The domain name of your website is very important because it’s really the first impression that people have when they come to your website or if they are viewing your links from other people’s website. What’s in your business name, you want it to be everything. Sadly, many business names are nothing. Deciding on a great business name takes time, it takes thought. Moreover, getting it wrong could cause a disaster for your business. Getting it right however, will give customers a reason to hire you, connect you to your niche market and saves you thousands of marketing dollars. So if you want your business name to have a big impact on people which means a big impact on your market, then you need to avoid the following 10 mistakes when choosing the domain name because a name that’s too far out may make it difficult to brand, and a name that’s too generic and common is easily ignored. Read on!
- Choosing a domain name that’s not your company name…just because it’s the only one that’s available. For example say you want to start a company with your own name called, “Calvince Joyers Interiors”, but Calvincejoyers Interiors isn’t available so you do “welovecalvincejoyersinteriors
.com“. So here’s the thing, if it’s not the exact name of your company, people are not going to remember your URL. A domain name that does not match a company name can cause confusion for visitors.
- Picking a domain name that is not a .com. Today, it is possible to find domain names with all sorts of extensions (.org, .net, .tv, .me, .cc, .biz etc.). Whereas these may have creative appeal, potential customers and visitors for most businesses have been “programmed” (after years of typing .com) to automatically assume that every domain has a .com at the end. So unless you are a non-profit, avoid such kinds of extensions because you’ll be making life hard for potential customers or you couls even lose out on traffic.
- Making it too long. Imagine a domain name like “mywebsitedomainisverylong.com
“. Be careful with the length of the domain name because the longer it is, the more likely a person is to forget the address or to make a mistake when typing it. Besides, a long domain name makes it hard to print on business cards, sides of trucks, etc. So keep it short (one or two words).
- Using hyphens and numbers within the domain name. Hyphens and numbers in a domain cause confusion and extra explanation when the domain is being described verbally. You can place the hyphens between the words in your domain name, however, this approach can be very costly in a situation where your competitors also hold the un-hyphenated version because a potential client who omits the hyphens are likely to be automatically directed to their sites. Limit the usage of numbers to only brand names containing them, such as hg60.co.uk.
- Settling for obsecurity. Say for instance, you want the domain name “problogger”. However, you find that both the top level domains “problogger.net” and “problogger.com” are already taken. So what do you do? This is the time you’ll some people settling for other suffixes that are not known by visitors. Even if the domain name you’ve settle for is in use, try to initiate contact with the owner and check if he/she may be interested in selling it for an affordable amount.
- Choosing a domain name that’s difficult to sell or type. If you domain name has a bizarre spelling, it can seriously damage how easily it will be for your potential audience to remember it and visit you. They hear it mentioned by a friend or on the radio and go to type it in, “is that mobe-a-blue, or moob-a-blu, or moob-e-bloo?” Even if it were you, you’ll give up and look at Facebook instead.
- Not using domain names that are keyword relevant. If you want your website to rank well in the search engine, then ensure that you select a domain name that relates to the main keywords you are likely to use for your site’s SEO. Remember search engines basically favor websites whose domain names contain the keyword. Just make sure you do proper keyword research for your niche prior to purchasing the domain.
- Paying too much money to be generic. The philosophy that someone looking for an auction site or a book will first try auction.com or book.com is now obsolete, thanks to places like eBay and Amazon.com and because generic websites were in fact snapped up years ago. It is not advantageous to spend a fortune to get a generic domain name when you would have otherwise used that money for marketing and branding so as to identify yourself as a distinct business with a catchier name.
- Being super trendy. If every new website is using certain words, characters, phrases or misspellings, then chances are that it’s not a pretty good idea. Your trendy domain name might sound cool today, but there are high chances it won’t sound so great in a few years. Moreover, it will likely confuse everyone who has not yet heard about today’s tricky domain naming trend.
- Failure to research on potential trademark conflicts. You’ll need to make sure that the domain name you chose does not, in any way possible, clash with any of the already registered trademarks. The Intellectual Property (IP) Office website will allow you check for any possible conflict. So do proper research otherwise your domain will be taken away through a legal process called Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP). You can also be sued and face massive charges.