If you weren’t already aware, the Internet is typically the first place people look when they’re searching for information on what you do. Additionally, the Internet is typically one of the first places people look when they want to find out about you or your business – or, as we say in the online world, they Google you.
That being said, you can probably surmise just how important it is to not only have the people you want to find you but also to have them find the information you want them to find both quickly and easily – And having a great domain name strategy is a critical step in making that happen.
How To Build An Effective Domain Name Strategy
Over the years, we’ve worked with numerous small businesses from various industries: real estate, residential & commercial cleaning, wellness, entertainment, and many more. Energizing small business success since 2004, we’ve seen and experienced a lot.
We’ve seen them choose and/or use all kinds of practical and ineffective domain names – most of the time, not being aware of how important and powerful a properly chosen domain name can be.
So here are some ideas to help you choose the right domain name cocktail for your business.
What 'To Do' When Choosing Domain Names
- Learn what keywords people search for when looking for what you do and look to use those in your domain names.
- At less than $20 a pop per year for most domain names, allow yourself to buy more than 1.
- Choose memorable domain names.
- Choose domain names that make it easier to find you online.
- Use specific domain names for specific promotions or ad campaigns.
- Shorter is not always better, but in many cases, it is – I know I don’t like typing long URLs – do you?
- Buy common misspellings of your domain name.
- To avoid confusing your target market, spell the domain name exactly how it sounds.
- Even though alternatives are available (e.g., “.net,” “.info,” “.org,” etc.), buy “.com” addresses whenever possible – this is still the commonly assumed domain name extension of the masses.
What 'NOT To Do' When Choosing Domain Names
- Unless you’re a big company with a recognizable brand such as an IBM or an HP, using an acronym for your domain name is probably not a wise choice.
- Stay away from hyphens and underscore characters between words in a multiple word domain name – it just complicates communicating your website address and makes it more difficult to find.
- Be careful when substituting numbers for the actual spelled-out version of the word (e.g., using the number “4” instead of spelling out the word “four” or “for”). Again, it just complicates communicating your website address and makes it more difficult to find.
5 Reasons to Implement a Multiple Domain Name Strategy
I believe in using a multiple domain name strategy for any small business. Here are five key reasons for you to consider implementing one for yours:
- First, to help create an overall better experience for your target market.
- Second, to help create a strong brand for your business.
- Third, you’ve worked so hard to develop to help protect your brand and online reputation.
- Fourth, to help improve your search engine marketing and optimization.
- Finally, to help gain a competitive advantage in your marketplace.
Domain Names To Consider Owning
Here are some possible domain names you should consider owning:
- Your name
- Your business’s name
- Your major product names
- Catchphrases, monikers, or tag lines commonly associated with you, your business, or your industry
- Trademarked words or phrases – so long as you are the trademark owner.
- Significant benefits your business provides
- Major problems your business solves
- Your target market would use keywords or search queries when searching for what you do.
Now, do you need all of these? – Probably not. However, properly using some combination of a few of these could prove very rewarding for small businesses.
Case Study: A Snippet From Online Marketing Muscle's Domain Name Strategy
As is typically the case, the best way to begin helping you figure out your domain name strategy is to give you a glimpse into ours.
At Online Marketing Muscle, we own and actively use several domain names as part of our continuously evolving domain name strategy.
Typically, we use custom domain names as shortcuts to many of our landing pages for lead generation, branding, etc. We then use domain forwarding to redirect those domain names to the actual landing page URL. This makes a much simpler and more memorable experience for our target market.
Let me explain a bit further:
Domain Names For Branding
NOTE: You may notice a trend that domain names that are crucial to our brand also happened to be trademarked.
Online Marketing Muscle® is the name of our company—it also happens to be one of our registered trademarks as well.
We use it as our home base on the Internet. It’s used for our main website as well as using subdomains of it (e.g. members.onlinemarketingmuscle.com) for our supplemental sites.
Clone the Owner® is one of our registered trademarks. It is the name of our core methodology for accomplishing our vision… energizing small business success.
We use it to drive traffic to a landing page where our target market can learn more about what our Clone the Owner system is and how it can help their business.
Domain Names For Lead Magnets
We use localSEOscanner.com as a shortcut to the free tool we offer to help small businesses measure the consistency of their information across the web.
We use WebsiteSins.com as a shortcut to a complimentary special report we offer intended to help small businesses improve the effectiveness of their website.
We use specific domain names for events we host… key article series we’ve written… catchphrases typically associated with us, and more.
I can go on and on and on here; however, I hope you’re starting to get the gist of what I’m sharing.
One last advanced domain name strategy tip.
If your core focus for your domain name strategy is search engine marketing, you might want to consider taking things up a notch.
You can create separate websites for your key domain names… and host each of them with different web hosting companies. This will allow you to link between websites that each have a different IP address. I know, a bit techie. However well worth the bang in the search engines if you can do it. We do. Shhh… don’t tell anyone.
Wrapping Up Domain Name Strategy
So in closing, we’ve only just scratched the surface here. There’s much more to creating a domain name strategy than meets the eye – And having one that helps you choose which domain names you’ll buy, how you intend to use them, and why, if implemented correctly, can lead to big-time results.