Buying a domain name is easier than ever before. Whether you’re working with a broker or buying from any mainstream domain provider, you could own a domain quickly and efficiently. But domains are digital addresses for your business, so while picking one is easy, your domain names should be chosen with care and caution. Otherwise, you could lose business for simple mistakes that could have been avoided. With that in mind, here are common mistakes people make with domain names.
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Considering Your Domain Name Too Late
There are many instances where business owners choose their business name before they choose their domain name. Once upon a time, this might have been okay, but today, the two go hand in hand. According to Saw, a domain brokerage, if you choose and launch a business before you’ve researched domain names, you might end up struggling to get a domain that aligns with your business. This is even more likely if you’re using common words. Always conduct domain research at the same time that you’re brainstorming business names.
Creating Domains Too Similar to Existing Domain Names
Yes, it’s possible that you could be creating a domain name that’s too similar to a domain name that already exists. Even if your intentions were good (perhaps you’ve never even heard of the domain name yours is similar to), you could end up getting traffic from the wrong audience or, in extreme cases, find yourself in a complicated legal battle.
Some words and phrases are protected by trademarks, so you should always do your due diligence before making any final decisions. The last thing you want is for your business to look like a knock-off of another business, and when your domain is too close to comfort to an existing domain, it can give off a shady first impression.
Using Odd Spelling
Of course, as a business owner, it’s natural to want your domain name to be unique. As a result, you might play off of certain words to make your domain catchy. But domains (and business names in general) with odd spellings can be difficult to work with.
Homophones are a good example of words that fall under “odd spelling” when it comes to domains. Homophones are words that are pronounced the same as other words but have different meanings. For example, let’s say you run an auto business and want to create a witty domain name like “givemeabrake.com”—not only is “brake” a homophone for “break,” but this play on a KitKat slogan could mean tricky business.
Hyphens can inadvertently overcomplicate a domain. If you’re talking about your website to another person and verbally say your domain name, you’ll have to note that a hyphen exists and explain where to put it. While it seems simple enough, people are less likely to remember hyphenated domains names, which can hurt your word-of-mouth referrals. Of course, this doesn’t mean hyphens are absolutely out of the question, but you should highly consider whether your domain name actually needs it.
Buying Long Domain Names
People who buy long domain names are often going for a clever or witty factor. However, if you want to run a business and longevity is important to you, keep your domain length to a minimum and prioritize simplicity. Not only are long names difficult to remember, but without any spaces in a browser address bar, it just looks like a string of letters squished together—and most people don’t want to look at that.
Not Checking For Other Extensions
When possible, you should secure your domain name with multiple applicable extensions. Domain extensions typically refer to top-level domain extensions, such as .com, .net, and .org. There are also other types of domain extensions that might be applicable to your industry. For example, if you’ve launched a real estate company called JaneDoeRealEstate.com, you might also consider buying “JaneDoeRealEstate.homes.” No matter what industry you’re in, chances are there are several extensions that cater to it and cost very little to purchase. You can redirect traffic from those domains if you choose to, or park them.
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