Part 1: The Do's and Don'ts of Picking Domain Names
Getting ready to choose your domain name? Typically people will Google you first when they’re searching for information on what you do and your business. That being said, you can probably surmise just how important it is to not only have the people you want to find you, find you, but also to have them find the information you want them to find both quickly and easily – And having great domain names is a critical step in making that happen.
Now over the years I’ve coached a number of small businesses as well as independent professionals such as authors, real estate agents, network marketers, and sales representatives of larger corporations, and I’ve seen them choose and/or use all kinds of effective as well as ineffective domain names – most of the time, not really being aware of how important and powerful a properly chosen domain name can be.
So here a couple of do’s and don’ts to help you choose domain names that get results:
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Duration: 3 minute, 29 seconds
- Learn what keywords people search for when looking for what you do and look to use those in your domain names.
- At less than $10 a pop per year for most domain names, allow yourself to buy more than 1.
- Choose domain names that are memorable.
- 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.
- If possible, 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.
- Unless you’re a big company with a recognizable brand such as an IBM or EDS, using an acronym for your domain name is probably not a wise choice.
- Stay away from hyphen and underscore characters between words in a multiple word domain name – it just complicates communicating your website address as well as making 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 as well as making it more difficult to find.
Part 2: Using a Multiple Domain Name Strategy
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I’m a firm believer in using a multiple domain name strategy for a whole host of reasons but let me just share with you five of my core ones:
- To create an overall better experience for my target market
- To create a strong brand for myself and my business
- To protect my brand and online identity that I’ve worked so hard to create
- For search engine marketing and optimization purposes
- To gain a competitive advantage in my marketplace
With that being said, let me share with you what I feel are some possible domain names you should consider owning:
Now do you need all of these? – Probably not. However for many small businesses and independent professionals, using some combination of a few of these properly could prove very rewarding.
As for my business Online Marketing Muscle, I own and actively use several domain names. As part of my strategy, instead of having my target market try to remember and type a long cumbersome URL of a page buried deep on my website, I like to use shorter, more memorable, keyword-rich ones – hence my core concept of creating a better experience for my target market from the get-go. Then I simply use the free domain forwarding service provided by my domain registrar to automatically forward visitors to the actual page on my business’s main website.
Let me explain a bit further:
I use ClonetheOwner.com as a shortcut to the “small business coaching programs” page of my business’s main website. This is a way for me to strengthen my brand “Clone the Owner” as well as make it easier for people who may know about my coaching program methodology but not by my business’s name to find me easier.
At a minimum, I highly recommend that you use a similar approach. It definitely serves as a differentiator between you and someone else who does what you do. So instead of having one of those long, complicated URLs that the company you represent assigns you, use your name dot com or your product name or product line name and place that on all of your marketing materials.
One word of caution here, if your company has a compliance department, run your plans by them to ensure you’re not breaking any company policy – I wouldn’t want to get you fired over this.
I use MotivationalMarketer.com as a shortcut to my blog hosted on my business’s main web site. The “Motivational Marketer” is a moniker I use for myself. Notice also that it gives people a fairly good idea of what type of content to expect on my blog, motivational marketing advice.
I use WebsiteSins.com as a shortcut to the sales page of one of my main information products hosted on my business’s main website. Notice also that besides being the name of my product, it also happens to contain the keyword “website” in it.
And I can go on and on and on here however, I hope you’re starting to get the gist of what I’m sharing.
I would also like to point out that if your core focus for your domain name strategy is search engine marketing, then you might want to consider taking things up a notch and by hosting each of your domain names as separate websites using different web hosting services. You’ll most likely see better results with search engine placement with that approach.
So in closing, we’ve only just scratched the surface here. There’s much more to choosing a domain name than meets the eye – And having an overall domain name strategy 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.