The Truth Behind a Successful Domain

October 16th, 2014 | by Kimberly Gonzalez
The Truth Behind a Successful Domain
Business
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Domain names are like real estate in the website business. Having a good domain name can be equated to a prime piece of land therefore it is very important to chose a domain name that will not only represent your company but also define success. Choosing a domain name is not easy; this is because of the limited names available especially at this day and age where almost everybody on the internet owns at least one domain name.

Choosing the perfect domain is very crucial to the sustainability and survival of your website and business on the internet regardless of the type of website you build. The domain name is the first part in the process of developing and introducing your business online as such, the process should be undertaken in complete care if your business is to become an online giant.

Before we look at some of the things that you should consider while choosing a domain name, it is important that we first understand why domain names are important. Basically, domain names are important because the web addressing scheme is not that effective without them. Each computer on the internet has an (IP)- Internet Protocol address: a unique string of up to four numbers that are separated by periods such as 167.188..2. Since remembering all these numbers of your favorite websites would really be tedious, a group of computer scientists created the domain system to assign a unique name to each IP address. A short and memorable domain name can make the difference between creating a successful internet presence and getting lost in cyberspace.

Why domain names are important:

  1. A domain name adds credibility to your small business.

Having your own domain name makes your company look professional. If you publish your site through an ISP or a free Web hosting site, you’ll end up with a URL such as www.yourisp.com/-yourbusiness. This generic address does not inspire confidence in a customer like a www.yourcompany.com domain name does. And since many people don’t yet trust the Internet and e-commerce, you’ll want to do what you can to prove that your small business deserves their money.

  1. A domain name says you’re forward-thinking.

Having your own domain name indicates you’re part of the Digital Revolution, and it implies that you’re up-to-date on emerging technologies. Whether this is true or not, having your own domain name might just put you ahead of your competitors.

  1. A domain name adds mobility to your Internet presence.

Owning your own domain name lets you take that name with you if you transfer Web hosts or switch to your own in-house server. If you don’t own your domain name, you’ll have to take a new URL, which will destroy the branding that you built up with your first address.

  1. The right domain name can attract walk-in business.

If you decide to register a domain name that matches the concept of your business (instead of your exact business name), you might draw Web surfers in search of that topic. For instance, a hardware store that registered Hammers.com might get visitors looking for hammers on the Internet. Also, although search engine results are hard to predict, Hammers.com could show up more frequently in search results when someone searches for information about hammers.

  1. A domain name builds your brand.

More than anything else, a domain name can increase awareness of your brand. If your domain name matches your company name, it reinforces your brand, making it easier for customers to remember and return. It will also be easier to win business via word of mouth because customers will remember your name and pass it along to friends.

A good domain name will definitely go a long way in generating traffic to your site and building your company’s reputation that in turn will lead to more customers and ultimately more sales.

How to choose a good domain name

So, when it comes to giving your online business a web address, how do you find its ideal location? What are the characteristics of a successful domain name? Here, I will detail a few points to consider when deciding upon a domain name.

Microsoft did a study on domain biases and after much research, concluded that consumers browsing the Internet were 25% more likely to click a link within search results that was an exact match to their initial search. Therefore, if a consumer searched “professional cosmetics” on Google, they would be more likely to click ProfessionalCosmetics.com than Sephora.com/makeup. Therefore, adding keywords to your domain name could work in your benefit, but for other reasons than SEO.

Here are a few points you should consider while choosing a domain name:

  1. Think about your clients and visitors

The first aspect to consider will definitely be your visitors and potential clients. You will not want to disappear into cyberspace, there are a lot of websites and businesses on the internet offering services similar to yours therefore it is important to think of what type of visitors you wish to attract and also how to keep those you already got. This can be achieved by choosing a domain name that represents your business, maybe your business name or your business initials and how your clients identify you.

  1. Have a few back ups

This is also one important aspect that you should put into perspective. If you spend a lot of time on the web, you will probably have noticed that sometimes the domain name that you think of buying is already owned by another business therefore while choosing a domain name it is important to have a few back up names in case that your first choice is already acquired by someone else.

  1. Keep it short

Short names and initials are generally easier to remember. If your domain name is too long, your visitors may forget it and chose to visit another website instead therefore be sure to choose a short domain name or initials that represent your business or the nature of your business. This also reduces the error in the domain name especially when the visitor is trying to type it into the browser. There are different types of short domain names but it is highly recommended that you chose a domain name with a simple extension and not more than four letters.

  1. Don’t use hyphens

Hyphens can be really confusing while browsing on the web and they are very easy to forget. This may lead to errors while a visitor or a client is trying to type your address on the browser therefore you end up losing visitors and clients. If at all it is necessary that your domain consists of a hyphen, then it is important to use only one in order to reduce any sort of confusion that may arise.

  1. Extensions

If you have been on the web long enough, you probably have noticed the different sorts of domain extensions that websites brandish. There are hundreds of domain extensions and new ones get released every time. A domain extension is the initial that is suffix to your website name mostly preceded by a full stop. There are a few popular domain extensions that are straight forward and would be considered as a success factor. i.e.:

  • .COMStemming from the word commercial, .COM is the most popular of domain extension and has become the industry standard. There is no limit to the use of .COM domains.
  • .NETDeriving from the word network, .NET domains are assimilated to businesses involved in the tech industry. Therefore, this may not be the best choice for domains outside of this genre, such as professionalcosmetics.net.
  • .ORGComing from the word organisation, .ORG domains should be reserved for those of non-profits, schools, projects and communities. Although there is no one limiting the use of these extensions, having a commercial business with an .ORG extension will raise red flags or send the wrong message.

A domain extension should be applied appropriately and in line with the nature of your website and business. There are domain extensions that define the location of your business. For instance, if you are trying to reach locals of a certain area it is best to choose an extension that is defined in that area e.g. If your local business is in London and you are targeting clients and visitors from the U.K. then you extension would be .CO.UK.

  1. Search the web directories

Before you purchase a domain name you will need to do extensive research on the website for the best name that has all the qualities you need. The research begins with your business name and what will complement it. This can easily be achieved on the web especially Google and domain registrars such as Go daddy.

  1. Make it memorable

When choosing a domain name it is important to consider how memorable it will become among your visitors and clients. A memorable domain name leads to returning visitors and loyalty among your clients.

  1. Avoid tricky spelling

For a domain to become memorable, it is important to avoid tricky spelling in your domain name. Tricky names lead to errors and definitely reduced traffic. There are cases of websites using domain names that could prove tricky but in that case you will want to invest heavily in making that particular name memorable. In order to avoid any disappointments it is recommended that you use simple words in your domain name.

Your business’s online presence is a strong determining factor on whether your website and business will thrive online or otherwise therefore it is important to put these factors and more into consideration before purchasing a domain name. You should treat your website as an extended branch of your business online and you will be on your way to success.

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Kimberly Gonzalez

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