Don’t be a dummy – avoid these domain name mistakes!

Check your domain name’s free before printing your business cards. Use a dictionary looser! Big clothes are not what .XXX is all about. You cannot have a website without a domain name. The Internet is not a passing fancy. More hazards to avoid, take a look…

by Meg - 23.02.2016

Test your domain name

Imagine you had to select one outfit to wear for the rest of your life. You’d make it a keeper!

The perfect domain name will reflect the image of your business and be a powerful marketing asset.

  • Make it memorable – easy to remember, easy to recommend.
  • Keep it short – will it fit on business cards, gifts, trucks, etc.?
  • Avoid difficult/weird spellings – you’ll lose traffic from typos.
  • Explaining abbreviations and special characters is a pain in the a**e.
  • Try over the phone – repeating or spelling increases the chances of error.
  • Driving past a billboard at high speed, is it readable?
  • Don’t be too clever – made up words need more marketing.

Don’t stunt the growth of your business

Your pet shop specialises in kittens. Buying some horses, you rebrand as a farm. Oops, there’s an elephant in the room. Does that make you a zoo? Future plans include a caravan, a big stripy tent, and the open road…

Don’t register a domain name that limits the evolution of your company. New products and services, new office locations, targeting overseas markets.

Register different spellings of your domain name

Registering alternative spellings of your domain name is advisable because…

  • Some of us have fat fingers and make mistakes when typing, adding an S, missing a letter…
  • People may try to feed off your success. Redirecting your traffic by registering similar domain names.

Register relevant extension(s)

Choosing the bit after the dot depends on what you’re offering, who you’re targeting, and who you are.  You can register one domain name for your main website. Then register more to target countries, events, causes, new products, etc.

  • The generic ones have been around for years: .COM, .ORG, .NET, .GOV, .XXX (adult entertainment, if you’re wondering), etc.
  • CcTLDs represent countries. They’ll boost your website in local search engines. Register multiple if you’re looking to sell around the world, e.g. .DE, .EU, .US, .BE, .CA.
  • New domain extensions describe your industry, product, city, and more. Examples include: .LONDON, .DESIGN, .SERVICES, .WEBSITE, EVENTS, .NEWS, CAREERS, .BIO.

Premium domain names – yes they’re expensive, but…

A premium domain name is a virgin name that’s considered awesome. The registry will reserve it whilst interest and value increase. Or, a used domain name with a long and reputable history.

They’re domain names that drive traffic without any marketing effort. They’re short, memorable, and contain keywords. They achieve high visibility on search engines.

It’s your business, your livelihood – worth spending more or not?

“Domain name taken” – don’t give up!

The owner of the domain name might consider selling. How much are you prepared to pay? Check out the history of the domain name, ask questions.

Trademark infringement – best avoided!

Registering a domain name that mimics a brand is clever. All that accidental traffic you’ll get. But brands protect their property, you will get caught. You’ll lose your domain name, website, reputation, and you’ll be hit with legal costs.

Don’t steal other people’s brand names! It’s rude, lazy, and you’ll have lawyers on your back quicker than you can say – sue me! Make your list of choices and check there are no conflicts of interest, then check again.

Match your domain name & company name

Mismatched domain name and company name will confuse customers. They’ll be at odds and look unprofessional on your business card and email address. Choose your company name side by side with your domain name.

Choosing a matching domain name for an older, well established company is not so easy. Been around for years; reputation built around their brand – a workaround is hard to avoid.

But start-ups… there’s no excuse!

Keywords in your domain name are good

Keyword research will highlight what words and phrases your target market is using. Use these results when choosing your domain name and find a name that includes a keyword. Using a keyword in your domain name will boost your SEO strategy.

Your domain name & website need protecting

Online fraudsters are targeting businesses every day. Individuals lose their identity, bank accounts emptied. As a website owner you’re responsible for protecting your customers’ data. Having an SSL certificate encrypts online traffic between you and your customers. Their data is secure and your website is authenticated so users know you’re genuine.

Protect your domain name! If a hacker gets it, they’ve got control of your business. They can point your name towards a dodgy website. They can transfer your domain name to their account. They can shut down your business. Your reputation will be kaput!  Along with SSL, activate two-step verification to stop unauthorised access to your account. Domain privacy will hide your domain registration information, and turn on automatic renewal.

Accurate contact details for your domain name

When you register a domain name you have to provide contact details. They’re then published in the WHOIS database visible to everyone. You can hide them with our domain privacy feature if you prefer.

If your contact details are wrong and your domain name is about to expire, the alert email won’t reach you. OOPS– domain lost! It’s not cheap to recover a lost domain name. Add to that the fact that your website will go down, and you’ll be seriously out of pocket. Just to scare you a little bit more, someone else might register your domain name.

Busy people delegate tasks. If you ask someone else in the company to register the domain name make sure they register under the company name, and not their own. If they change jobs you could lose your domain name.

Useful posts

Photo credit

Domain namesDomain securityHow to guidesCountry code domains (ccTLDs)

Next article:
Win a worldwide audience with country code domain extensions!

Previous article:
Beware used domain names and the pump & dump scam!

Related articles: