Choosing the perfect name for your business is crucial to your brand reputation. Choosing the appropriate Web address for your business is just as vital. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of companies make mistakes in the domain name selection process. The following list is exactly how you should NOT choose the domain name for your business’s website – don’t make these common mistakes.
Going on and on and on…
Long domain names are hard to read and hard to remember. Keep your domain as short and relevant as possible. By making it easier for your customers, you’ll stay top-of-mind. For example: 1and1.com is a lot easier than 1and1internetchesterbrookpa.com.
Numerical Substitutions and Shorthand
Abbreviations, like substituting a number for a common word, are easily misinterpreted. When deciding on a domain name, listen to it spoken aloud. Could your domain spelling cause confusion? For example: avoid substituting “2” for the word “to,” “gr8” for “great,” “u” instead of “you,” and so on.
Unless a hyphen is always a part of your business’s name, it’s better to avoid them. Similar to numerical substitutions, these domains are often misunderstood when spoken and forgotten when typing.
There are a variety of legal considerations to keep in mind when choosing a domain name. Among others, ensure that you are not violating any existing trademarks. Make your domain unique to your business to avoid any misunderstandings.
Using a Lot of Keywords
Keywords can be helpful to show what your business does, but too many keywords look sloppy and confusing. In terms of SEO, keywords in your domain name are not as important as the text on your website.
An Irrelevant Domain Name
Your online presence is a representation of your business and the industry you are in. Sometimes, when a preferred domain is already reserved, companies create a Web address that is not synonymous with their business name. We strongly suggest that you use the name of your business as it will make a more memorable impression and positive impact on your business’s appearance in search results.
Thinking It Must be a .COM
.COM is definitely the most popular Top-Level Domain (TLD), but there are other options. As the Internet becomes more populated, preferred domain names become harder to obtain as they are often already registered by another user. If the .COM version of your preferred domain is already taken, try a different extension like .NET, .BIZ, or .US. In response to this growing dilemma, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will be releasing a realm of new generic TLDs that will be available starting around the end of 2013 and extending for the next few years. Some examples of the new TLDs that will become available are .restaurant, .music, .blog, .car, and many more. This will allow businesses to use their name as the domain without sacrificing their reputation.
Choosing the Wrong Extension
It’s important to select the TLD that is most relevant to the industry and business it represents. Some TLDs may reflect your business more accurately thank others. For example, a non-profit could choose a .ORG domain. Domain extensions denoting a location (.US, .CO.UK, etc.) may also help to ensure site visitors that they are on the correct page. With the upcoming launch of new TLDs, the list of possibilities will increase to include over 700 domain extensions. Take your time and consider all of the possible options. You can pre-reserve one of the new TLDs with no obligation at http://www.1and1.com/new-top-level-domains.
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