This article isn’t about SEO as such. If you want to know what to check before buying a domain name from an SEO point of view, then check out my previous article here. This article is about branding and in particular, how your customers will view your domain name.
If you were building a website that’s all about helping users find their nearest therapist, you might love the domain name “therapist finder”. If you were choosing a domain name and found www.therapistfinder.com you might be very happy.
But take a step back. If you take a moment to look at the domain name, you might see it could also read as “the rapist finder”! Suddenly, your domain has gone from amazing to looking like a PR nightmare and sending entirely the wrong traffic to your site.
You’ve found your ideal domain name and followed the advice in the article mentioned above. So if possible and you have the spare funds buy the domain name and then do the following research, if not you can always take the risk that somebody else doesn’t purchase your domain name.
Seek feedback on your brand
Ideally, your domain name should accurately reflect your brand (think Amazon, Uber, eBay, etc.). Ask your friends and family for honest feedback. Give them your domain name and ask them to tell you what they think your brand is all about.
If your domain is related to your industry, they should be able to easily identify what your site is all about. Take “campingsitesinbritain.co.uk” for instance. I would hope people might say it’s a site about camping sites in Britain. Whereas something like “Uber” might be a bit more difficult to explain.
This will determine how much you’ll need to invest in your brand.
If you have employees, get them involved – it’s always good to get feedback from those closest to forming your brand. If they don’t believe in the same thing as you, how will they help to grow the brand you want?
Ask strangers what they think. They’ll give you the best feedback. Use something like Google Surveys – an incredibly cheap way to give you awesome reach for a different perspective.
If you’d rather not pay, you could try seeking feedback from your LinkedIn or other social media connections.
Think international. It might seem great locally, what might people in different areas and countries associate with the words in your domain name? This is especially important if you have global expansion in your business plan.
If you’ve done your research and everything seems fine, go ahead and hit the buy button. As a bonus, you’ll have gained some valuable information about your brand.
I am the Managing Director of Coreter Media and have been in Digital Marketing since 2009. Initially in-house working for some of the UK’s biggest brands, but now I run my own agency helping small businesses grow.