SEO/SEM domain-name-featured

Published on June 25th, 2013 | by Contributing Author

5

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting Your Domain Name

Learn from others’ mistakes before you buy a new domain name for your business.

Today, when you start a new business, launch a blog, build a new website or extend your business into new markets,domain name mistakes you almost always need to buy a new domain name to support your efforts. In fact, the right domain name has gone from being a nice-to-have, to an essential ingredient that can impact the success or failure of your marketing efforts.

Over the years I have witnessed many easy-to-avoid mistakes when it comes to selecting domain names. Some of these may be obvious, and others not so much. In either case, you can learn from these mistakes so that the name you choose for your domain is a successful one.

1. Picking a domain name that is already taken – or not buying it fast enough

This might seem like a no brainer, but I have seen many businesses come up with a catchy domain name, print it on their business cards, and write it on their grand opening t-shirts only to fail to check if they can even buy the name.

Checking domain availability (use this easy domain search tool) should be the next step in your process after you start brainstorming names. Many companies offer domain names for only $0.99 for the first year. Buy any potential domain names as soon as you come up with them. Don’t risk losing out on the perfect name because you procrastinated.

2. Picking a domain name that is not a .com

Today you can get domain names with all sorts of extensions (.biz, .org. .cc, .pro, .me, .tv). While these may have creative appeal, potential visitors and customers for most businesses have been “programmed” – after years of typing .com – to automatically assume that every domain name has .com at the end.

Don’t make life hard for potential customers or lose out on traffic because your site is not a .com. Also, if another company owns the .com version of your domain name, you can expect many of your new and existing customers to end up visiting their website first.

3. Really difficult to spell

Don’t pick a domain name that requires a spell check to get it right. This is usually caused by complex words, uncommon words or unusual spellings. Words with “ie” or “ei” in them often get misspelled so proceed with caution…  also make sure to buy the domains of the most common misspellings.

4. mywebsitedomainnameistoolong.com

The longer your domain name, the more likely a person is to forget the address or to make a mistake when typing it in (see #3). In addition, when your domain name is too long it’s hard to print on business cards, sides of trucks, etc.

5. Really difficult to remember

Building on #3 and #4, picking a domain name that’s hard to remember is like not picking a domain name at all.

If you want to grow your business by word of mouth marketing, it’s important for your website’s domain to be easily remembered. You know those great TV commercials that you can never remember what they’re for? Don’t choose the domain name equivalent for your business.

6. Sounds like another business

Nothing is worse than launching your new website, immediately having the phone start to ring, email inquiries start to pour in, and website traffic start to pick up, only to find out all this activity is because people think you are another business with a similar name. DOH!

We know this one firsthand. At BoostSuite, at least once a month we get a call from someone who is actually looking for Boost Mobile or HootSuite. Fortunately, this is pretty infrequent. But, whenever possible, find a name that is unique and doesn’t use generic terms while still being short and catchy. Petedge.com sounds much better than dogsupplies.com.

7.  Using hyphens or numbers

Your domain needs to be one word or one set of words. No hyphens and no numbers. It’s hard to verbally communicate a domain name that has a space or a number. When someone hears one of these domains it’s hard to know if a hyphen is required and if the numbers are written out as words or are numeric.

Stick to A-Z and leave other characters alone, no matter how tempting.

8. Being super trendy

If every new website is using certain words, phrases, characters or misspellings – chances are it’s a bad idea. I don’t know how many times I had to tell my mom that my pictures were on Flickr (until Flickr finally purchased flicker.com).

Your trendy domain name might sound cool today…. but chances are it won’t sound so great in a few years. And, in the meantime, it will confuse everyone who hasn’t yet heard about today’s tricky domain naming trend.

Avoid these eight domain name pitfalls and you’ll set your new business up for online marketing success!

Do you have any other mistakes to avoid when buying a domain name? Tell us about them in the comments below.

Daniel Smith is Co-founder of BoostSuite.com, BoostSuite allows small business marketers to get more website visitors, sales leads, and customers by optimizing their websites on their own. BoostSuite starts free and successful websites choose from paid plans starting at just $19/month. Get an instant grade and start optimizing your website for free at http://signup.boostsuite.com.

© 2013, VR Marketing Blog. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

Contributing Author



5 Responses to 8 Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting Your Domain Name

  1. ATUL LOTIA says:

    Your details were helpful but Ifeel that even if you take .com & use only .com,, you should also take .in and .co.in of same domain name because the competitor can always have same name but with change at the end only. This is happening with my company’s website.
    Also adding country’s name after the name makes it easy for viewer to understand which country you are from

  2. James Coakes says:

    I disagree about having domains that aren’t a .com. You need to have your location’s correct domain, so in the UK it’s co.uk, if you want to be found in search. America; there’s a whole world out there that isn’t america.com

  3. cheryl says:

    it’s hard to find a domain name that fulfills all of the above, which is not already taken……

    • Tim Coe says:

      If it was easy there’d be no need for articles like this. Think hard and dig deep. Or better still, change your business name. Also, the URL doesn’t have to be the business name. I believe a boringly named car dealership could easily have a URL of qualitycars.com for example.

  4. I am contemplating shortening my domain name, so thanks for the great advice!

Back to Top ↑