The Horror of Choosing the Wrong Domain Name

Horror of choosing the wrong domain nameMost new small businesses understand how important it is to have a strong website to help promote their business. Whilst this is commendable, the choice of a domain name is often not given sufficient thought and the horrors of making the wrong choice only become evident when it’s too late.

It’s worth remembering that choosing your domain name is not something you can easily change at a later date like the colors on your website or your phone number. Changing a domain name means all the credibility your website has built up is destroyed and you’re back to square one again.

So, we’ve outlined a view key factors that you need to consider when choosing the right domain name for your business.

1. Avoid those hyphens

The ideal domain name should be short and memorable so adding hyphens just makes the domain more difficult to remember. Lets look at an example – imagine you run an online store selling cell phones. You could choose the domain, www.really-cheap-cell-phones.com. Now if somebody see’s that domain name they can work out pretty quickly what the website is about. However, imagine you’ve got to verbally quote your website or email address to a customer over the phone….

“Yes, our email – it’s sales at really, hyphen, cheap, hyphen, cell, hyphen, phones, dot, com.” That’s a rather clumsy 13 syllables. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue does it? A few months of having to repeat that domain to customers and you’ll really start to regret your choice. If you had something like ‘CellBox.com’, you’d have a domain that was memorable, catchy and still represented what your business does.

2. Don’t limit your market

Another common mistake we see is where a business includes the name of their product/service in their domain name. For example, www.DallasWidgetSuppliers. Now that might seem great if all your business intends to do is sell widgets and you only want to target customers in Dallas. What happens if you suddenly find you want to expand your operation and sell products other than widgets or sell to customers outside of Dallas?

There is such an obsessions with having keywords in a domain name that little thought is given to development of a brand or the business. By choosing a keyword focused domain, you are basically going into business with the view that you’re never going to expand. And what happens if you want to sell your business at some point? Who’s going to buy that business if you have such narrow markets?

Looking at a few examples of how brand is better than keyword when choosing a domain, consider Amazon.com. If it’s had set out as ‘OnlineBooks.com’ or something similar, how could it have developed into the mammoth online retailer of thousands of products that it is today? Equally, if Facebook had called itself ‘CollegeContacts.com’, could it ever have reached into all of our lives the way it has?

3. Not securing the .com domain

This is nothing to do with vanity; it’s a simple fact that virtually every Branding Expert agrees that having the .com domain name is an absolute must if you’re looking to establish a strong, memorable brand. We’ve seen plenty of exaples of sites that have come up with a catchy name, realised that they can’t get the .com so go for a .net, .biz or some other TLD (top level domain). This is just wrong, wrong, wrong! If you want to establish long-term credibility and a memorable brand then having securing the .com is not an option, it’s a necessity.

Whilst there are many other factors to take into account when choosing a domain name, if you stick to the three principles above, you won’t go far wrong. Of course you can avoid all of these potential pitfalls by securing a memorable business name from Brand Swarm that comes with a .com domain.