If you are serious about your new website, you understand that your domain name is going to be your brand name, so think twice before you register one. A while ago I wrote a post on this topic giving some practical tips how to create or brand your domain name. And now a follow up to this – no matter how much you may like your newly invented domain name, you should first check if there are no hidden issues that might be invisible at the moment. I usually use 4 tricks to make sure I am going to have no problems with a domain name:
1. Google for it:
- search for both [domainname] and [domain name] to see if Google considers it a typo; if yes – that’s a bad sign. Bare in mind, that each time a surfer who already knows about you but uses Google to reach you [and you will be surprised to see how many people actually search Google for a domain name instead of going directly to the site] and sees that did-you-mean-x message, you risk losing a valuable visitor who really meant to find you. All your branding efforts can come to nothing just because you’ve overlooked this tiny detail.
- search for [domain name] to evaluate how hard that will be for you to manage your brand/reputation. For example, tourwiki.com looks nice if you are planning a nice site on traveling but cannot be branded effectively just because if you search for ‘tour wiki‘, you see en.wikipedia.org [yeah, quite naturally] at the top – can you compete with it? Probably, not.
2. Check what your domain name may be associated with. Ebay is a good way to search for word associations. I also often check urban dictionary to make sure the word has no negative connotation in the Internet, school or urban slang. [did you know that ‘lex‘ means ‘Rolex‘, well, maybe you did, but it simply never occurred to me 🙂 ]
3. Make sure both plural and singular forms are available and better register both. You don’t want to let your direct visitors go to your competitor who is a lucky owner of domainnameS.com (pl) website while you own domainname.com (sg), do you?
This won’t take you more than 5 minutes to use the tips above but let me tell you – it’s much better to try to foresee potential problems than find out about them when it’s already too late: your website is live, has accumulated some links and enjoys its natural growth.
Post image credits: Got Names