critical factors that will dramatically influence your rankings in Google maps are related to your business name or what is known as your business title in Google my business?

How do I know?  If you’ve been watching some of my previous videos you may have noticed I refer to the Local search ranking factors survey quite a bit https://moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors, which is conducted every year by highly regarded local SEO professionals and  shows you what the most important signals are if you want to rank high in Google local search results.

According to the survey, if your business title includes keywords related to your products or services and your location, you have a much better chance to rank higher in the Google Local map pack.

Look at this example when I search for “emergency electrician London”

The top three results all include keywords related to the service provided either “electrician” or “emergency electrician” as well as the location, in this instance “London”

There is nothing wrong with that but according to google, your business name should reflect your business’ real-world name. This is what the guideline says:

if you were creating a listing for a 24 hour coffee shop in downtown San Francisco called Shelly’s Coffee, you would enter that business information as:

  • Business name: Shelly’s Coffee
  • Address: 3247 Poppy Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
  • Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Category: Coffee shop

In this example it would be tempting to create a Google listing and call this business “24 hrs Shelly’s coffee shop San Francisco” instead as it would include additional keywords like “coffee shop” 24 hrs and San Francisco

But the Google policy is very clear on this topic

Including unnecessary information in your business name is not permitted, and could result in your listing being suspended.

Sadly a lot of businesses purposely ignore the Google policy and choose to stuff their business name in their Google listing with additional keywords so they can rank in the Google map Pack.  

If I search for bail bond Orlando for example I get three results that all include “bail bonds” and Orlando in their business title. But if I dig a little deeper and check what the name of these businesses are in the real world by opening their website, it is clear they are violating google’s policy.  

The first business is actually called all-star bail-bond, so they have added their location, Orlando, as part of their title.

While the third business went one step further as their real name is bail2go, but they have added Orlando and Orange county Bail bond in their title.

According to this article from joe young blod who conducted a study on this subject, adding keywords in the name of a business can help that location improve by almost 10 ranking positions in Google.

This is huge. And although it is against Google’s guidelines many business owners choose to spam their Google listing business’ name with keywords as it will propel them in the top three positions of Google maps and generate a lot of traffic to their site.

You can choose to use this tactic if you want but beware, as there is a risk.

There are two types of suspension.

A Soft Suspension = You will no longer be able to manage your listing in Google my business, however, your business will remain in Google maps and your rankings will be unchanged

A hard Suspension = your business listing will be permanently removed from Google maps including customer reviews.

So what should you do when starting out if you want to stick to Google’s guidelines, have the opportunity to include the right keywords in your business name and avoid any suspension in the future?

Simply, call your business something meaningful that will include both your primary service and the location as part of the name.

This way, your business name in your Google my business profile will automatically include the keywords you are targeting and will be a true representation of your name in the real world.

Let’s say I want to start a carpet cleaning business located in London. The obvious business name should be carpetcleaninglondon.co.uk right?

Unfortunately there is a high probability that someone has already taken the name you are after. And as you can see it is taken.

No problem, instead of searching frantically for something suitable just go to: https://leandomainsearch.com/

In the search box add the primary service keyword or product you are offering and the location in which your business will be operating. Let’s use our carpet cleaning London example and click on search.

Within seconds you should see a long list of options you can use to call your business. Pick the one you prefer and register the domain name.

Carpet cleaning London centre sounds like a perfectly valid option to me and I assume it would do very well in Google local search results and would have no risk of being suspended any time soon.

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