Choosing a domain name for a business is exciting and scary all at the same time. You want to make the right choice, while still leaving yourself open to other options in the future. It’s easy to think that the right choice is www.yourbusiness.com, or if that is taken www.yourbusinessnameandcity.com. But there are certain domain name mistakes you may be making that you shouldn’t be. What are they and how can you avoid them in the future? Read on to find out.
You Aren’t Doing Your Research
People often chose their domain names quickly. They register what ever is available and includes their business name right away, without taking the time to see what is out there. This can be bad, not only for expansion potential, but for your SEO. If you are a clothing business called The Rad Boutique, you will probably want to use www.radboutique.com. But is it the best choice? Maybe not. Check to see if radclothing.com is available and develop a list of other potential names, including Sponsored Top Level Domains. Maybe .com isn’t as good as .clothing. Rushing your domain name choice can be detrimental in the long term, so think it through before you make the purchase.
You Aren’t Thinking Big Picture
When you choose a domain name you need to think about what your business is going to look like 5 years from now. Will you have franchised? Will you have expanded your retail offerings? Will you have moved cities? Ask yourself those questions before choosing a domain name that is going to limit your business. For example, say you are a sushi business based in Reno, Nevada and decide to register the domain www.sushirestaurantreno.com, this is going to limit you much more than simply choosing sushirestaurant.com. Sure, choosing to the city domain name will give you some localization benefits for SEO, but if you do expand you will find yourself scrambling for a new domain name later on.
You Are Buying a Domain that Doesn’t Match Your Business
I know this may sound silly, but make sure you are choosing a domain name that matches your business or industry. If you are new business just starting out, think of your domain name when choosing your business name. If you find a name you like, see if it is available for purchase from a registrar. If it is, buy it, if not go back to the drawing board. Many times, people choose a business name only to find that it isn’t available when they go to register the domain. Having different business and domain names can be confusing for your customers and hurt your bottom line. The same goes for your industry. If your business name doesn’t make it obvious what industry you are in, think about adding it to the name or using a TLD that explains your business. Let’s use the clothing business used previously for example. If it’s name was just “Rad” and you wanted to make it known the service offered there you could try registering rad.boutique or making the domain radclothing.com.
You Are Unwilling to Pay For the Domain You Want
Certain domain names are going to cost more than others. This is a fact that you can’t shy away from. Registering donuts.com may be more money up front than haileesdonutsandcoffee.com, but it will save you money in the long term. A name that is targeted and easy to remember, will require less advertising and marketing. It will also be easier to find online, when someone types donuts into the search engine. You want to make sure that your domain gives you the ability to bring new customers to your business by being visible online. Short, straightforward domain names help do that. Also, remember that just because the domain name you want isn’t available, doesn’t mean it isn’t for sale. If you find a domain name you really want and it is already being used, reach out to the owner and see if you can negotiate with them to sell you the name.
You Aren’t Thinking About the ABC’s
I once typed in the name of a popular pizza chain into my web browser and was surprised to see it took me to a different, also popular pizza chain. When I looked up at my browser I realized it was because I had spelled the name wrong. The other pizza chain had created a redirect with that name to their website. I was so impressed, that I bought their pizza instead. Don’t let that happen to your business. Think off all the spelling variations, number variations and typo variations possible, and create redirects to your website using those domains. By doing this you avoid other companies registering those domains and using them for their benefit. If you register donutsaregreat.com, think about registering donutsaregrate.com and donutsaregr8.com as well, as those will likely be the most common misspellings.
Making these mistakes can be damaging to your business and in the end, hurt your bottom line. Taking a bit more time to think about your domain name and what it means to you and your business upfront may be the difference between success and failure. Register a domain of your own now!