Domains for Startups #1: The less-obvious pitfall to getting your second choice domain

We’ve seen it time and time again. A startup can’t get the domain they want, so they end up with a word like “get” in front of it, or “online” behind it. I’ve heard from many startups that this isn’t an issue for them, and the reason they almost always give is, “well we show up fine in search engines!”

Sure, it’s true. If you have some solid SEO chops you can (and will) get your site ranking for your company name, heck you could even outrank the person who owns the exact-match domain since Google is domain agnostic. However there’s one factor that is often overlooked and the second I say it, it hits home.


What about your email?

Yes, a potential client can find you on Google, but what happens when they email you, and out of force of habit, write the email to vs. or Now someone else gets that email. This is much worse than having someone accidentally end up on a competitors site, now they’re sending what could be very sensitive information to someone that you don’t know.

I’ve owned a particular one-word .COM for years now and at one point I put a catch-all email account up just to see what came in. The results blew my mind as hundreds (yes hundreds) of emails hit my catch-all account and yes, it was all from people just typing in the wrong domain name. So next time you’re thinking about going with your second choice domain name because you’d rather register a domain for $10 than buy one for a few thousand…I’d think twice.

What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Snoopy March 15, 2017, 8:50 pm

    It is a factor but I think the main issue with such names is still difficulty people will have typing it in and remembering it for the url bar, plus the reputational damage from owning an obviously 2nd rate domain. Mom and pop businesses generally wouldn’t make these types of mistakes (over relying on Google), it is common sense to a degree.

  • Julio Maysonet March 16, 2017, 2:50 am

    A good point you bring up Morgan, but I can also see the potential risk in sending an email with private information to the wrong email address because of a GET or ONLINE like you mentioned.

  • Marius March 16, 2017, 10:46 am

    Valid points Morgan, however I think that people don’t hand-type email addresses anymore. Most would just copy & paste or even easier just complete the website contact form.

  • Mark Thorpe March 16, 2017, 3:27 pm

    Having the exact match domain name for your business is key. If you don’t, not only are you missing important emails and you are also missing out on exact match type-in traffic.

    Everyone thinks that people only use Google to find businesses online.
    This is not true.
    Plus Google will not be around forever, neither will Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat.

    You cannot depend on a another company to make sure your product sells.
    Buy the right .com domain name for your business or you will leak web traffic and will miss important emails etc. Period.
    I receive web traffic and important emails daily, from businesses who do not own the right .com domain name that matches their business.

  • Jeff Schneider March 30, 2017, 1:14 pm

    Hello Morgan,
    You get what you pay for ! Until Corporate Marketing strategists adopt .COM Equimoddity Centric Online Marketing Tactics their client base will suffer. JAS 3/30/17

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Metal Tiger) Former (Rockefeller I.B.E.C. Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed C.B.O.E. Commodity Hedge Strategist) (


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