When it comes to naming your business, many people forget how crucial it is to check if the name is available as a domain and across social media before they commit to it! Brand consistency is important, and you need your website to be intuitive to find.
The best method is to come up with multiple options and use a domain name search to find those that are available, from there you can test your favourites using the tips we’ve provided below. It’s essential to avoid these common mistakes, or else you might have a few expensive regrets later down the line:
It’s too specific
While a domain name should ideally be specific to you, your brand or industry, you can also be too specific. An example of this is for an eCommerce store to put the name of a product in the domain name or for a travel blog to list a particular country in the domain.
If the time comes when your business expands and you want to focus on different things, your domain could feel outdated, irrelevant and confusing.
It’s way too long
Short and snappy domains are often better. Think of the big brands out there, almost all of them have one or two words at the most (e.g. Google, Facebook, Netflix, Spotify.)
If your domain name is too long, it’ll be difficult to remember and easy to misspell. The last thing you want is to tell people about your website and for them to struggle to find it. Or worse, find a similar website that ends up being a competitor.
It spells out another word when joined up
A domain name with two or more words can cause an easy-to-miss mistake. When the words are joined up in the URL, they could inadvertently spell out another word between them.
The best-case scenario is that it spells out a word that causes confusion. The worst case is that it spells out something inappropriate or offensive. Always check what your domain looks like with the words joined up.
It isn’t relevant to your business
This can often become an issue if you change your business’ direction after purchasing a domain. Imagine buying a website domain called ‘Only-Pens’, but later deciding you’re really missing out on the pencil market…
When you’re choosing a domain, make sure that it’s relevant to your brand or industry. Ideally, if you can get a keyword in there that’s related to what you’re offering, this is even better.
This will help your website appear more relevant in the search engines when people are searching for your keyword.
The extension isn’t the best choice for you
A common problem people find is that they can’t find the .com domain that they want, but the .biz or .net is available so they choose that instead. This can lead to a couple of problems.
First of all, if you’re picking a similar name to an established brand that has the .com, they may try to force you to shut your website down one day. Or they may try to buy your extension of the domain which puts you back at square one.
The other problem is that other extensions can be difficult to remember if you’re telling people. People generally expect a .com or .co.uk extension and are less likely to remember .biz. They may automatically look for the .com version when searching for your website and end up on another website.
Make it as easy as possible to find your website
Some of these issues can be rectified. However, if your domain choice makes it difficult for users to find your website, this could be one too many hurdles for a customer to jump over. People generally won’t spend too much time searching for a website. If it’s difficult for them, they’ll go elsewhere. Remember, convenience is king!
Once you’ve found your perfect domain name, it’ll be time to start looking for the ideal platform to host your website, so don’t forget to check out our guide!
Have you seen any domain mistakes from other businesses? What other tips would you give? Share your thoughts below.