Though you’ll find no shortage of guides that help you purchase a domain name that is absolutely perfect for whatever it is you’re trying to do online, the reality of the situation is that very few people will tell you exactly what you should be trying to stay away from.
Truth be told, the process to purchase a domain name has never been more simple and streamlined than it is today – which becomes a bit of a double-edged sword. More and more people are looking for domains, more and more people are finally understanding the leverage that the Internet offers, and more and more people are competing for the same finite supply of top level .com domain names that are going to be available.
This means that there is some real scarcity out there when you are looking to purchase a domain name, and can make people waste their hard-earned money on domains that will never be able to provide them the results that they are hoping for.
Now, this goes so much further than just the simple eyeball test – which will get into in just a moment – as the choice that you make when you purchase a domain name is going to be associated with your web property from here on out. Sure, you can always purchase a new domain name and push it towards your specific web property – but you’ll have wasted all of that search engine optimization, time, and other resources you spent developing a domain name that would never be able to help you get up off of the ground.
The number one cardinal sin when purchasing a domain name is investing in anything longer than 10 characters – and even that’s a bit of a stretch
Unless you have a domain name that is absolutely the catchiest thing that has ever been put forward on this planet, you’ll want to keep your domain name as short as humanly possible. Try to stay within the 10 character limit – it’s the exact same number of characters that United States phone numbers have and therefore makes it relatively easy to remember – but if you absolutely must go over 10, keep things simple, concise, and short.
The worst thing that you can do when you purchase a domain name is grab something that has four, five, or more words in the domain name alone – way too much information and too much typing for the regular customer or web visitor. You’re trying to make this as easy as possible.
You’ll want to stay away from purchasing any domain name that could be confusing
This means sticking away from adding any words that end in the same letter that the next word begins with, having numbers sprinkled throughout your web address, or trying to purchase a domain name with any strange symbols, hyphens, or other breaks that are not traditional.
Again, you have to remember that your visitor that you are trying to attract to your website is going to be constantly bombarded with all of the web properties from your direct competitors – and it only takes a second or more to flip from your site to theirs. Unless you want to lose them forever, always purchase a domain name that is easy to read, easy to understand, and is free from any and all confusing symbols or characters.
Do a little bit of search engine research before you purchase a domain name from a third-party – you may be buying a domain name that has been banned
While there are a number of different tools available on the web today to search for information regarding the traffic being pushed to a specific domain name, too many otherwise smart and savvy people who invest in third-party domains just don’t take the time to do their due diligence.
With the Penguin and Panda Google changes that were rolled out in the last few years – major changes that literally wiped millions and millions of websites from the Google search index entirely or sent them to the back of the search results – the last thing that you’re going to want to do is purchase a domain name that has already been slapped with severe penalties. Just by looking at any spikes or drops in traffic over the long-haul will give you the kind of instant insights you need to make the right decision.