Choosing the Right Domain for Your Business: How to Avoid MistakesA guest article by James Cummings
Having a website is essential for business success. It opens you up to millions of potential customers and affords you the opportunity to operate and compete on a global scale. However, like everything else related to business, you’ll need the right information when embarking on any website project. From SEO factors to using the right web design and web host, nothing should be left unconsidered. To a large extent, the success of your online presence is tied to your domain name. It is your brand identity on the web and what people know you by. Therefore, the wrong choice can send the wrong message to potential customers.
So, how can you avoid making mistakes when choosing a domain name for your business? The following six points will certainly help:
Pay attention to spelling: The fastest way to lose potential customers is to use a domain name that is difficult to spell. When choosing a domain name for your business, the rule is to KISS; that is, Keep It Simple, Stupid. Ensure you use a word or combination of words that anyone can spell easily. Pay special attention to words that mean the same thing, but have different spellings in other cultures. For example, the English spell ‘flavour,’ while Americans use ‘flavor.” As much as possible, try to avoid words that can be misspelt entirely.
You mustn’t use your business name as your domain name: Most business owners insist on using the same identifier online as they use offline. While this can be good in some cases, if you have a complex or lengthy business name, using it as your domain name will not be beneficial online. Remember the KISS rule. At the very least, you can combine the first letters of your business name to make up the domain name. Your customers will easily recognize that they’re the same entity and will appreciate your thoughtfulness in saving them the strain of remembering and typing a lengthy, complex URL.
Use the appropriate domain extensions: In the beginning, there was .COM, then came .NET and .ORG. Now, we have thousands of domain extensions, with the possibility of even more being introduced soon. This is both a good and bad thing. The chances of getting your preferred .COM domain name are very small. This makes it a good thing that there are several thousand alternatives available. However, in a bid to save money, some businesses end up choosing a domain extension that is not an appropriate fit for their type of business or target market. For instance, a lot of people use .CO as an alternative to .COM. However, that is also the top level domain name for Columbia. Experts at Domains4less say that even though there’s no particularly bad domain extension, it’s better to use one that identifies with your brand and target market.
Don’t pay too much for a domain name: Depending on where you’re searching from, a domain name can cost anywhere from one to thirty dollars. If you have to pay thousands of dollars to secure a domain name, you are likely dealing with a ‘cybersquatter.’ This is someone who buys up domain names that business owners may one day need and subsequently sells them for exorbitant profits. Instead, play around with different options until you get something you can buy at a reasonable amount. Such huge amounts of money can be channeled into other aspects of the business.
Conduct adequate research: When it comes to choosing a domain name for your business, it’s vital to carry out adequate research before settling on a particular choice. Failing to do so could lead to you choosing a domain name that is tied to a trademark. After spending time and resources on your website, you might end up losing the domain name via a UDRP process. There’s also a possibility you could be facing a lawsuit that would warrant you paying damages for infringement. To avoid this type of conflict, check for potential trademarks or ongoing issues before settling on a name.
Don’t be too unique: Unique is good, but not when it affects your success online. For instance, business owners try to be creative with their domain name by using hyphens, numbers and informal spellings such as substituting ‘U’ for ‘You.’ While this may work if you have a specific type of customer, it can cause you to lose potential traffic, as people could type in the spelling incorrectly. Creative is good, but ensure it fits in with what people can associate.
The internet has made it easy for businesses to take their operations online. As you seek ways to find customers and keep them, it’s only wise that you get cheap domains and web hosting packages which are now the norm. As long as you follow the few tips covered above, you will can find the right domain name that properly represents your business.