There was a time when buying a domain name was the most important part of your Online Business. If you sold toasters, you’d buy Toastersforsale.com. If you rented toasters, you’d buy Toastersforrent.com.
Spammers would sometimes buy up hundreds of names and it was simple enough. It almost worked.
But Google got wise to the practice and the whole thing started working a lot less well.
There’s no question though, your URL and your domain name are still going to be important. It still makes a difference to SEO and it still plays a role in how well people remember you and your site. And it can be changed, though sometimes with significant problems.
Even if you have the absolute perfect domain name, it’s not enough and it’s not going to replace all of your other marketing efforts – online or offline. Getting the wrong domain name can set you back, so let’s take a look at making your online life a little easier.
Go for Clarity
Customers want to know where you’re coming from and what you do. Keep the customers’ needs first. If you really are serving a local market, then having your local city name in the URL can be ok, but lots of businesses are on the internet specifically to cater to broader and more distant markets. So your URL can vary depending on your business model. Some general rules are as follows.
Buy a URL that is as short as possible, memorable and easy to read and understand.
If you already have a ton of name recognition, then stick as close as you can.
For Stan’s Toaster’s, famous in Anaheim for a century, just Stans.com might be ok. But for Stan’s Toasters that opened in Anaheim in 2009 (and struggled ever since), you’d likely go for StansToasters.com or StansAnaheimToasters.com. That’s just about pushing the limit on the number of characters.
15 is just about the maximum number of characters you’re going to want.
Before purchasing that URL, though, search around and make sure you’re not buying something that will be easily confused with anyone else. For example, is StansToasters.com going to be confused with StansRoasters.com?
Make sure you don’t sound too spammy. OnlineToasters.com is not going to benefit you in the slightest, and DiscountToasters.com is even worse. On the contrary, ToasterCapital.com might lend you better authority, depending on your industry.
Brand vs. Spam
Now obviously, none of the examples above are really going to be perfect examples that match with your own business. Toasters probably aren’t something people buy, online, from a retailer specialized just in selling toasters. Stan’s though, famous downtown Anaheim establishment is named for the founder who died way back in 1942. Stan though, lives on – as a “brand.” Now most businesses don’t have a hundred years to wait while their brand ripens, but it does help to keep in mind that brand is that sort of “super persona,” your business personified and acting out there in the world to improve people’s lives.
Remember, your customer comes first. What they want is more important than what they can do online.
Finding the balance between brand and recognition is of key importance. And a Domain Name that matches only what you do and not your brand or the customer-need that you address could do you more harm than good. Again, that’s OnlineToasters.com that’s probably not going to work.
If you’re working on an exclusively online enterprise, then you’ve probably got to be a lot more focused.
Most of the people that contact Nettsolutions.com have an established business. They very often have an established brand, and even a website or two. But that is not to say that the best URL is just the name of their business. You can get some mileage out of a Keyword, if it is really important to your business. But you might also need a city or place name or something to bump up your location; StansAnaheimToasters.com for example. The problem is, it’s still a little too long.
So, go for a “brand” just for your website, even if you are established. AnaheimToasty.com is a lot more memorable than online toasters. It’s often preferable to choose a very few favorite search-term keywords and then play with them the way that a poet might.
Stan’s in Anaheim sells more than toasters and even more than just kitchen appliances. They sell all the way up to air-conditioners and heat-pumps. That is, major home appliances and electronics. But “toasty” captures all of that in one comforting and memorable word.
You better believe their website will be filled out with long-tail keywords, for just every product that they sell online. So they will still place with searches for Anaheim-air-conditioning-installation.
A website like Domjax will give you a broad selection of available domains, and they’ll allow you to compare and contrast which are going to work best for your business. And if you’ve been running a website on a domain that just isn’t doing the job, contact Nett Solutions, and we’ll discuss the full range of options.
This article was written by james t. James is a New Jersey native but currently lives in Mexico City because it’s a tad bit cold in New Jersey at the moment. Still, he is looking forward to the 2014 Super Bowl being held in his freezing home state.