Buying a domain name for your website, whether to launch a personal blog or a fully-fledged business, can be somewhat tricky if the good ideas have already been taken. It can feel like a huge relief when you finally find ‘The One’.
Despite the pressure to snap it up whilst still available, there are a few things worth checking before buy a website domain. A bit like ‘measure twice, cut once’, it can help avoid that sinking feeling after the deed is done and the money spent.
After all, your domain name might well be the first impression you make on your customers. Here are a few things to consider before you buy that domain you’ve been eyeing up.
Does the business already exist?
If your perfect domain name is actually already trademarked by someone else, is it still worth the effort? Buying niketrainers.com might seem like a cracking plan, until the cease and desist letter drops through the door. Especially after six months of building up your website’s visibility in search.
While there are, of course, legal implications to this, having a name which is too similar to another business can lead to other damage. Your confused customers might end up shopping with the competition, for instance. And if the competition doesn’t have your expertise or customer service skills, they’ll put a hole in your reputation.
Check social media handles
Social media handles are as much like gold dust as domain names, these days. In an ideal world you’ll have matching domain names and social handles, maximising marketing impact.
What tends to happen is that someone grabs their domain name, only to realise that the social media handle is already taken. This might mean spending more money, or a spot of creative problem solving.
Plenty of businesses have different social media handles, shortened versions and acronyms. It can cause a little confusion at first, but it’s not impossible to grow your social media following with a slightly different handle. It’s just something to bear in mind. If you’re weighing up two domains, it could be worth going for the one with better social media handles available.
Is it easy to type and remember?
Can your customers remember your domain name? Is it easy to spell? Is that the number 4, or the word four?
Try to avoid unusual spellings, hyphens and numbers – anything that might cause confusion. You can test this out by asking a few people in your network to see if they can spell and remember the domain name you’re thinking of taking.
What happens when it’s AllOneLongWord.co.uk?
When singer Susan Boyle released her new album, her record label threw a party. Unfortunately, they promoted the launch under the hash tag #susanalbumparty. What they probably meant was Susan Album Party, but the internet is a harsh and unforgiving place. If your domain name consists of multiple words, put them all together without the spacing first – just like it will look in the browser address bar – to test you don’t accidentally launch a totally different business. Cripes.