Tone of voice. Imagery, page layouts, messaging. The buying journey. These all form the primary focus of a website design project. Yet how to avoid a bad domain name rarely enters into the strategic discourse.
And yet, choosing a bad domain name could seriously scupper your efforts – at worst making customers mistrustful of your brand and at the very least confusing them.
As an accountancy firm trust and clarity matter, arguably more so than in most other industries.
With that in mind here are five mistakes to avoid when choosing a domain name.
#1 Be consistent – use your brand name
It’s all too easy to focus on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): a digital marketing discipline focused on achieving high page rankings through a range of tried-and-tested tactics.
One such approach is to weave keywords and phrases into blogs, landing pages, and, yes, you guessed it, domain names: a practice that can sometimes work depending on the industry.
A second hand car dealership selling vehicles under £5,000 will be focussed on generating sales rather than creating a world-beating brand. Their cars are cheap. And their customers know this too.
- Is a domain name like www.cheapcars-plumstead.co.uk going to harm this small family run car dealership? Not a jot.
- Is a domain name like www.cheap-accountants-slough likely to tarnish an accountancy firm’s reputation? Without a doubt.
Include your firm’s name in your domain if you want to build brand recognition, solidify trust, and avoid confusion.
#2 Numbers are off limits
We know numbers are your passion; but don’t let your love of them destroy your SEO efforts. It might seem like a clever tactic at first. Ultimately, though, it will only cause confusion.
- Should customers type numbers in numerical format?
- Should they type them as words?
Frustration will set in; and, after a couple of failed attempts, the customer will abandon their buying journey.
There’s also the chance another firm has registered a similar domain. Consider the two below examples.
Okay, the chances of this happening are slim. But do you want to take the risk?
#3 Supercalifragilstic is a no-no
Want to know how to avoid a bad domain name? Ditch long and difficult words. Customers will either forget or misspell them. As is the case with numerics, this will lead to confusion and inevitable errors.
Short domain names can be equally hard to remember. Especially if they contain lots of consonants and very few vowels. So keep your site name as short and simple as you can.
# 4 Never use trademarks
Perhaps your accountancy firm specialises in using Sage. In which case it might make sense to integrate this popular brand into your domain name.
True, www.sageaccountants-prestatyn.com might give your SEO a a boost and add credibility to your brand – but you could also be sued for copyright infringement. It isn’t worth the risk.
Of all the ‘how to avoid a bad domain name’ tips we’ve listed this is the most important – due to the level of risk it poses for your business.
#5 Niching could restrict your reach
Imagine your firm specialises in tax returns. Highlighting this in your domain name to build trust and confidence would be common sense. But what if you had plans to branch out – extending your service range to include bookkeeping and payroll?
How to avoid a bad domain name is about more than avoiding numbers or complex words. It’s about developing a broader brand vocabulary that’ll allow you to explain and scale your offering without restriction.
Building or rebranding a website?
Then let’s talk. As a full service marketing agency we can help with everything from ideation and wireframing to choosing the right domain name, design, and ongoing support. Book your free consultation today.