Without a doubt, the domain name you choose for your tech startup is a significant element of your brand. After all, it’s the first touchpoint for your customers to get an understanding of what to expect when they land on your website.
So, choosing a slick, smart, and simple domain name that evokes credibility helps to build a strong brand. If you pick a poor domain name that does not define what you do or does not add value to your brand name, no one will remember you and you will get lost in the clutter of cyberspace.
To build a strong brand and carve a niche for your tech startup in the world of technology, here are 3 mistakes to avoid when choosing a domain name for your tech startup:
1. Settling for a domain name that fails the radio test
The radio test for a domain name is crucial as it checks if people can spell your domain name when they hear it for the first time. For your target audience to be able to understand and spell your domain name right the first time, it is imperative for your name to be memorable and easy-to-spell.
As a tech startup, one of the ways to build credibility is to exude innovation in everything you do. By choosing a domain name that fails the radio test, you create a negative impression in the mind of anyone who comes across it.
For instance, using an .AI domain for your tech startup may seem relevant to the members of the tech fraternity, but it isn’t as easy for people from outside the community to understand what AI stands for. It’s less definitive and more ambiguous.
- Domain names such as http://www.brillianttechhill.com look spammy and are least likely to feature in mainstream media articles. On the other hand, a website such as http://www.brilliant.tech can easily pass the radio test and comes across as a sophisticated tech brand.
- If Siri, Alexa, and Cortana don’t understand http://www.cleantechsolutionz.com in one go, it’s possible that users trying to find you will get frustrated with your domain name pretty soon.
- Even for search engines to show your website above others, domain names are important. Let’s say there are two websites identical in terms of SEO, domain authority etc. One has the domain name http://www.smartshadow-technologies.com and the other one is http://www.shadow.tech, search engines are likely to bump up the website with a shorter, more pronounceable domain name.
2. Ignoring the history of the domain extension
As counterintuitive as it may sound, the future is in the past. A sophisticated understanding of the past is one of the most powerful tools we have for shaping the future. When choosing a domain extension, do some research on these two aspects:
Existing media articles about the domain extension you are considering
The true importance of using a new domain extension is to creatively brand your startup. For instance, if you are a new eCommerce business you can pick a .store domain extension or if you are starting a media business then you can pick a .press domain extension. Similarly, for your tech startup, you can pick a definitive .tech domain extension that is globally associated with the word technology. But before you jump to a name of your choice, do some research to see whether it is free of any political, legal or ethical controversies.
Existing security concerns associated with the domain extension you are considering
In a bizarre turn of events, in mid-2017, researcher Matthew Bryant was able to successfully take over the entire .IO domain extension after its operating registry left authoritative nameservers freely available. Nameservers are a vital part of the DNS system which controls where domain requests are routed and this was a pretty serious security breach.
3. Making the domain vulnerable and open to brandjacking when registering it
By not taking suitable measures to protect the domain at the time of registration, you can make your website susceptible to brandjacking. This means that cybercriminals can take over the control of your website with the intention of ruining your reputation.
Domain vulnerability can lead to:
- False communication with your customers or stakeholders
- Loss or misuse of sensitive data of your customers
- Leakage of confidential business information
Therefore, negligence while registering a domain can generate a significant amount of negative publicity for the business. Some of the ways in which tech startups can secure their domain are by:
- Registering the domain in their own name with correct contact information
- Choosing a strong password and integrating 2-factor authentication for the domain account
- Controlling access to domain management panel
- Taking care of access to website content management
- Controlling access to email management
- Separating the email id that is used for domain’s WHOIS info from the email ID linked to the domain
Being conscious of these mistakes while registering the domain name for your tech startup can go a long way in protecting your business and building a strong tech brand.
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Kevin Ku. The “post-its” photo has been done by Rawpixel. The “teamwork” photo has been done by Nesa Makers. The “concepts” photo has been done by José Alejandro Cuffia.
Editorial notice: The domain examples used in this article are made up and do not endorse any organization which might currently, or could in the future, use these domains. This article has been made available by site supporters.