5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Domain Name

In the modern era of e-commerce, it is pretty much impossible to maximize your business revenues and profits without a commercial website. Through a website, you can establish a firm online presence, and reach out to audiences all across the globe.

However, this is only possible if your website turns out to be successful, and the kind of domain name that you choose will play a key role in determining this success. Often, entrepreneurs end up choosing a domain name that is too hard or complicated or is quite unrelated to the products or services that their business has to offer. Such issues are frequently discovered after the website is up and running, at which point, there is not much that can be done to rectify the problems.

To help you avoid such a fate, this blog will discuss some of the most common mistakes related to domain name selection.


Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Domain Name

1. Using Numbers

Using ‘3’ instead of three, or ‘2’ instead of ‘two’ or even ‘to’ is not something that you should do. Even though using numbers might seem witty to you, it could cause confusion for your potential visitors, such as, whether the number should be typed or spelled out.

Instead of trying to crack this mystery, these prospective visitors would simply turn to a competing website. In addition, even if they try to proceed to your website, there is a fair chance that they might find themselves entering a site that possesses a domain name similar to yours.

The only time you should use numbers in domain names is when they belong to an event or a brand, such as ‘worldcup2018.com’, or if you are certain that the usage of numbers will not create confusion for your visitors.


2. Ignoring Spellings

Building from the previous point, it is important that you choose a domain name that is easy for people to spell.

You need to pay specific attention to words that are spelled differently across cultures. For instance, while the American spelling for the word is ‘flavor’, the spelling ‘flavour’ is used in the UK. Rather than indulge yourself and your visitors in unnecessary confusion, simply select words that can be easily spelled and remembered. Any words that can be shortened (‘wrong’ to ‘rong’, for instance), should also be avoided – this way, you can ensure that your website name is communicated correctly over phone calls or voicemails.


3. Using Hyphens

Let us suppose that there are three competing businesses, with the following URLS; Mybusinesswebsite.com, my-businesswebsite.com, or my-business-website.com – which one would you opt for, as a visitor? If a person hears a website name, it is more than likely that they will assume that the two words are joined together, and not separated by hyphens. Much like numbers, hyphens can compel your visitors to wonder if and where a hyphen needs to be added to the website name. And, if the visitor fails to get it right the first time, they might not bother to make a second attempt. Also, it is almost certain that the visitor’s first attempt at entering your website URL will not involve hyphens.

You can use hyphens if they are present in a certain brand name, or, once again, if they will not confuse your audience in any way. If your budget (and the domain name availability) allows, you can get both domains – with and without hyphens – registered for your business. This way, you can redirect your hyphenated website name to its non-hyphenated counterpart.


4. Choosing a Domain Name Similar to an Existing One

This mistake is often the result of no or insufficient research. Choosing a domain name that is almost identical to another, existing domain name puts you at risk of losing your potential customers to the other business. Unless your business has a firm brand and a strong identity, it is best to come up with a unique domain name that is reflective of your business offerings and values.


5. Getting a Lengthy Domain Name

In specific cases, lengthy domain names can prove to be quite smart, since they allow you to use an entire phrase or sentence – mytwitterfeed.com and momthisishowtwitterworks.com are two good examples. Generally, however, a long website name can be quite hard to recall. Visitors clicking your website link are going to find the entire name written in lowercase letters without anything separating one word from another, which will make the name extremely hard to comprehend. Once again, visitors are unlikely to dedicate time and effort to making sense of it, and, as a result, will most probably forget the domain name.

(llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.co.uk/ - If you are interested in finding out how the name of this small Welsh village is pronounced, check the link out. Here's the shortened version: longestintheworld.com)

Other than that, lengthy domain names are also an unwise marketing practice. Business cards and digital signatures will generally have limited room for website URLs – an excessively long domain name will either cover two separate lines or appear stretched, both of which come across as unprofessional.


In Summary

A website’s domain name is perhaps as important as its content (if not more). After all, the domain name is the very first thing that a potential customer will see, which means that it plays a key role in how your business is perceived. Hence, if your domain name is difficult to spell, excessively long, or is very similar to another domain name, it could have a negative impact on your traffic, sales, profits, and reputation.

Therefore, choosing the right domain name is perhaps the initial step towards your website success, and we hope that this brief guide will help you come up with an appropriate site name.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

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