The internet is stormed with over a billion websites! Yes, a billion! This means there are fewer choices of domain names available. Many a times, brands and businesses are in a mad rush to get their website off the ground and they end up settling for a domain name that does them more harm than good.
From the standpoint of creating a formidable brand, settling for a domain name simply because it is the closest variable available is not the best decision. After all, you want to create a striking brand that translates into a legacy and a successful business that strongly resonates with your core competency.
So, whether you’re starting a new business or taking an existing brand online, avoid making the following mistakes while choosing a new domain name.
Choosing a name that is different from the business name
It’s a less known fact, but Google and most other search engines give a rank bump to web pages that show a consistency in the domain name and business name. While there is no direct or proven advantage of having a keyword rich domain name on your SEO campaign, having a domain name that aligns with your brand name is a great branding hack. Also, a name consistency makes your brand name look credible in the eyes of your stakeholders.
However, you need not look for an exact match. For instance, Tesla, that goes by TeslaMotors.com, has added their core competency along with their brand name.
Choosing an Obscure Name
Choosing an obscure name that is long or awkward or crammed with hyphens and numbers, just to be on a .COM is the big NO. While .COM is the most sought-after extension, it is not written in stone that you must be on one as well. With so many new domain extensions now available, you can choose anything from .WEBSITE, .ONLINE, .TECH, .STORE, and so on. Why jeopardise your brand by settling for a domain name that is less worthy when you can choose a crisp, descriptive and brand-able domain name on new extensions?
Choosing a name that fails the Radio Test
What’s the radio test you ask? Well, it is the quality check or the litmus test for a domain name. If a listener tunes in to hear your domain name being uttered, will they understand it? And more importantly, will they remember it? If they do, your domain name passes with flying colors! If not, then quite frankly, it fails and needs to be given more thought and research.
Domain names that include numbers or are confusing and cumbersome to type or sound vague in pronunciation are likely to fail. If you spell ‘easy’ as ‘ez’ or ‘hacks’ as ‘hax’, the listener is bound to make an error while typing in your web address.
Choosing a name after your business is ready to roll
Now, if you select a business name that appeals to you and is in sync with your brand’s persona, it is advisable to search its availability as a domain name and to register it before your business takes off. Leaving your domain name selection for the very last is the one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Selecting your domain name at the very beginning of your setup gives you a chance to look for fitting alternatives or to approach the owner of the matching domain name for a possible sale. Set a budget for your domain name purchase and search for your domain name while searching for your business name.
Choosing a name that is super hard to read
It is advisable to make bold choices with your domain name selection, but ensure that is short, easy to read and easy to type. A short domain name is legible and will clearly convey your brand image and core competence while a longer domain name is prone to be misread. Experts often suggest having no more than two words to the left of the dot. Short names make it effortless for mobile users to type and access your website.
Choosing a name that isn’t in the dictionary
We mentioned above that a short, snappy name works well as a domain name. However, don’t go overboard and invent a name that is meaningless or one that sounds unnatural and fails to give your stakeholders any understanding of the brand. Mashing two words to make a new one is considered to be a major faux pa. Words like Zooster, Zosh, Mystology, Watchology, and other such words rarely sound appealing. The same goes for choosing your brand name as well. Make smart choices and search actively for fitting availabilities on new domain extensions.