Top 5 mistakes to avoid with your website domain

Top 5 mistakes to avoid with your website domain

 

One of the first things a business must decide on when moving online is their domain – the domain name is the address people type in when they come to your website in their browser e.g. www.google.co.uk, www.bbc.co.uk and www.youtube.com are all examples of domain names. However, it’s important to choose the domain wisely in order to save money on buying a domain which you don’t need.

At Nutcracker Design and Marketing, we can help you with your branding both online and offline, including purchasing the right domain for your business. Yet over the years we have seen many mistakes with domains and here are some of the common ones.

Mistake #1: Too long

One of the first mistakes is choosing an overly long and descriptive domain name. You want it to be short, to the point and easy to remember for people to type in. It is also important to consider smartphone users who with a touchscreen keyboard may find it more cumbersome to type out.

Also a longer domain name in print marketing can look more visually unappealing and take up more space than a shorter one.

Mistake #2: Using numbers, hyphens and hard to spell words

Using numbers, hyphens and hard to spell words can also cause a similar problem, even if the domain is quite short as it can add unnecessary complexity to the domain, making it harder to remember. Of course, there are some arguments where numbers can be considered, e.g. if your branding is strong already and the number is used sparingly.

Using words which are hard to spell can cover many different avenues. You may want to avoid homonyms for examples (words which are spelt different but sound the same out loud e.g. write and right or brake and break). You may also want to consider your intended audience here as there are some words spelt in British English which are spelt differently in American English, such as colour and colour and optimize and optimise.

Mistake #3: not considering how the domain sounds out loud

On paper, a domain can look completely fine and inoffensive but it is also worth considering how it sounds when it is spoken out loud or whether the domain can be misinterpreted entirely and there are plenty of examples online, from the funny, to the confusing, to the what were they thinking?

For example, when Spain chose the domain name for its tourism board, hopefully for the people who visited it was more attractive (and less painful!) than choosespain.com.

Mistake #4: Choosing a similar name to another brand

Choosing a domain name which sounds similar to another business is a big no-no, especially if that name is recognisable. At best, you may end up with a couple of extra visits to your website (although you may have to be aware of potentially unflattering comparisons to the other business). At worst, the other brand may accuse you of stealing customers and file at court for you to change your domain. This can be something which is very costly further down the line, the more your business grows.

Mistake #5: Checking for the .com / .co.uk equivalent

Many people don’t realise but in the UK many site users use the .co.uk and .com extensions when browsing the internet fairly interchangeably and often expect them both to go to the same place so when choosing a domain name it is a good idea to ensure at least .com and the .co.uk version are both available.

This is just a snap shot of some of the issues that can come when choosing a domain name. Nutcracker Design and Marketing has a team of dedicated online and offline marketing specialists and as part of our branding service we will look at your business name, as well as suitable domain names to help minimise the risk of choosing the wrong domain name. Get in touch with our team on 01384 455 141 or contact us now.