Home / Blogs

Digital Identity and Branding: The Five Most Common Mistakes in Naming

Don't miss a thing – sign up for CircleID Weekly Wrap newsletter delivered to your inbox once a week.
Tobias Flaitz

The U.S. is a total hotbed for Startups. Over the course of the last year, venture capital firms invested $69.11 billion in U.S. startups.

Now is an exciting time where there is more ingenuity and entrepreneurial efforts than ever before. And of course every entrepreneur's dream is to have a successful idea and "make it". However, a startup's name and its associated digital identity are often not as thought out as they should be. Apart from the presence in the social media networks and the design of their own website, branding should also include the appropriate domain name.

Here are the five most common mistakes when choosing a domain name:

1. The startup does not have its own domain

A website is the central point of contact for customers and at the core of a company's communication network. A site's owner is free to design the content as they fit and do not have to adhere to any restrictive policies of a third-party company, such as Facebook or the App Store. If you cannot manage the content yourself, you run the risk of becoming dependent on third-party vendors. Which content is blocked or censored and what end users ultimately see, is no longer under your discretion. The solution: Host your own website and secure a high quality domain name.

2. The domain name does not correspond to the company name

A company's name and their domain name should be the same. Unfortunately, many young companies take too long to secure an appropriate address and their brand profile suffers because of it. For example, Twitter began with the domain twttr.com. The founders quickly came to the realization that twitter.com is a better domain and were able to obtain it but it wasn't until six months after their launch.

3. The domain name is hard to remember

Young companies tend to choose domain names that contain a play on words wanting to be unique and clever. We recently attended SXSW and came across the "Instructional Coaching Conference" using the address http://events.esc13.net/icc. But who can remember such an elaborate, cumbersome address? Why not instead use icc.events? The challenge faced by most businesses is that a domain name has to be advertised aggressively so that it can remembered at all and this can get expensive. The worst case scenario is that potential customers are not able to find a company's site and instead find their way to a competitor.

How can this be prevented? With the proven KISS rule: Keep it simple, stupid. The shorter and simpler the domain name, the easier it is to remember.

4. The startup fails to secure typo errors

If the web address consists of an artificial word, it is important to ensure that versions with typographical errors are included in the portfolio of names owned. This way you can ensure that visitors reach your website even if they enter the domain name incorrectly. Facebook covers all its bases on typos, you can type in Faceboo.com, Facebok.com and other variations and still be directed to their site.

5. The domain extension is risky

One should consider the domain ending when choosing their domain name as some domain endings harbor unforeseen risks. The ending .ly, known from addresses like bit.ly or visual.ly is in actuality the country code ending for Libya. And the guidelines and country-specific laws sometimes differ fundamentally from those of a .com or other mainstream addresses. A possible consequence is an unannounced deletion or blocking of the domain by the state-regulated authority.

Even domain extensions that are not from crisis areas can produce unexpected results. For example, annual registration fees can increase rapidly, as with domain endings .hosting, and .audio. Previously these were offered at an annual fee of $20 to register but are now up to $300 per year.

Online marketing experts recommend using a proven domain extension, such as .com, .net or .org as the main address for your site. But it is also worth checking out the new gTLD domains that came onto the market in 2013. There are up to 700 new extensions such as .club, shop, or .online that may fit with your product or service. Beyond that, startups should expand their portfolios bit by bit and take in account our tips to avoid the five most common mistakes in selecting a domain name.

If the desired domain has already been given out, do not get discouraged or act rashly by purchasing a second-rate alternative. It is often possible to buy the domain from the current owner. This is what happens typically when a company has developed from the startup to an established player such as the case with Twitter, Facebook and other popular sites.

By Tobias Flaitz, Chief Executive Officer at Sedo Holding AG

Related topics: Domain Names

 
   

Comments

Are there any “black swan” mistakes, the Alex Tajirian  –  May 17, 2017 1:47 AM PDT

Are there any “black swan” mistakes, the ones that have low probability of making but very high cost?

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Explore Topics

Dig Deeper

Afilias

DNS Security

Sponsored by Afilias
Afilias Mobile & Web Services

Mobile Internet

Sponsored by Afilias Mobile & Web Services
Verisign

Cybersecurity

Sponsored by Verisign

Promoted Posts

Now Is the Time for .eco

.eco launches globally at 16:00 UTC on April 25, 2017, when domains will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. .eco is for businesses, non-profits and people committed to positive change for the planet. See list of registrars offering .eco more»

Boston Ivy Gets Competitive With Its TLDs, Offers Registrars New Wholesale Pricing

With a mission to make its top-level domains available to the broadest market possible, Boston Ivy has permanently reduced its registration, renewal and transfer prices for .Broker, .Forex, .Markets and .Trading. more»

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

UDRP: Better Late than Never - ICA Applauds WIPO for Removing Misguided 'Retroactive Bad Faith'

The Rise and Fall of the UDRP Theory of 'Retroactive Bad Faith'

.PRESS Supports Press Freedom Day for 3rd Consecutive Year

5 Afilias Top Level Domains Now Licensed for Sale in China

Radix Announces Largest New gTLD Sale with Casino.Online

2016 Year in Review: The Trending Keywords in .COM and .NET Domain Registrations

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 329.3 Million, 2.3 Million Growth in Last Quarter of 2016

A Look at How the New .SPACE TLD Has Performed Over the Past 2 Years

MarkMonitor Supports Brand Holders' Efforts Regarding .Feedback Registry

8 Tips to Find Your Perfect .COM Domain Name

Why .com is the Venture Capital Community's Power Player

Radix Launches Startup League at TechCrunch

Celebrating One Year of .online

LogicBoxes Launches the New Elite Reseller Program

Effective Strategies to Build Your Reseller Channel (Webinar)

Facilitating a Trusted Web Space for Financial Service Professionals

.STORE Grosses Over $1 Million Before the Close of Day 1

News.Markets: A Rising Star in the World of Financial Trading and New TLDs

Verisign Announces .コム Domain Names Are Now Available for Anyone to Register

NBA & NFL Teams Drive .store Sunrise Score to 647