What’s one of the most important elements of a website? You may say it’s the site itself; however, the best answer is the site’s domain name. The domain name will set the perception of the company, whether or not it’s credible and trustworthy, and much more. A domain name also affects a website’s SEO and even revenue.
In this article, we’ve put together myths about domain names that every web designer needs to know.
Myth 1: Anyone Can Own a Domain Name
Did you know that no one owns a domain name? Instead, the domain is “rented” from ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number) or other organisations that have permission from ICANN.
One major example of a rented domain was created when UK left the EU. Once that happened, all business that had a .eu domain lost their sites because they were no longer in the EU.
Myth 2: A Perfect Domain Exists for Every Project
This is another important myth to bust. Domains really don’t have much value in themselves. Instead, they become valuable over time.
One great example is search engine names. Consider the names of search engines. There’s Google.com, for instance. Who, when the Internet was young, would have bought this domain? For one thing, it doesn’t imply “search” or “find.” A better choice would have been “search.com” or “find.com.” Instead, they chose Google.com.
Over time, this domain has become associated with searching for information online. That goes to show that any domain name can acquire branding and SEO value over time.
Myth 3: The Domain Needs to Contain Keywords
This is another huge myth about domain names that must be addressed. While there is some value to including keywords in the domain name, this is only small. What’s more, the value can be lost over time.
When choosing a domain name, you’ve more than likely done the research to find the best keywords for your site. The temptation is to include some of the better keywords in the domain. However, it’s possible you may not have the right keywords or that they can even change over time.
What’s more, site visitors may see an ecommerce site domain name filled with keywords and consider this either not a credible site or that the site is selling generic products. Perhaps it’s true that you’re selling generic products, and that’s just fine. The problem is that site visitors, and potential customers may see your site as a budget option and turn to other ecommerce sites for products that have a higher perceived value.
In that case, your domain name, stuffed with keywords, will bring no value to your site or business.
Myth 4: You Don’t Need a .Com
When you want a website to have credibility and trustworthiness, then it’s necessary to choose a .com ending. Other website endings such as .biz are seen as not valuable or credible. They may give a spammy impression, which keeps site visitors from even clicking on the domain URL.
There are times when a .co extension is better in some parts of the world. The reason is this is a common extension. For example, .co.uk is used in the UK. The main problem with this extension is that many people are used to typing .com because this is the most commonly used extension.
Another option that can work in some cases is to use a pun extension. For example, buy. it. However, this will cause problems with your local search strategy. This can happen simply because computers don’t understand the humour or the pun.
When choosing a domain name for a non-profit organisation, then .org is a great extension to choose. However, you may still want to consider also buying the .com version of the domain name. The reason is that the .org extension will not generate as much traffic as the .com domain name.
Myth 5: Premium Domains are an Excellent Investment
Another myth is that premium domains are registered in the hopes they will attract a large resale fee. The term used for this type of transaction is “domain squatting.”
Domain squatters order a large number of domains hoping that one will be valuable and have a huge payout when sold. A premium domain can go for as much as 1000% to 100,000% more than the registration cost.
Another issue that people may not consider is the fact that premium domain names sometimes carry baggage. What do we mean by this? Some domains may have a legacy issue, such as problems with search engine history. No business wants to inherit this type of problem with their business domain.
Myth 6: You Need a Domain Name
Most people don’t realise they don’t really need a domain name. What they do is an IP address. The domain name is only an alias, an identifier, and nothing more. The real purpose of a domain name is to make the IP address friendlier and easier to remember. That’s it!
Consider the fact that we humans simply are not able to remember an IP address (at least most of us can’t). A domain name covers the IP address with a name, which makes the site easier for most people to remember.
The real problem is that people buy domain names and then never use them. They end up paying the annual fees for nothing if the sites are never developed. So, then it’s not necessary to buy a domain. Instead, a sub-domain or an IP address may be a better alternative.
Myth 7: A Trademark Means You Can Register the Domain
Trademark registration and domain registration have nothing in common. These services are entirely different. What’s more, one does not mean you can use the other. This fact has been challenged legally several times and failed most of the time.
However, it’s necessary to be careful of registering a domain that’s been trademarked by another company. For one thing, your site will compete with their SEO. And if the company is large, then they’ve already bought the best domain extension, which is .com.
Summing It Up
These are some of the most common myths when it comes to registering a domain name. A good domain name will be brandable and not generic. It should be unique, too. Stay away from domain names that are generic.
What’s more, a good domain name usually contains between six and twelve characters, with two or three syllables. This is almost the perfect combination for a domain name.
Just be sure to find a unique name that’s flexible, so you’re not tied to one industry or market. The goal is to have a domain that works now and on into the future.