Over the years, registering a new domain name for your business or brand has become more and more difficult – as premium domain names, sought-after keywords and many popular terms and phrases are already registered under some of the older Top-Level Domains (TLDs) such as .com and .net

Getting the exact domain name you want can be tricky. This often forces local businesses and startups to get ‘creative’ in registering a name – and causes common errors along the way. Some businesses have even been known to change their company name to help them get an available web address.

TLDs such as .sydney have the unique advantage of much wider availability of names – as these namespaces were only recently launched.

Here are three common mistakes to avoid when selecting your domain name.

1. Using hyphens

When trying to get around domain name availability, some people choose to include hyphens between words to create a more unique combination. While this strategy is understandable, the major difficulty with hyphenated web addresses is customer recall.

Printing your domain name on billboards and flyers or announcing it verbally in advertising can both be made more difficult when extra characters such as hyphens are introduced. They’re trickier to say aloud and add an extra piece of information for customers to remember – and you may end up sending a lot of web traffic to someone else whose web address is the same as yours, minus the hyphens.

2. Not checking how your domain reads as one word

Without considering how a domain reads together, the owner of ‘Parts Exchange’ could registered the domain name www.partsexchange.sydney – which can cause some serious misunderstandings.

The same can be said for phrases that have confusing double letters, such as www.samssupermarket.sydney

Think about how your brand name reads all as one word. If it is likely to cause confusion, consider reordering the words or choosing a cut-down version of the name.

3. Waiting too long on the perfect domain

The domain name market is very quick-moving. Domain name investors and resellers quickly buy up great online real estate so they can resell the domain name for a profit in the future.

If you find your perfect domain and choose to wait on registering it, you could miss your opportunity. Particularly in name spaces where availability is very high, you have the chance to get your hands on some fantastic domain names – but the opportunity can disappear quickly.