Choosing a great domain name

imageMicrosoft.com, Amazon.com, Google.com. 

What do these names say about the business? 

You have instantly formed an opinion, good or bad about what the brand does, what it sells and what its value to the industry is.

But what if your chosen domain name is not available? 

What if some entrepreneurial soul before you has nabbed your chosen domain name? 

You need to get creative about your domain name.

Your domain name can be used to effectively market your product and save you the trouble of building a brand presence like Microsoft and Google had to do in the early days.

Domain Name Marketing (DNM)  is relatively unknown in the UK. DNM is massive in the USA pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars a year and is obviously helped by a massive USA population online.

The UK seems slow to engage with this new marketing technology and still pours their marketing pounds into a declining print advertising industry instead of harnessing traffic from keyword domain names.

Look at domain names such as shoes.com and onlineshoesuppliers.com. Someone was smart enough to register shoes.com early, leaving the rest of online shoe stores to choose alternative names.

And premium domain names get the most traffic. Type in traffic – where the url is guessed at in the browser address bar account for over 50 per cent of visitors to a site.

So how do you construct your premium domain name?  It needs to contain the following features:

  • Memorable
  • Keyword rich
  • Short
  • Brandable
  • Geographic – if you business is local
  • Descriptive
  • Contain proper names such as Eileenbrown.co.uk or eileenb.co.uk
  • Generic – such as Apple.com, Shoes.com and Orange.com

Obviously owning the .com domain is a great idea if you can get it, along with other top level domains (TLD’s) such as .biz, .net, .me (for personal names) and the recently introduced .co.

And great top level domains are very marketable. Cameras.com sold for $1.5 million in 2006 and Ticket.com sold for $1.525 million in 2009.

Benefits or Keyword domain names are to:

Capture pre-qualified, targeted leads without any SEO and  web rankings. People often type their search terms directly into their browser, and a percentage of those people will type their search with a .com or .co.uk.

Instead of going to Google and searching for “restaurants in London” some people will type restaurantsinlondon.co.uk into their browser address bar. The business owner with foresight to buy that domain name reaps the benefits, while other restaurant owners in London work at SEO to show up in the search rankings.

Increasing organic search traffic. SEO algorithms use the domain name itself. Exact-match keyword domain names are considered to be the most relevant, and as a result, websites with keyword domains tend to rank higher than websites without keyword domains for exact match searches.

Increasing click through rates. People are more likely to click on your website if they see a keyword domain in the URL when compared to other URL’s that show up in the search results.

Even if you buy Cost Per Click (CPC) ads from companies such as Google Adwords, more people will click on your ad links if they see a keyword domain for the URL. For pay-per-click  (PPC) advertising, use a generic keyword domain over a non-generic, non-keyword domain which will increase the number of ad impressions and raise the click-through-rate

Building brand recognition. Consumers associate generic keyword domains with market leadership. If someone searches for Service + Location and they find your website such as NewYorkRentals.com or Bostonlawyers.com they assume you are the market leader for that service in your location. Instant credibility for your brand.

So you don’t need to be first to snag Shoes.com or Apple.com. All the generic names have already been taken – and now are for sale for thousands of dollars.

Being smart with your domain naming, adding location and service offerings to your domain name could bring you easy SEO benefits and extra revenue for your business.

Credit: Social BIz Solutions

Eileen is a social business and social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

About these ads