🚫 Avoid these common mistakes when choosing a domain name! 🚫

Your domain name is just as important as the content on your website. Let's face it, it's typically the first impression a visitor has of you and your business. It's crucial to put some serious thought into your domain selection process.

It's important to take your time to do the right research and put some thought into choosing the best possible domain for your website. One that's unique and appealing to your target audience, but also allows you to stand out from your competitors.

Don't be afraid to engage with a professional who can help you save some $$ in the long run.

Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Domain Name

Mistake #1: Having a super long domain name 🤕

A domain name that’s longer than a Kmart receipt? ❌ No thanks! ❌

For example momthisishowtwitterworks.com, it looks clever, but let’s face it, when visitors stumble upon this site, they’ll squint at that long, unbroken string of words in the address bar and just go ‘huh?’

And from a marketing standpoint? Forget about it! Your poor website URL will be squeezed onto business cards and email signatures with a tiny font size or worse, split onto two lines. It doesn’t exactly scream professionalism, does it?

Long domains are a mouthful to type and a headache to remember. Opt for a succinct and clear domain, ensuring your it is easy to type into a browser’s address bar and doesn’t turn your email address into a tongue twister.

So, what should you do instead?

  • Keep it Sweet and Short: Opt for a domain name that is concise and easy to remember. Aim for simplictity without sacrificing clarity of what you do.
  • Focus on Branding: Choose a domain name that reflects your brand identity and resonates with your target audience. It should be memorable and align with your brand values.
  • Use Keywords Wisely: Incorporate relevant keywords into your domain name to improve search engine optimisation (SEO) and help users understand what your website is about.
  • Test for Pronunciation: Make sure your domain name is easy to pronounce and spell to avoid confusion when sharing it verbally or through word of mouth.

Fun Fact: The longest domain is currently 77 characters long!! 😳

The website is part of tourism campaign for a Welsh village. The Village’s long name translates to “Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio of the red cave in English. How’s that for a domain? 🤣

Check it out for yourself: https://llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.co.uk/index.php

Mistake #2: Using numbers & hyphens 😵‍💫

Numbers and hyphens are just not the vibes when it comes to domain names. 🫠

Avoid substituting numbers for words in your domain name, like using “2” instead of “to” or “4” instead of “for.” While it might seem clever, it often leads to confusion for visitors trying to reach your website. They might end up on a similar domain or encounter errors in their browser due to misspellings, which could ultimately lead to you loosing leads!

This applies not just to prepositions but also to any word that could be spelled or typed as a number. It’s best to reserve numbers for cases where they are integral to a brand or event name, such as 7eleven.com.au and century21.com.au for example.

Fun Fact: There are nearly 9 million domains that consist solely of numbers, a trend particularly popular in China due to their compatibility with the DNS system there. 😱

When it comes to using hyphens in domain names, tread carefully. People tend to type domain names without hyphens, potentially missing your site if they’re unaware of the hyphenation. Hyphens should only be used if they’re crucial to the brand name or if you can afford to register both hyphenated and non-hyphenated versions, using a redirect so they land on both domains.

Remember, avoid registering a hyphenated domain identical to one without a hyphen that you don’t own to prevent confusion and potential legal issues – Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Stick to straightforward spellings and steer clear of anything that looks like a typo waiting to happen.

Mistake #3: Trying to get fancy with the spelling 🫠

If your domain is a tongue-twister, chances are, few will bother typing it out. Avoid having unusual spellings such as replacing the letter ‘s’ with ‘z’, for instance gravitydesignz.com or trying to changing the spelling to common words such as lyft.com.

We also always recommend steering away from using words with double letters, for example studdesigns.com, as it could also cause confusion for visitors, leading them to another website and never landing on your site at all! 🥹

Testing the waters is key. Run your chosen domain by a few pals—face-to-face or over the phone—and see if they can spell it back or send it to you without hiccups. If they nail it, you’re golden. If not, it might be time for a name tweak. Your domain should be as memorable as your brand, easy enough for anyone to punch into their browser without batting an eye.

Watch out for homophones—the sneaky words that sound alike but spell differently. Whether it’s right and write or break and brake, they’re a recipe for confusion. Steer clear unless you’re crystal clear on your domain’s identity. Otherwise, consider snagging both versions and setting up a redirect to cover all your bases.

Our hot tip to you: Before purchasing your domain name, give it a second look and listen to how it sounds. Capitalisation can make a world of difference. Just ask the folks behind Speedofart.com 💨 (Speed of Art), Itscrap.com 💩 (IT Scrap – No fun, they rebranded), or Penisland.net 🍆 (Pen Island). Double-checking now can save you from a world of embarrassment later.

So, think twice, spell it nice, and make sure your domain name plays well with your brand.

Mistake #4: Not securing your social handles to match your domain 🥲

Picture this. You’ve spent the last few weeks working with a designer to create a killer logo and it’s now time to get started on your website. You’ve purchased your domain and go to secure your social handles, only to find they are already taken by someone else! (Who likely hasn’t posted since August 2016) 😭😭😭 We’ve seen it more times than we’d like to admit, and it’s heartbreaking for all parties involved, and not to mention an absolute buzzkill to what’s meant to be a really exciting process.

When crafting that perfect domain name, you want to make sure that your social handles are available to match. We always suggest having consistent social handles on all your platforms such as @fifthstudiodesign.co. This allows you to cleanly promote your socials on marketing collateral with ease, eliminating the need for multiple URLs. 🥴

Consistency across platforms is key in today’s digital landscape, and missing out on synchronised social handles can leave your brand feeling disjointed and incomplete. So, don’t let your social media presence lag behind.

Secure those handles early, align them with your domain, and ensure your online identity is cohesive and consistent.

Hot Tip: Check handle availability on various social platforms and website extensions using namechk.com. It’s a handy tool for ensuring your brand maintains a unified presence across the web.

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