How do you choose the best domain name to use for your driving school website?
There are two parts to your domain name:
The bit before the dot and the bit after.
Let’s deal with the bit after the dot first. This is called the domain extension. The most common and familiar ones in this country are .com and .co.uk.
Which is best? Of the two generally, if possible you are best off choosing .co.uk. Amongst consumers there is generally a greater likelihood of visiting a .co.uk domain than a .com when using search.
Of course the domain you want to use may already be taken as a .com and .co.uk you may have to look at some other extensions such as
.me.uk .info .org .org.uk .net .tv and a whole host of other less popular options.
Keyword Rich or Brand name domain
A few years ago, keyword rich domain names had a definite advantage in ranking well in search engines. So for instance falkirkdrivingschool.co.uk would do very well if someone was searching “Falkirk driving school”.
However in the last couple of years, google in particular has been diminishing the amount of influence that the keyword in the domain has in terms of search ranking. so while 2 or 3 years ago a keyword rich domain name seemed the best way to go, now the benefit of that has been lost. Although the benefit is lost, it doesn’t mean your site will be penalised for using a keyword rich domain.
One of the consequences of this change is that now, if you are starting from scratch, a domain name based on your driving school (or “brand”) is the best option. So if your driving school is called “Direct Pass Driving School” then that is probably going to be the best thing to use in your domain name. The best advice now is to forget about keywords in the domain and concentrate on branding – get your driving school name known, use it on your car signage [more about headboards here] and use it in your domain name.
What if the domain name I want is already taken?
Sometimes your chosen domain name may not be available. Let’s say directpassdrivingschool .co.uk is already taken. What options do you have?
- Choose a different extension eg directpassdrivingschool .net
- Adapt the name slightly eg directpasscroydon .co.uk
- Use dashes eg directpass-drivingschool .co.uk
What about dashes?
Dashes are fine when used in moderation and when they help the domain name to be easily readable. The downside is that nowadays too many dashes can look a bit spammy. So one or at most two dashes are ok but I wouldn’t go more than that. Also. if someone is going to type in your domain name, remembering where to put the dashes can prove difficult eg is it direct-passdriving school or directpass-drivingschool.
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