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Domains

Maintain Total Control of Your Domain

Managing your domain portfolio just got a little easier!

In the last 20 years, your domain name has gone from being an afterthought to becoming a core part of your business and branding. But there are still many small business owners who don’t give it enough thought, or who utilize practices that make it more difficult for users (and search engines) to “find” them.

As it turns out, a badly picked domain name can break your business. That’s why we encourage all of our clients to take the following steps before settling on a final selection.

 

1. Keep It Simple

The worst thing you can do is pick a domain name that the average user won’t possibly remember. Simplicity is key. If the name of your company is available, you might consider sticking with that. If it isn’t — not unusual — consider a name that clearly identifies what you do (think keywords) and where you’re located (geographic location, by state, city, or even neighborhood). Avoid the temptation to get cutesy or clever.

 

2. Brevity Is a Virtue

Aside from simple, your domain name should be short. While this isn’t as much of an issue once your customer has the page saved in their bookmarks or Internet search history, long names can present a slight barrier to entry. But on the web, even the slightest barrier can be an enormous obstacle given the choices visitors have at their disposal. Also, the longer the name, the more likely it could be mistyped, resulting in the user being taken to an unrelated page. If that unrelated page is a competitor, then you could end up losing out.

 

3. Make It Memorable

Again, memorable doesn’t mean clever. In fact, you’ll attract many more eyeballs and search hits by sticking with the first two principles.

 

4. Do Your Research

When positioning yourself within a specific industry, it never hurts to do some legwork and even seek legal advice regarding things like copyright and trademark infringement. Nothing is more frustrating than setting up a website, establishing yourself as a local authority, and then having a bigger company in the same space come along with a cease-and-desist letter because your brand aligns too closely with theirs.

Even if you won a lawsuit over it, there’s a distinct possibility you’d really “lose” from all the unnecessary legal costs spent on fighting your case.

 

5. Get Your Extension Right

The most popular extension on the web since the beginning of the Internet has been “.com.” But it may not be the most appropriate for your business, and you can even harness the extension to make your domain name even more memorable. (Refer back to principle 3.)

Let’s say you have a pizza restaurant named Smith Brothers Pizza. You could try something like SmithBrothersPizza.com. Perfectly acceptable. Or, if that one is taken, you could opt for something more creative like SmithBrothers.pizza. The Internet is allowing more and more businesses to get creative with their extensions, and that may be an option worth considering. We can help you determine if decisions like that are in your best interests. But you also can’t forget the next step, which, in our opinion, is critical to branding.

 

6. Protecting Your Brand Through Multiple Domains

You’ve settled on the right domain name, so you should be done: right? Wrong! You don’t want to stop with the purchase of a “.com,” if at all possible. Here’s why. We’ll go back to the SmithBrothers.pizza for an example.

This business owner should consider buying up other potentially “obvious” domain names like “SmithBrothersPizza.com, .net, and maybe even SmithBrothersPizzaDallas.com, SmithBrothersPizzaFortWorth.com, etc., provided they’re geographically-targeted.

See, domain names by themselves are generally cheap and easy to claim. You can save costs by only hosting one domain — the main one from which you want to do business. Buying the others acts as a safeguard against someone else coming in, buying the other domains, and “stealing” all of your traffic by redirecting each one to their webpage of choice.

It’s much easier to protect your brand identity if you own each of these offshoots and whenever someone types one in from memory, it directs them to the right location.

 

7. Do Not Wait

If the domain of your choice is available, don’t delay. It’s a very small cost, and it ensures you won’t have to go back to the drawing board should someone try to buy it out from under you. You can always wait to purchase hosting until you’re ready.

At Status26, we help our clients complement their branding with a strong online presence. That starts with choosing and protecting their domain name. If you are ready to take that step, we’re definitely ready to help. Contact us to learn more about our services, or to get set up with affordable web hosting for your domain of choice. We look forward to speaking with you! 

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