Choosing a domain name is something every individual or business who wants a web presence has to do. There are about 350 million registered domain names out there. How many of them have avoided the pitfalls?
Does it matter what your domain name is? Is a long domain name bad? Read on to learn about the common domain name mistakes people make.
1. Trademark Infringement
Choosing a domain name is fraught with trademark infringement issues. Trademarks are powerful drivers of customer behavior. That’s why trademark holders will defend them aggressively.
A trademark can be much more than a symbol. It can be as innocuous as a word or a phrase. Research trademarks before you choose your domain name to ensure you don’t select something that another business is already using.
2. Extension Error
Every domain name has an extension (also known as a TLD) like “.ca” or “.com”. When the Internet started, domain name extensions helped to categorize domain names by purpose. This has become much less the case now.
The most common and therefore memorable is “.com”, however Canadians tend to prefer “.ca”. Either make a great choice if available. Don’t make the mistake of going for something quirky and difficult to recall.
3. Is a Long Domain Name Bad and Other Size Issues
Does size matter when it comes to domain names? Shorter is better for several reasons.
The size issue comes down to how easy it is to remember, communicate, and type it. Just imagine yourself inviting a prospective customer to visit your website over the phone. If you have to spell it out you’re already in trouble.
Even if the customer hears it correctly they then have to write it down or type it. The longer it is, the more chance of an error. Recall of the website domain name reduces with every additional character.
4. Spelling Tests
Choose a name that is easy to spell. It’s a mistake to give users and prospective customers a spelling challenge. Too many will fail the test.
5. Say It Right
Spelling is enough of a challenge without problems with pronunciation. If it’s difficult to say, people will struggle to remember it. An unfamiliar word makes the domain name difficult to communicate.
Test your proposed domain name by verbally communicating it to a sample of people. How many get it the first time?
6. No Numbers
Numbers are confusing when it comes to domain names. Tell someone your domain name with a number in it and they wonder whether to spell it out or use the character. Keep it simple and lose any numbers.
You need your domain name now so you might not be thinking too far into the future. Short-termism describes a limited horizon.
If your domain name is too focused on your business today it may cease to be so appropriate in the future. Your business might diversify from the start-up niche to a slightly wider market and you could regret your narrow domain name choice.
8. Similar Site Confusion
Customers may mistype or misremember your domain name. Where will they end up? You might have to buy similar sites and redirect traffic from them to your domain name.
Similar websites may be competitors that you would like to avoid. Avoid similar site confusion.
Your domain name is important to you, so choose wisely.
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