How to choose a domain name that works internationally

Think of your domain name as a good first impression – a firm, positive digital handshake that could be the start of a long and successful relationship between you and your potential customers.

But how do you choose a name that’s searchable and represents your brand? Choosing the right name requires more thought than simply picking something that sounds impressive – it’s a process that is well worth putting some serious thought into. With that in mind, here are Turner Little’s 4 steps for choosing the right domain name to help you stand out from the crowd.

  1. Make sure it works in any language

Half the world’s population speaks around 23 different languages – so the domain name you choose certainly needs to work hard for its living. We strongly recommend that you don’t try to translate your name into the local language, as this can lead to some spectacular cultural misunderstandings – particularly if you’re translating into non-Latin languages such as Russian, Chinese or Arabic. There really is no substitute for doing some thorough local research into the customs and culture of your target market before you choose a name – it’s all worth it if it prevents you from picking something that will offend your potential customers. It’s also wise to make sure that it can’t be misread. Double check what your company name looks like without spaces or capitalisation to avoid any potential embarrassment when it becomes a URL.

  1. Give a great first impression

For many of your potential customers, this will be their very first contact with you. And while it might just seem like a simple address, you really should think of it as an extension of your brand. So, treat it with the same care and attention that you would with any other part of your branding. What does the address you’ve chosen say about your business, and the brand you’re trying to build? What kind of impression does it make on a first-time visitor? If it was a sign hanging outside your real-world, physical offices, how would it make people feel?

  1. Go global

One of the most incredible things about the rise of the Internet has been the startling worldwide exposure it can give to our businesses and to our brands. Standing out in the crowd is important, but more important, we’d argue, is credibility. That’s why a .com domain extension is so important – it’s the internationally recognised standard for web addresses and gives your brand the weight it will need to make an impact overseas.

  1. Make it all about the experience

Having a domain name that looks and sounds great in any language, and will build rather than damage your brand is a good start. It will get your potential customers through the door, but having a website that works internationally is what will keep them on your site, and encourage them to do business with you.

So, make sure that the experience you create for them is simple and intuitive to use for anyone from any cultural background. Design it so that it is optimised for speed, and will work anywhere, whatever the local internet situation is where it is being viewed.

And finally, there is no point in having a beautiful looking site that promotes your business if it takes an age to load – so always make sure you test it thoroughly before launch.

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How to choose a domain name that works internationally
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