A restaurant’s domain name is not merely a string of letters. It is a vital aspect of a restaurant’s online marketing strategy.
The very foundation of a restaurant’s online presence is dependent on the domain name. This is because customers see this domain name in the copy of print marketing materials and also soft copies of other persuasive material. It is this domain name that they click and see on their address bar too.
WHAT IS A DOMAIN NAME?
What exactly is this domain name then? A domain name is one used by internet surfers to reach your website. For example, www.restaurantify.com is our domain name.
This article is primarily about the DONT'S of a restaurant domain name. Later on, we will also explain some of the best practices and provide suggestions to get yourself a good domain name.
1. Do not use the domain before the restaurant name
Always pick the restaurant name and domain name at the same time. If the restaurant's domain and business name match, searches can be made easily. If you establish your restaurant but wait for too long to get a domain name, it might already be taken and you will face problems.
2. Do not make it long
People cannot remember long domain names. Also, search engines like Google love URLs that are simple, easy to understand, and give users what they promise. If the domain name is long, chances of it being misspelled are high and people may experience difficulties in identifying you online. Keep the domain name short, memorable, and equally relevant for your business. It should be easy to pronounce and spell.
3. Do not use odd characters
Avoid using hyphens, abbreviations, or numerical digits for your domain name. Such characters make the name unattractive and difficult to remember. People will get confused between characters and find it hard to recall them, thereby, affecting your web traffic.
4. Do not forget to research domains
If your domain name is similar to anybody else’s from the same industry, you are likely to face problems of mistaken identity. If you are www.bunbakery.com and your competitor is www.funbakery.com, it could be disastrous for both of you.
So, always do some research before choosing your domain name. Ensure that you find a unique domain name for your business.
5. Do not compromise
Let us say that you want www.pizzalove.com as your domain name. While searching, if you find that it has already been taken by somebody else.
Since you wish to cling on to ‘pizzalove’, if you choose www.pizzalove.net, it is a bad idea. Just picking a different extension and retaining the name is not going to help you much even if the competition does not lie in your area.
Your restaurant should always end with a .com address. But, if you want to protect your domain name, just purchase the .net or .co domain names, but do not use them. Just keep them with you to protect your brand name.
TIPS FOR PICKING THE PERFECT DOMAIN NAME
Your domain name will be your identity on the Internet. It must be the same as your restaurant’s name, simple, easy to remember, pronounce, spell, and easy to promote too.
RULES FOR CHOOSING A DOMAIN NAME
- It should be easy to type. Avoid using slang terms or words that have several spellings (homophones).
- Make it short and simple to avoid it being misspelled.
- Using keywords on the domain name will help in several ways. If you are running a burger joint, add the word ‘burger’ to your domain name.
- If you run your business in multiple locations across various cities, add the city name either at the beginning or end of the domain name. This will help in reaching out to the target audience who make area-specific or ‘near me’ searches.
- Avoid numbers or hyphens
- The domain name should be memorable. The domain name and business name should match. In case it doesn’t and you venture moderately away from it, you must test it with a group of people first.
- The research will always come in handy to find out if the domain name used by you is already trademarked or copyrighted. During the research process, you will also know if the name has faced any issues in the past or is presently being used by any other company in any form. Your extensive research will definitely save you from an expensive legal battle.
- Use .com as your extension name as it is the most well-known and recognized.
- Use the domain name on all your marketing collaterals to build the restaurant brand. Buying different extensions will also help to protect your brand. Buy domains that are similar, have misspellings and other extensions so that you enjoy web traffic in all ways.
- Make quick decisions and register the domain name so that you eventually do not use it.
The restaurant domain name is a powerful marketing tool that defines your restaurant. So, it should be the same as your name.
While naming your social media pages, use the same name that is used in your domain. So, if the restaurant website is called pizzalove.com, the social media pages should also be named like:
Facebook.com/pizzalove and so on.
When you are ready to purchase a domain name, make the purchase from a domain register. Usually, the purchase is also done from the hosting company. Buying a domain name from a company that offers after-sales support will be useful for you as they will offer you 24 X 7 availability.
Do not forget the annual renewal process. A few registrars will also allow you to choose plans that require renewal once every two, three, or five years. Never allow your domain name to expire. If it does happen, you may not get it once again or may have to spend a lot of money to do so. Setting up an auto-renew makes things less complicated.
Your credit card details should be updated on your account. Pay attention to Emails from your host, particularly ones that refer to your domain name.
Once you have chosen a domain name and also ensured that it is renewed whenever necessary, you are all set to begin the process of branding your restaurant, increasing search engine traffic, and also bringing your website to the immediate reach of customers.
Require professional assistance with mapping your domain to the restaurant website? Get in touch with Restaurantify to create a restaurant website with online food ordering and securing a domain name.
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