Choosing the correct domain name for your restaurant website can make or break how many visitors and traffic may visit your website.
The challenge in choosing the best domain name starts with branding, search engine relevance and remember-ability and retention. Listed in this article are several tips to help you choose the best website name for your restaurant’s business.
Choose a Branded Domain Name
Whenever possible, choose the domain name that best resembles your business name. This concept starts off simple but can get complicated once you find that someone else has already registered the name in another city or country with the same business name or worse yet they registered it and are web-squatting on the domain name until someone like yourself decides to purchase the name for a ridiculously high price. That’s fine if you plan to launch a national campaign or franchise but it’s probably not the best answer for most local restaurateurs.
Example: PizzaNova.com is located in Canada. PizzaNova.net is located in the San Diego region. There’s another PizzaNova in Chicago and another in New York and there’s probably many more than that. Each business would want the domain name, but only one can have it.
Always try to obtain the .com whenever possible as these domain extensions are the most recognized.
Some variations you may try are adding a hyphen to the name such as pizza-nova.com. As listed above, you may consider .co, .net, .us, .info, .biz, .ws, .name, or your country or region extension such as .co.uk, .de or .eu.
Using a .org or some variation in this instance isn’t highly suggested unless you are a non-profit.
Keep in mind that adding hyphens in the name can sometimes be carelessly forgotten when typing in a domain name and your potential customer may visit someone else’s site or end up looking through listings of other local search directories and going somewhere else instead of your foodservice location.
Use a Relevant Key-Worded Domain Name for the Search Engines
Another way to choose a domain name is to use relevant keywords. Search engines like Google and Yahoo will recognize and categorize your site properly based on industry-related words.
Combine your business name with relevant food-related keywords. Generally, your name has already been chosen so some names may not work. Here’s a list of commonly used words to describe your place to eat:
Bar, club, bar, and grill, brewery, tavern, pub, bistro, restaurant, restaurante, ristorante, cuisine, lounge, café, coffeehouse, coffeeshop, deli, diner, dining, shop, eats, eatery, inn, local eatery, flavor, grille, house, joint, kitchen, market, and buffet to name a few.
Or try adding the word “the” or “on”, “by the”, or “of the”. An example would be Joespizzaonthebay.com.
Other possibilities may include the obvious, however, if your business name doesn’t already it, try relevant words such as steakhouse, pizza, pancake house, gourmet, or any other food specialty you offer.
Domain Names by Location
Local search engines and directories consider location keywords included in the website name. They help discern between the same-named restaurants in other locations from yours.
Here are some popular ones to help you choose your domain name: downtown, city, abbreviation of city, possibly state in some cases, regions such as mission valley, street, street address, east, west, north, and south have been used. Keep in mind if you’re thinking about expanding locations outside of your city, then don’t use these.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do keep it simple. Try and keep it short when possible. Make it easy to remember and easy to type in.
Don’t use underscores such as “_”, use hyphens “-“ instead. Try not to use double letters when possible. For example, johnssteakhouse. This is a personal preference; keep the least amount of mistakes to chance will help the user find you easier. Inc and corp are not suggested either; use appetizing words when all possible.
A thesaurus can do wonders as well: http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/restaurant
If you are not sure, test, test, test them out. Run it by your workers, family, and friends to make sure you have the best domain name.
And when you’re ready to get your own restaurant website, sign up here.
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