One’s presence over internet, as an individual or a business, is in part defined by the domains he or she is using to post articles, products and/or services. An appropriate domain name will boost your traffic and your popularity, it may become a trademark if it wasn’t already before you have started the online activity. So you have to consider your domain name as assets you must protect and to improve their values in time.
There are a lot of possible reasons people may loose their online domains, some are very common, some are not so often related with every day practice.
You can lose visitors and customers because of typo domain names
As I’ve written some time ago on a websited related with web design, you should reserve different but similar domain names for your business. The reason is simple: when information is being transmited from one person to another there can always appear errors, people may mispell or type with errors the name of your site. If the domain name have digits or words separated by hyphens reserve a domain name similar: with the same words, but no hyphens and with the digits as letters.
It does not look that you are protecting the domain name in this way, but in order you have one famous domain with a great working website you must cover all the field, not to let anyone take advantage by your work and ideas.
Some of my seo works I did in the last months have proven every time that one’s presence on the internet does not start with his/her web page, the optimization of the site and all the content inside it. It starts with the name of one’s domain and it’s intended purpose. This article is about some tips about the importance of registering a domain and choosing the best name for it.
Register the domain as soon as possible.
Even if you don’t have the money and/or the time to get a web page you must register the domain as soon as possible. Now, if you can, or somebody else may register of himself/herself. You don’t need to have some hotshots specialist in marketing or web designing along to tell you what to do… just choose the best name and register. You don’t want to get the-domain-name-nobody-wants.com or some leftovers that may be what you want or not. Reserving the domain is the fastest part to create a business or a trademark over the internet.
Keep the name short
Some domain names can reach 67 characters but usually it’s difficult to memorize them and not all have enough patience to write all of them into their browser. So, keep the domain name as short as possible and have in mind that the people have to make a strong connection between the domain name and what it represents (what you want to sell or to promote on it).
If the name of the domain is your own trademark (your name, the name of something you belong or the name of your business) it is usually more important then the shortest and the best description of your activity. You should keep it.
Domain-name dot what?
It’s not uncommon to register more domains with similar names or domain names that complete the original name with auxiliary keywords. Some registrars even offer bonuses when you register more than one domain names and encourage the buyers to register the same name with different suffixes. For a long time the .com suffix was the first extension the most people try (access) when searches for a site and for some it will remain the most important. But, lately, a lot other suffixes (.net, .org, .tv, .eu, different countries TLDs, even the .xxx suffix for porn) became more and more wanted.
If you want company-name.com and company-name.org or company-name.net are not taken (for examples) you should register them also. They are not expensive, somewhere about 10 euros for an entire year/domain and they can be parked (redirected) on the original domain. The target is very important: you don’t need a China domain name if you your products are targeted to some small islands in the Mediterranean sea. But for just a few bucks you can cover all the possibilities, all the targets you want. Some people even register the misspellings of their desired domain name just for that.
Anyway, try to find a domain name that has only one possible spelling and it’s very easy to type and it must be easy to remember. Most people are hard spellers and/or just lazy… choose your domain in such way for them to find you very quickly.
Commercial appeal (more or less)
One way to register a domain name is the commercial perspective: it’s just like a marketing campaign. If you want to sell/promote something then choose the best words to describe the product(s) and the shortest description. The internet is your billboard and you want to put your brand in everybody’s browsers and to sell lots and lots of products. And, of course, to get lots and lots of visitors (traffic).
More, if one or more keywords does not have commercial intent it does not mean you don’t want to optimize for them. The keywords in the name depend of the searches the users and if the not-so-commercial keywords gets you a lot of traffic it’s more than ok to include it in the domain name.
Avoid trademarked names
First of all, we have all heard about guys that thought ahead and bought some multi-million-euros-domains-names (companies names or product names, even movies titles). In the beginning the companies that released that names spent a lot of money to buy the domains from that smart guys, but lately the tendencies are to send the layers first to protect theirtrademarked brand. Usually they already spent lots and lots of money just to create and to develop that brands and it’s a lot easier to put to work the lawyers they already hired for various aspects of their businesses.
Is when somebody access your site by simply typing the domain name in the URL bar in their browser and adding the suffix (usually .com, but not only that) at the end. If your domain name matches exactly with the keywords typed in the browser there is a chance to get some traffic from that.
Avoid the numeral substitution and slang
You can always add numerals into a domain name, but avoid substituting commons words with numeral (for example 4 instead for and 2 instead to) because it can create confusion and it’s hard to remember. From the same reason don’t use slang (for example u instead you). Also watch out for the numeral 0 because it is often mistaken for the letter O and viceversa.
Make your domain unique
The more unique domains (as design as domain name) are easier to remember. Search the all possible names for your domain and stick with the most unique one – it will stick and you can benefit from that for years (you can use for this the non-commercial keywords but important in the searches).
Hyphenates inside the domain names
The common sense and the habits say that the hyphenates should not be used inside the domain names: the people are not used with them in the URLs and the can easy misspell and can and up to nowhere or, worse, to the competitor’s site. More, when you tell somebody about a site about web design, software code and seo do you tell the to put hyphens like this (http://www.webdesign-software-code-seo.com/ ) or not? The most people don’t say it.
There are also some advantages to the hyphens inside the domain name: the search engines can distinguish your keywords better and thus return your site more close to the first results in search results and the non-hyphenated form may no longer be available.
Personally I prefer to put the hyphens in the name because I want to mark the keywords as clear as possibles. The humans can be educated to take them in consideration, it would be an improvement for most of them.
Plurals, “the” and “my” domain names
Very often the domain name registrar suggests alternate forms of the name you typed, especially when the domain you want is already taken. For example, if you wanted onlinestore.com the suggestions can look like this: theonlinestore.com. myonlinestore.com, onlinestores.com (and maybe some more) if they were not already taken as well.
If you really want some for of the chosen domain name than take it (or them if you want), but always remember to promote the full name of your domain (with the affix). You also must take in consideration that the plural can create confusion because a lot of people will forget to put the final s in the name.
Search for dropped domains
The dropped domains are these domains that have been changed from registered status to unregistered status. This usually happens because the registration renewal fee was not paid (the company went out of business or somebody just forget to pay). Anyway, in this case anybody can register the domain for himself/herself and to get an already know domain for the same price of a new one.
Believe it or not, there are auction for the internet domain names. It is a different method to get a domain for some price (it depends of the results of the auction). The problem is that you may also get the reputation of the domain, and that be bad or good.