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5 Domain Naming Mistakes That Will Kill Your Brand’s Reputation

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Jenna Cyprus
September 12, 2016


Jenna Cyprus

Jenna is a freelance writer who loves the outdoors; especially camping while relaxing with her family.

Jenna Cyprus has written 4 articles for DomainInformer.
View all articles by Jenna Cyprus...

In the digital age, few things are as important as your website. As such, you shouldn’t build and launch a website without first considering all of the details and complexities of branding, design, and user experience. Specifically, one of the first things you’ll need to deal with is selecting a domain name.

Why the Domain Name Matters

The first question people often ask is this: “Is a domain name really that big of a deal?” The answer here is yes – and here are a few specific reasons why:

1. SEO. While having a particular keyword in your domain name is no longer as important as once believed, it’s still a good idea to use words that are related to your brand. It certainly provides a noticeable boost and is a good practice to follow.

2. Visibility. When a customer searches for something, Google ranks and returns results. While most people will click on one of the first few results, savvy users will also glance at the website to see if it’s related to the content they’re seeking. Having the right domain name will increase your visibility, which translates to increased conversions.

3. Consistency. Finally, consistency is key in branding. A domain name is your chance to extend this consistency and show customers the value you provide.

While your domain name isn’t the most important decision you’ll ever make, it’s certainly near the top in terms of marketing, SEO, and consumer engagement. Don’t overlook this aspect of building your website – and certainly don’t choose a domain name without first considering all of your options.

Five Mistakes to Avoid

Choosing the right domain name isn’t going to catapult your brand to the top of your industry, but selecting the wrong one can definitely push you to the bottom. With that being said, make sure you’re avoiding the following costly mistakes:

1. Focusing on an Exact Match

A lot of businesses feel like they need an exact match for their domain name. In other words, if your company’s name is “My Business,” then the website must be “MyBusiness.com.” Is it nice to have an exact match? Sure…but it isn’t necessary.

With thousands of domain names being scooped up every day, your chances of finding an exact match aren’t great. Using a variation – such as “GetMyBusiness.com” – can be just as effective. If you focus too much on getting an exact match, you’ll end up overpaying.

2.  Restricting Your Options

You never know where your business will go in the future and it’s important that you don’t limit your options by selecting a niche domain name. For example, it’s probably not smart to use a location in your domain. If you choose a domain name like “AlbuquerqueMarketingGuys.com,” what happens if you decide to expand your business to other cities?

3.   Strange Spelling

This mistake has more to do with the naming of your company than anything else. While unique spelling may be trendy, you’ll regret getting cute in the future. Strange spellings make it difficult for website visitors to type your website into a browser, and also require you to spell it out every time you give someone your website. Avoid the confusion by sticking with standard spelling rules.

4. Inappropriate Word Mergers

Because there are no spaces between the words of any domain name, businesses risk creating strange, or even inappropriate, word mergers. Just consider the following: Itscrap.com (IT Scrap), Whorepresents.com (Who Represents?), Expertsexchange.com (Experts Exchange), and Masterbaitonline.com (Master Bait online). Avoid these mistakes by having several sets of eyes review your domain name prior to purchase.

5.  Using Dashes

When companies get so fixated on the idea of using their brand name as the domain name, they’ll go to extreme measures. This often leads to placing hyphens or dashes in between words. While it technically works, don’t do it. Everyone forgets to use dashes and you’ll inadvertently send traffic to someone else’s site (probably a competitor).

Putting it All Together

Your domain name is more important than you’ll ever know. While it may not persuade a user to become a customer, it can certainly dissuade an individual from doing business with you. Keep these costly blunders in mind and make sure you’re doing your due diligence and selecting a domain name that pushes your website in a positive direction.

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