folder Filed in Domain tips, Domains
5 Most Common Ways to Get Your Domain Name Strategy Wrong
By Tsani Gramatikova access_time 9 min read

Choosing a domain name is like laying the cornerstone of your digital empire. The right name becomes a valuable asset, reinforcing your brand, driving traffic, and building credibility. But, as simple as it may seem, this decision can go disastrously wrong.  Many businesses fall into the trap of common mistakes when it comes to their domain name strategy. From failing to align the domain with their branding to choosing too long names, there are countless examples of domain names gone wrong.  

To help you navigate this crucial process, we’ve put together a list of 5 potential pitfalls in domain name strategies accompanied by real-world examples. This guide will highlight the common mistakes and misconceptions that can derail your brand’s digital identity. 

Choosing a Too Long Domain and Brand Name: Long domain names are hard to remember and prone to typos

Owning a long domain name can be detrimental to a business’s online success in several ways. – Long domain names take a lot of work to remember. In the digital age, memorability is crucial for online visibility. If a domain name is difficult to recall, it can lead to decreased direct traffic.

  • A long domain name is prone to typos. This is especially important in word-of-mouth marketing, where a potential visitor may mistype your domain name and land on an entirely different website, leading to lost opportunities and weakened brand recognition.
  • Long domain names can negatively impact SEO. Search engines favor websites with clear, concise, and descriptive URLs, and having a long domain name can be a disadvantage.

Examples

  • RibbonExperiences.com upgrades to Ribbon.com – Recognising the challenges posed by long domain names, Ribbon has decided to streamline and strengthen its brand identity by upgrading to the EBM domain name Ribbon.com, making it easier for its valued customers to find and engage with the brand.
  • HelpSystems rebrands to Forta – The company moved from the long HelpSystems.com to the Forta.com domain name, providing a unique brand identity while conveying strength and fortitude, desirable traits in the cybersecurity industry.
  • AfterShokz.com upgrades to Shokz.com – Originally, AfterShokz operated under the brand and domain name Aftershokz.com. While this name served its purpose, the company eventually recognised the potential benefits of a more concise and impactful one and opted to shorter Shokz.com, removing the additional prefix.

Using Complex Words or Misleading Spelling & Overlooking Voice Search Compatibility

Choosing a domain name with complex/tricky words or unusual spelling can cause many problems. It can lead to typing mistakes and send people to the wrong sites or even to pages that don’t exist. It can also make it difficult for customers to find your site if they only heard its name and need to learn how to spell it.

The rise of voice search tools like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant makes choosing a domain name that’s easy to say even more important. If your domain name is hard to pronounce or sounds like other words, these voice tools might not understand it and won’t be able to find your site.

Examples

  • Calero MDSL rebrands to Calero.com– Recognizing the original brand and domain name, CaleroMDSL.com was a bit complicated and lengthy; the company rebranded to Calero, moving to the more straightforward exact brand match domain Calero.com. This change made the brand more accessible and easier to remember.
  • Schlesinger Group rebrands to Sago-Schlesinger Group, once under the lengthy domain Schlesingergroup.com, opted for simplicity. It rebranded to Sago, changing its domain to the much more succinct Sago.com. This streamlined name better represents the company’s modern position and future-oriented vision. 
  • Calendso rebrands to Cal– Calendso made a strategic change by transitioning to Cal with premium three-letter EBM  Cal.com, a more concise and impactful domain, fostering instant recognition and supporting the company’s efforts to cultivate a strong, memorable digital identity.

Including Hyphens and Numbers: These can confuse people and lead to typos

Incorporating dashes in domain names may present certain complications. Often, when individuals hear about a company, they instinctively envision its name without any special characters. Hence, seeing it written with a dash can deviate from their expectations, leading to potential uncertainty and hesitation to engage further with the company.

Such confusion can notably impact a customer’s initial interaction with the company, as well as lead to traffic and email leaks. development.

Examples

  • DoiT International upgraded from Doit-intl.com to Doit.com. Dashes are common in these situations, especially with two-word brand names, when the business has to settle for a compromised domain name because the exact brand match is unavailable. Securing an exact brand match domain name such as Doit.com can leave a powerful first impression on potential customers. This specific domain name aids in fostering trust and credibility, solidifying the brand’s future standing, and enhancing the effectiveness of all marketing initiatives.
  • Egt-Interactive.com to Amusnet.com -EGT Interactive chose to simplify its domain as part of a broader rebranding strategy. They transformed into a new brand Amusnet, adopting the domain Amusnet.com, a change that both simplified their digital identity and positioned the company to seize new opportunities in their industry.

Ignoring Exact Brand Match (EBM) domain names and not opting for a .com extension

When launching a company, leveraging a powerful Exact Brand Match (EBM) domain can give you an advantageous beginning. Alongside a thoughtful strategy, this can facilitate the growth of a brand that stands the test of time, becoming both unforgettable and enduring. Even if your desired EBM domain name is already in use, don’t underestimate the value of a .com extension. As the most recognised and trusted extension globally, a .com domain fortifies your brand’s digital credibility and visibility.

Examples

  • Detectnow.com upgrades to Detect.com – Detect, Inc., initially used the domain Detectnow.com. This approach, while providing an online presence, carries risks such as security vulnerabilities, traffic leakage, and potential costly rebranding. However, in line with their slogan “Think big with us,” they opted for a digital upgrade, acquiring the powerful and more streamlined EBM domain Detect.com.
  • Genevachat.com upgrades to Geneva.com – The investment in a shorter, more impactful domain Geneva.com, illustrates the company’s commitment to clarity, user-friendliness, and enhancing its online brand image.
  • Zoom.us upgrades to Zoom.com – Zoom, initially operating under Zoom.us, understood the need for a universal online identity. To establish a more global presence, they transitioned to Zoom.com, a move that transcended geographical boundaries and emphasized their global outreach.

Overlooking Future Growth: Your domain name should be flexible enough to accommodate future business expansion

When developing a domain name strategy, it’s important to anticipate future growth and expansion. Choosing a domain name that’s too niche or specific might limit your business’s ability to diversify or expand into new areas. A flexible, scalable domain name will better accommodate the growth of your business, allowing you to venture into different markets or services without the need for a risky rebrand  or/and a new domain.

Examples

  • Teslamotors.com upgrades to Tesla.com – Tesla provides an excellent example of considering future growth in a domain strategy. Initially, Tesla operated under the domain Teslamotors.com. However, this domain constrained the brand to “motors” and didn’t accurately represent Tesla’s broader commitment to energy and sustainability. In response, Tesla made the strategic move to Tesla.com. This upgrade simplified the domain and allowed it to encompass the company’s evolving focus and various initiatives, such as solar energy and battery technology.
  • Chimebank.com upgrades to Chime.com – Chime used Chimebank.com as their domain, implicitly tying their brand identity to banking services. Recognizing this as a potential barrier to diversification, they shifted to Chime.com, allowing more flexibility in the company’s offerings and helping them transcend the banking-specific image and cater to a more extensive range of financial services.
  • JambaJice.com upgrades and rebrands to simply Jamba – Jamba Juice, known for its juice bars and smoothies, is another example of an upgrade that opened up possibilities for wider business expansion. The company operated under Jambajuice.com, emphasizing only its juice product line. To avoid limiting their brand to beverages, they decided to upgrade to Jamba.com. This shift allowed more flexibility to expand the company’s offerings beyond just juices and smoothies, allowing the brand to venture into other food items or health products.

Conclusion

Businesses can make informed domain name decisions by avoiding the common pitfalls discussed above and learning from the real-world examples provided. Choosing a domain name that is concise, memorable, easy to pronounce, and compatible with voice search while also taking into account factors such as hyphens, numbers, Exact Brand Match, and future growth, will lay a solid foundation for a brand’s digital identity and contribute to its long-term success in the online landscape.


Premium domain names are a valuable asset for any brand. They can help you establish credibility, improve your search engine rankings, and make it easier for customers to find and remember your website. If you’re interested in learning more about how premium domain names can benefit your brand, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

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