1. Choosing an unfortunate domain name!
Believe it or not, some companies manage to register domain names that they later realise – when read another way – mean something totally different! Don’t fall victim to silly mistakes like some of these:
Itscrap.com (An IT equipment recycling company)
Whorepresents.com (A talent search company called WhoRepresents?)
Penisland.net (A company selling pens)
Expertsexchange.com (A directory of experts in various industries)
Masterbaitonline.com (A bait and tackle shop)
Therapistfinder.com (Therapist website)
Choosespain.com (A website promoting travel to Spain)
Powergenitalia.com (A company called Powergen in Italy)
Childrenslaughter.com (Website called Children’s Laughter)
2. Not being the registrant!
When you register a domain name, most registries will require 3 contacts: Registrant, Technical Contact and Admin Contact.
The technical and admin contacts are usually your provider or agency, which is fine. However, some naughty ones are setting themselves as the registrant too.
What this means is that your business actually technically does not own that domain name! If things go south, your provider could hold onto it – or if the provider goes bust, you may not be able to get control over it to make the necessary urgent changes. Both scenarios can result in a painful and very time-consuming process to recover your domain and get it into your name.
Insist at the registration stage that your provider prove that you are the registrant.
3. Registering a bunch of domain names for all your keywords
Years ago, it was possible to rank favourably in Google by having a website address with your keywords in it. This resulted in loads of websites such as www.driving-instructor-in-cape-town.com, which clogged up the internet and made things messy!
There are actually companies still trying this. It doesn’t work. You’re wasting your time if this is your strategy.
These days you rather want to have one main website, for which the URL doesn’t have much ranking sway, and then putting the time and effort into optimising it to the max.