9 Lessons to Avoid When Choosing a Domain Name

Investment 29 Nov 2023 04:41:22 PM By:DN platform editor
Abstract:

We have all witnessed poor domain name choices: hyphenated domains, hard-to-remember domains, clever spellings. Abroad, someone specifically contacted 10 entrepreneurs, asking them about the practical mistakes they made in the domain name

We've all witnessed poor domain name choices: hyphenated domains, hard-to-remember domains, clever spellings. Someone abroad contacted 10 entrepreneurs to inquire about the practical mistakes they made in the domain name arena. Here are their real experiences.

9 Lessons to Avoid When Choosing a Domain Name

1. Purchase Desired Domain Early—Robert Brandl

My biggest regret in acquiring the Tooltester.com domain was waiting too long. Back in 2017, when our site was still operating under the name Websitetooltester.com, we secured the Tooltester.com domain for approximately $7,000. I thought the price was too high and declined the offer. Just three years later, when I seriously considered buying it, the price had jumped to $23,000, and the seller refused to negotiate. Eventually, I even purchased the plural form of the domain (Tooltesters.com) for around $2,000, but I was not satisfied with it. In the end, I decided to go ahead and pay the full asking price. However, it was worth it, as I love the brand.

2. User Experience Over Keyword Stuffing—Kate Wojewoda-Celinska

I registered a keyword-dense domain to boost search rankings. This SEO-centric choice resulted in a complex and non-intuitive URL, making it difficult for users to remember the brand and establish a connection. I realized that while keywords are beneficial for SEO, the domain must first be memorable and consistent with the brand.

In the domain name arena, user experience triumphs over search engine algorithms. A clean, simple, and creative domain enhances brand image and appeal more than a keyword-laden URL. The cornerstone of successful company branding is ensuring a name that is short, creative, and memorable.

3. Strategically Use Country/Region-Specific Extensions—Hardy Desai

Initially, I was unsure whether to stick with traditional .COM domains or choose country/region-specific domains. For us, it all depended on where we conducted business. As a small marketing agency, most of our clients were in our country, Australia, so registering the .AU extension made sense.

These country/region extensions help indicate to potential clients where we operate and also aid in achieving better rankings in local SEO. Google looks at these country/region indicators when indexing your site and considers local content more relevant to its users. As Google highly values relevance in creating a positive user experience, using country/region extensions might assist in genuine organic traffic growth.

4. Avoid Country/Region-Specific Domains Unless Targeted—Fahad Khan

My biggest mistake in choosing a username for my brand was using country/region-specific domains. We've seen domain names ending in country/region codes like .nz limited to that specific country/region. I also opted for a domain ending in .uk (geographical indicator). Later, as I started dealing with clients from around the world, conflicts arose, and I had to change the domain. From this, I learned that country/region-specific domains should not be chosen unless the website is exclusively for users in that specific country/region.

9 Lessons to Avoid When Choosing a Domain Name

5. Conduct Trademark Searches in Advance—Phil Strazzulla

One mistake I made was not considering the possibility of trademark conflicts. I chose a domain without thorough trademark research and later received a cease-and-desist letter from a company with the same name. This taught me the importance of conducting comprehensive trademark searches before finalizing a domain to avoid legal disputes and protect the integrity of my brand.

6. Avoid Trendy Spellings in Domain Names—Diego Cardini

I once snagged a domain with a trendy spelling because the traditional spelling was already taken. Big mistake. People constantly confused it, and it didn't appear in searches as I wanted. The lesson learned? Stick to simplicity. If someone can't hear it and type it in one go, that someone is not that someone. Now, I choose names that are easy to spell and meaningful for my business—no more spelling games.

7. .Com Domain Enhances Credibility—Madhav Bhandari

My biggest mistake was getting a .org domain for my company instead of .com. I didn't realize how much of a difference it could make back then. But believe me, a .com domain indeed carries an overall level of credibility and professionalism that .org or .net cannot match.

So, when people started expecting a .com at the end of my company name, I actually had to spend a considerable amount to get it! My advice is—go for a .com domain from the start. It will save you a lot of trouble and money.

8. Switch to .Com Domain Early—Trevor Ewen

Our company was established using a .net domain. At the time, it made sense because .com domains were worth thousands of dollars, and the product had not yet adapted to the market. However, once the product became popular, the company could easily choose to switch to .com for recent marketing considerations. We purchased the domain in 2022 and made the switch, but in hindsight, this could have happened years ago.

9. Consider Future Growth in Industry Selection—Katharine Gallagher

A valuable lesson my team and I learned when choosing a domain name is considering the importance of the website's future development. Initially, we named the website "RGC Advertising," which was perfect for our services at the time. However, as our services expanded to encompass various aspects of digital marketing, this choice started to become limiting.

The clear lesson from this mistake is to consider your long-term goals and whether your domain name will remain relevant as the website evolves. Avoid falling into the trap of pigeonholing yourself into a specific niche. Our own development led us to rebrand as "RGC Digital Marketing" to better cover the broader range of services we could offer to businesses.

This taught us the value of adaptability and foresight in domain name selection. Always choose a name that not only fits your current business but also accommodates future growth, ensuring your brand image stays consistent with the ever-expanding product.

Source: DNW

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9 Lessons to Avoid When Choosing a Domain Name