OK, now that I am fortified, I can write about something technical… thanks for reading, oh and try the Tabouleh! MO
We recently wrote about domain names in our April newsletter. Odds are that most visitors come to your site from another web site, either by clicking on a banner, following a link on someone else’s site, or drilling through results in a search engine. To find your site again, most people have to remember how they found it the first time. In this case a good domain is worth a lot.
Here are a few simple rules… the basics of a good domain name:
1. Don’t be cryptic. Use the name by which people know your company. In practice that usually means don’t abbreviate, unless the abbreviation is your company’s trademark. In this case, at least visitors have a chance of correctly guessing your domain name if they spell out the company name.
Domain names can be 67 characters long so get your company’s full name. Typing a long domain name may seem undesirable, but if your company name requires that extra space, it’s worth considering.
2. Avoid dashes if you can. With the number of good domain names dwindling, dashes are commonplace.
Wal-Mart learned that lesson the hard way. The company first launched its e-commerce site as “wal-mart.com,” the company’s official name. They lost millions in sales before registering “walmart.com.” Now both domain names take you to the same web site.
3. Register multiple versions of your name. Make it easy for your customers to find you. If your company’s name is hard to spell, register every common misspelling of its name. Unfortunately for Wal-Mart, a domain speculator (aka, cyber squatter) had already registered “wallmart.com.”
Register every domain people might use to find your company. That includes products and services your company offers. Then point all these domains to your home page and visitors will be automatically redirected there. Domain names are cheap and can help you avoid losing a customer.
Finally, no matter what your name is or how many domains you’ve registered, it’s a good idea to support the domain name. Incorporate it into your site’s logo and put your domain name on all company collateral materials. In a digital age, your company’s web site is its electronic business card.