Written by Jessica Ann on December 16th, 2013
How To Avoid Pitfalls When Choosing a Domain Name
Selecting the right domain name for your business is pretty crucial. But it’s also easy to unintentionally get it wrong. As an example, consider the website for the local newspaper in Winters, California. The website is the Winters Express. What could possibly go wrong? Well, take a look at their domain name written out as it would be in a browser: wintersexpress.com. A winter sex press – really? Try to avoid these common pitfalls and learn how to market your website with meaning.
You don’t want to be in the middle of the website design process only to realize that you have made a mistake with your website name. This applies to everyone including those building a small business website, an ecommerce site, a blog website, a fast website, and everything in-between.
To help you make the right choice, here are some tips for picking the perfect website name:
Get A Dot.Com If You Can
There are lots of different domain name endings you can get, but the most popular is .com. There are also .net, .org and many others, including country specific domains (.co, uk, .com, .au, etc).
The reality is most people will type your name or business with .com. It’s an automatic assumption and for that reason, get a .com if you can.
Sometimes, however, country specific domain names can be useful, particularly if you are marketing your website, product or service in that country. But, as always, be careful and avoid Budget Car Rental’s fatal mistake. They set up a website for use in the Cook Islands where the domain is .ck. Budget’s website became budget.co.ck. But it obviously did not last long.
Make The Name Unique, Easy To Type And Easy To Remember
Your domain name will be your brand, so make it memorable. It should be unique so that users do not mix you up with other websites. And it should be easy to type and simple enough to remember. That means avoiding hyphens, numbers and the recent trend for unusual and quirky spellings. Unless you have an enormous marketing budget, keep it simple and memorable.
Just make sure your name is memorable for the right reasons. The organizations Pen Island (penisland.com) and Who Represents (whorepresents.com) are good examples of being memorable for the wrong reasons.
Keep It Short And Be Specific
The best domain names are short and they describe what the website is about. If you don’t make it short and descriptive you will have to spend money on marketing to describe and explain your site to potential users. So be specific – WebMD.com is a good example.
The final bit of advice is to type out your new domain as it will appear on the screen. This means do not include spaces or punctuation. This small tip when choosing a domain name can save you a lot of hassle in the long run. And it can make you an inspirational small business story instead of an embarrassing one.