In setting up your website, the domain name is one of the few but crucial aspects to think about. The domain name is how people will find you on the web, the URL to print on all of your marketing materials. It’s the address that leads to your business, your storefront, your brand. Yes, it’s that big a deal, and so you gotta make sure that your domain name fits right into the business name. Choosing domain names isn’t easy. It’s a process that you will spend hours on end. Companies would go to the extent of hiring naming firms to coach and assist them through the process. That’s how intense it is. Because once you’ve chosen a domain name, it stays with you for good.
You don’t want to make rash decisions that you will regret later on. Here are 5 things to avoid when choosing a domain name for your business.
Avoid abbreviations | Choosing Domain Names
Unless your Fridge Toaster manufacturing business is known as FTM, then there is little to be gained by having an abbreviated domain. A domain name needs to reflect and promote your brand, by what you want people to remember you for. Similarly, avoid Pty Ltd, Ltd, mgmt, and similar abbreviations in your domain name.
Avoid hyphens | Choosing Domain Names
Sometimes if fridgetoastermanufacturing.com is already registered, fridge-toaster-manufacturing.com can seem like a good compromise. Unfortunately, apart from this being hard to remember, it can also signal to Google a risk of spam, which will detract from any search optimisation activity. Generally, any domain name with more than two or three hyphens should be avoided.
Stuffing a domain with keywords | Choosing Domain Names
For a while, registering keyword rich exact match domain names was a sure fire way of ranking well and getting traffic. In October 2012, Google released an update which made it harder for “low quality exact match domains” to rank well. Google are very focused on brands, seeing them as a higher indicator of a quality website, than a small website with a great domain. This doesn’t mean keywords are irrelevant in domains; it just means getting them to rank well will take more work than previously.
Look at the complete picture | Choosing Domain Names
Sometimes a domain that makes sense to you, may mean something entirely different to someone else. This is the problem Pen Island had when they registered penisland.com. Before registering your domain, make sure that the combination of letters in a domain will not be offensive to others. Getting the name wrong may attract the wrong kind of attention.
Choosing an obscure domain space if another popular space is available | Choosing Domain Names
I recommend protecting your brand in all domain spaces. It is part of a good defensive branding strategy to prevent a competitor, disgruntled staff member, or angry customer hijacking your brand. Unfortunately, choosing a domain space which not too many people have heard of will make it hard for them to remember and you may find many emails go missing when someone types firstname.lastname@example.org rather than fridgetoast.info. Generally, people expect a domain to be a .com, .com.au, .co.nz, .co.uk and so on. That’s why these registries have a lot of names registered. One qualifier: This depends on your market. If your buyers are part of the connected-technical segment, then you can be more creative.