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Why Misspelling Domain Names is a Great Idea   no comments

Posted at Sep 29, 2010 @ 1:53pm TurnKey Marketing

As the available domain names grow scarcer by the second, many of us are left wondering how to choose a domain that will make any sense, let alone one that will drive traffic and brand our companies. While there are still many great domains out there, especially if you’re a creative thinker, the short, sweet, easy to spell, easy to say domains are not quite so forthcoming. If you have a very specific branding idea or an absolute favorite name that just isn’t available (for any price), misspellings might be your best shot at finding a name you love. Often, you will only have to switch two letters, or add a “k” in the place of a “c” to find an available name. You may even end up with a name that is more memorable and unique than the original name you wanted, and that sets you apart better then the dictionary spelling of a common word ever could.

Why would I want a misspelled domain anyway?
In addition to the cute, web 2.0ness of a misspelled domain, you may also end up growing your traffic wholly by accident, or, if you are particularly shrewd, wholly on purpose (I won’t tell). The name of the game is targeted traffic—if you choose a name like “” (which isn’t available, but permit me the example) you will end up with boatloads of traffic from the fat-fingered and, in America, that’s a lot of people. You will also end up with a bunch of people who are looking for a search engine. If you happen to be Bing, this is excellent news.

Which Misspellings Work Best?
As I mentioned, you’re aim is to target your traffic, so start out by finding your most popular competitor. You can choose to go the blatant route and pick a misspelling that is obviously keyboard-based (again, like hoogle, or like godadsy) or you can think like an English teacher and switch i’s and e’s, a common mistake for many spellers. Regardless of your tactic, be sure to pick a company that is offering the same products or services that you are offering. Get as close as you can, because the end goal is to make a sale. If your products are too different, that visitor will just correct their misspelling and vamoose.

Analyzing Traffic
The Internet is an incredible tool, as exemplified by the convenient misspelling traffic analysis provided by many different websites, for free. Investigate the traffic reports for misspellings that are not yet owned via Google keyword search. You may also want to consider domains that relate to distinct events, rather than existing companies. For example, if you are a vendor selling soccer equipment, consider a misspelled world cup player or team for your domain. There were millions of misspelled searches during the world cup. If even a small percentage of those people had come across your online store, you would have made some great sales—especially if you’d been clever enough to offer team jerseys at deep discounts to hardcore fans. And maybe even some vuvuzelas?

“Borrowing” Traffic
So, it might not be the most morally righteous thing in the world, but traffic on the Internet is not an entirely fair enterprise to begin with. Google ranks websites based, in part, on existing popularity. This means, we all start out at a disadvantage. Google also encourages website owners to populate their content with keywords and search terms—so, in a very real sense, we have no choice but to cater to the search engines from square one. A misspelling is not copyright infringement. It is not illegal. However, you can further protect yourself (and brand your very own company as a stand-alone) by choosing a misspelling that is it’s own catchy word or phrase. The less your domain relates to a recognizable brand while still sending you misspelling traffic, the better. So, while Godadsy might be a little obvious, Fodadsy is very much it’s own thing. While two letters isn’t quite as good as one, you’ll still get the fat-finger traffic while maintaining your very own name that is recognizably yours. You can always buy Godadsy too and point it to Fodadsy for a little thing I like to call the best of both worlds.

A Word of Caution

If you are a business owner who already has a domain, you may want to consider buying up all the possible misspellings of your name to protect yourself from just this type of traffic squatting. It’s nefarious and slightly dirty, but it works. Use it if you need it and watch out for it if you don’t.

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Written by admin on September 29th, 2010

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