In the previous two articles on domain names we provide information outlining the integral role domain names play in business today, plus details of the rules and regulations which you need to know in the domain name industry. In part 3 we will provide guidance on how to choose the best domain names and a road map to implementing a successful domain name strategy.
Domain Name Selection
In the year 2007 the fact is that a large number of domain names have already been registered so finding great domain names today requires some creativity. However, your creativity needs to follow a number of key principles to ensure your brand names are protected and customers can easily find you.
Today many people turn to the Internet when they are looking for information, so it makes sense to register domain names which are relevant to your business and/or your website. As your brand grows and more people go looking for your business they will search for your business name online, so it makes sense to register domain names that are relevant to your business name. Otherwise potential customers may not be able to find you. This may sound like common sense; however, I am often surprised at how hard it is to find businesses that I am looking for on the Internet.
A sign of a great domain name is how easy the name is to remember. Examples of great domain names are Yahoo! & Google. Easy to remember names are naturally shorter and are generally less than 8 characters in length as they are easier to type into the browser and less likely to be confused with another similar name. This is why leading Australian brands use abbreviated versions of their name like Commonwealth Bank use their brand as commbank.com.au and Australia Post which uses auspost.com.au. If you elect to use a domain name which is an abbreviated version of your domain name we suggest you also register the full business name so people can find you by typing in either your abbreviated name or your full business name.
Generic Domain Names
Generic names such as realestate.com.au are considered extremely valuable as they provide the license holder the opportunity to be perceived as the leading company across an industry segment. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of generic domain names have already been registered. Our advice is not to spend too much time trying to find generic domain names as the level of type-in traffic is relatively small in Australia. Keyword domain names on the other hand can be used to increase the click through rate of your pay per click advertising programs.
Tag Line Domain Names
Tag line domain names such as the latest domain name from Mcdonalds http://www.nameitburger.com.au is a relatively new trend in marketing which can be an effective way of measuring the response rate of traditional media such as television and radio advertising. A great example of a tag line domain name is a abetterdeal.com.au used by Bank West. Tag line domain names when used correctly can be a great way of communicating your value proposition or market positioning.
Hyphenated Domain Names
About five years ago there was a theory that hyphenated domain names were effective in the achievement of high search engine rankings. This is not true today and people do not naturally type in hyphenated domain names so we recommend to look for alternatives.
Plural Domain Names
Many people naturally include an “s” at the end of their Internet searchers. On this basis we recommend you always check that the singular and the plural of a domain name is available prior to registration. If another business has the singular or plural version of the name we recommend that you should look for alternatives.
Easy to Read Domain Names
Some domain names may sound good, however, may not be easy to read on paper or may be difficult to type in. This often occurs when a business name has two words where their first name ends in the same letter as the second word starts. For example, a name such as leaseexpress.com.au can be confusing for the end user. If you are faced with this situation we recommend that you register all combinations but use the easiest to read as your main domain name.
Once you have decided on the main domain name for your business we recommend that you make the investment of registering all the variations of your chosen name including singulars, plurals, abbreviations, major mis-spellings, or mistypes in the .com and .com.au namespaces.
Domain names are much cheaper and easier to register today than years gone by, so make the extra investment and enjoy the peace of mind that your online business is protected and set up for success in the future.