A company or organization’s domain name becomes its brand identity and the primary representative of its online presence. It has a significant impact on a user’s experience with the brand in question. Moreover, the domain name also determines SEO performance and the impact of a few of its revenue-generating strategies.
Therefore, choosing the right domain name is an important task for all new businesses. However, it’s important to remember that not all you hear or read about domain names is true. In this article, we are going to break down 8 common domain name myths that all website designers must know before launching their website.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Myth #1: You Absolutely Need a Domain Name
At this point, you might think that having a domain name is essential for having a website. However, that is a myth and couldn’t be further from the truth.
Domain names are simply aliases for IP addresses. Since it’s difficult for humans to remember or access a website through an IP address, a website is given a relatively simpler domain name to make it easier.
Thus, domain names are a convenience requirement instead of an absolute need to operate a company website. They make websites more accessible for everyone. Although having a domain name has its benefits, you can still operate with only an IP address or even a sub-domain.
Myth #2: You Can Own a Domain Name
People unfamiliar with website operations often believe that companies own their domain names. It is one of the most commonly believed myths, but the fact is that organizations merely rent a domain. The domains are registered by a professional website design registrar and usually require annual renewals.
Even when a company is renting a domain name, there’s no guarantee that they’ll always have the right to use it. For instance, several UK businesses were barred from using their .eu domains after separation from the European Union.
Myth #3: Domain Names Should Include Keywords
In most cases, if a company is looking for a domain name, it is likely to be new. Many web designers emphasize that the domain name needs to include keywords. However, it is not possible to know the exact keywords for your website until it is launched.
You can take a guess or know exactly what you want your keyword to be, but it’s not beneficial in the long run. Keywords change for businesses over years and seasons. What may sound like a perfect keyword now may not even be remotely relevant in the future.
Therefore, there is no need to stress over keywords for a domain name. There are SEO benefits to having a keyword included initially, but they are limited and not significant enough for you to invest your time and resources. At best, your keyword could help your SEO strategy for a month or two, so it’s not worth stressing over or delaying your plans.
Myth #4: There is Such a Thing as the Perfect Domain Name
One of the most perpetuated myths about domain names is that you have to choose the “perfect” one. However, no domain name is perfect from the get-go. All domain names grow value over time as they become representative for your company.
In most cases of popular domain names, the name had nothing to do with the functions of the website, to begin with. It was only after the website became successful that the name became synonymous with that function.
Common examples of such domain names include Google, YouTube, Instagram, etc. Domain names acquire value with branding, SEO, and the services and longevity of the company.
Myth #5: Trademarks Enable You to Register the Domain Name
Contrary to popular belief, trademark registrations have nothing to do with domain name registration. They are two entirely separate processes and have no connection to each other. Most new companies mistake a trademark registration as an entitlement to a domain. However, that claim has no legal standing.
If you register your trademark, someone else can still register a domain with the same name. Although you can register a domain that has already been trademarked, it will only increase your competition when it comes to SEO. So, it’s always best to take care of both your trademark registration as well as domain registration as early as possible.
Myth #6: A “.com” Domain isn’t Important
Today, it has become challenging to register a domain that ends with “.com,” so people opt-out and consider going for other options such as “.biz” or “.co.” Most internet users are only familiar with the .com domains, and either don’t trust others or simply mistype the domain name.
That is why “.com” is the most reliable option for your domain name. Your users are familiar with it, and it also makes your company look professional and legit. If you are making a website for a non-profit organization, then using “.org” is totally acceptable and even encouraged. In all other cases, it’s best to go through the trouble of getting a “.com” domain.
Myth #7: You Need Matching Social Media Handles
You absolutely do not have to match your domain name and all your social media handles. It is common for companies to have slightly different social media handles and then get them verified by the platforms. Social media is a tricky place where people are quick to lay their claim on handles, and it can be challenging to get the one that you want.
However, luckily, social media handles aren’t that big of a deal. You can change the name a little or add symbols or numbers to it to make your business profiles on social platforms. If you’re keen, you can invest your energy into getting your accounts verified, so users know for sure that it is an official account of the company.
Myth #8: Investing in Premium Domains is Beneficial
This is perhaps the biggest scam of all when it comes to domain name myths. Premium domains are registered with the plan of landing a huge resale fee. The people involved in this are called domain squatters; they register domain names in bulk and hope for someone to offer a valuable resale amount.
Premium domains can cost a fortune but give little value in terms of tangible benefits. Instead, you can invest the same amount in improving SEO and marketing strategies that will bring much more fruitful returns.
Web designers often fall prey to commonly believed myths about domain names. It is important to have a good domain name, but its true value is only produced over time and with SEO and branding campaigns. By avoiding these 8 popular domain name myths, you can create a domain name that works for your company.
This article was kindly contributed by the team at Web Integrations, an Edinburgh website design company.