How to choose a domain name for your freelance website
Building your first freelance website? Find out why you need to pick the right domain name for it, and read tips on making the right choice.
If you’re a freelancer, it is important to have a website where potential clients can find you and check out your skills, services, testimonials and even portfolio.
And besides the obvious tasks that will be on your ‘do website’ checklist, such as find a host, choose a design, get someone to build it, decide and write content, there is one essential job you need to complete. And that is choose a domain name.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the address of your website – it is what people type into their browser to open your website. Your domain name is part of your URL. Your URL (Uniform Resource Locators) is a bit like your address. It describes the exact place the internet can find a web page.
Here’s an example of a URL: https://www.talentedladiesclub.com/about/
In this URL, talentedladiesclub is the domain name, .com is the domain category, and /about/ is the path.
When choosing your domain name, there are two important decisions you need to make. One is the actual domain name (for example, talentedladiesclub), and the other is the domain category (such as .com or .org).
Obviously your choice will be limited by what is actually available still, and not already taken by someone else or another business. You may struggle to find the perfect .com choice, but can maybe get your ideal domain name in a different domain category. Or, if you are keen on having a .com domain category you may need to change your choice of domain name.
The cost of a domain name will also vary. The more popular .com is predictably more expensive than less well-known and less popular domain categories.
How to find a domain name registrar for your freelance website
When you are buying a domain name for your freelance website, you will need to use the services of a domain name registrar.
Domain name registrars are companies who manage the reservation and sale of internet domain names. They also assign the of IP address for your domain name. Two well known examples of domain registrars are Go Daddy and 123-reg.
If you type ‘buy domain name’ into Goggle you will see ads and results for lots of domain name registrar companies.
How to choose a good domain name for your freelance website
So now we know what a domain name is, and where you can buy one. The next step is to choose a domain name for your freelance website.
There are four key factors that you need to consider before choosing a domain name for your freelance website.
1) Your business name
Your domain name is more than just the actual address someone click on or types into their browser: it is part of your business identity. So you need to choose a name that reflects this.
if you have a business name, then that is an obvious choice for your freelance website domain name. Or, if your freelance ‘brand’ is simply your name, then that is another option for your domain name.
She freelancers opt for their name, followed by their expertise. For example, hannahmartincopywriter.com. This is often easier to secure than just your name, plus it is descriptive of what you do which can help with search.
You may even want to add the word ‘freelance’ to your domain name. So you might end up with something like hannahmartinfreelancecopywriter.com. The benefit of this is that the more specific you get, the more likely you’ll find the .com free.
The downside is that you can end up with a very long and unwieldy domain name that increases the risk of someone miss-spelling it when typing it in.
And finally, if your perfect .com is gone, you can always see if a version with a hyphen is available. For example, hannah-martin.com or hannahmartin-copy.com. Just be aware that there might be times you need to tell someone your freelance website domain name, and the more complicated it is, the harder it will be to explain and for someone to remember correctly.
2) Your target audience
When choosing your freelance website domain name it is also important to think about your target audience. And in this case, your target audience are the clients you want to hire you.
Think about what kind of terms they will search for when finding someone like you. It is important to remember that your website domain name does impact your SEO, so knowing what terms clients might use to find someone with your expertise is helpful when picking your domain name.
For example, if you are a specialist medical copywriter, you might choose medicalcopywriter.com. Not only will this help boost your chances of appearing in a search for this (as long as you spend time on the SEO of your website), but it explicitly tells any potential freelance client exactly what you do.
You might also consider qualities your clients may value to add to your freelance website domain name, if your first choice is taken. For example experiencedmedicalcopywriter.com or accuratemedicalcopywriter.com – although both of these are a bit of a mouthful and might be hard to type in a browser without making a mistake!
3) Your freelance competition
Before committing to a domain name for your freelance website, it is a good idea to check out your completion. What domain names are other freelancers using? Obviously you don’t want to simply copy them (not that is possible to have a completely identical domain name) but you may get some inspiration from their naming strategy.
You can also Google what you do and see who comes up top and what their domain names are. As a bonus, this also gives you a chance to see what kind description they use for their services, and get some valuable SEO clues as to what they are ranking for. If your aim is to get found on Google search for your expertise (and it should be) then this information can be very helpful.
Five quick tips to help you choose the perfect domain name for your freelance website
So now you know what you need to bear in mind when deciding on your freelance website domain name, here are five quick tips to help you secure your perfect URL:
- Decide your purpose: What do you want to accomplish with your freelance website? What is the purpose of your site?
- Find a domain name: Find a domain name that fits your purpose. You can find a list of available domain names on a domain registrar website.
- Choose your domain name: Choose a domain name that is easy to remember and spell. You can choose a name based on your purpose, a keyword, or a combination of the two.
- Make a plan for your website: Decide how you’re going to make your website work for you. What are you going to put on it? What’s your strategy?
- Register your domain name: Register your domain name so it is yours.
Ready to choose a domain name for your freelance website?
As you know, it is important to spend time and pick the prefect domain name for your freelance website. It needs to reflect what you do, fit your brand, be something your ideal clients would expect or look for, be easy to remember, spell and say, and be mindful of SEO. It also needs to be available to buy!
We hope that this article has been helpful and wish you luck in your hunt for the ideal freelance website domain name.
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