Domain names are the first step in implementing your Internet marketing business plan. Domain name represents your brand. Many people know very well the importance of brand in the “offline” but even those can make mistakes in their Internet brand management. Domain name is the first step in successful Internet brand management.
Choosing a domain name
It is not easy to register a good domain name (especially dot com), these days. According to domain name statistics on the most popular web site for whois searches Whois Source there are more than 57 million active generic top level domains registered as of September, 2005. Majority of these domain names are .com names. You can view this statistics if you visit http://www.whois.sc/internet-statistics/
It is sure that you can’t register a classy one-word domain name but with a little knowledge and appropriate services you can find a decent one, especially if you are not interested only in .com names. Useful site for finding decent domains is above mentioned Whois Source – http://www.whois.sc There you will find a free service that will give you 20 domain suggestions based on your keyword. Also, on the Internet you can find software that focus on domain names. Using free software Domain Name Analyzer you can make a list of domain names and this software will check availability of all included domains so you won’t have to check one-by-one which is time-consuming. Also this program will give you useful suggestions.
Another useful thing in find decent domain names is using expired domain name or back-ordering services. Using the first service you will get the list of expired domain names where you can find some really nice names with a little luck. However, it is not easy because many people use those services and some companies have special infrastructure that check availability of certain domain names every second and register them. You will have better chance to get your desired domain using back-ordering services. These services will monitor for domains you want to register and once they expire they will make register them on your behalf. Popular services are SnapNames.com and Pool.com.
It is recommended that your domain name be short, catchy, brandable and most important – easy to remember! You can register a domain name that has no obvious connections with your business but that is cool. Then you will have to invest more money in branding. With good domain name you will save thousand and thousand dollars in advertising, especially in TV advertising. If you are an email marketer domains are also very important because getting email subscribers without well designed web site is not recommended. It is recommended that the name of your domain be the same like your email newsletter name. You can make “teaser” articles in your email newsletter so that your readers will have to visit your web site in order to read complete articles and vice-versa. You can put “teaser” articles on your web site and require that people subscribe to your email newsletter to read complete articles.
Also, in order to find out popularity of certain keyword combinations you can use keyword suggestion services. We can recommend you these services:
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Keyword Suggestion Tool
You can use Google, enter your keyword combination and see how much results you will get.
If you are in process of registering a domain name we can suggest you these two great companies:
Go Daddy – http://www.godaddy.com
Namecheap – http://www.namecheap.com
Internet brand management
We will take our company Infacta, Ltd. as an example. Infacta is Ireland-based company so it is logical that we registered http://www.infacta.ie. However, although we are Ireland-based company we focus globally. This can prove the fact that we have clients in more than 130 countries world-wide. So, it is also logical that we have a domain name in .com extension, too. Dot com domain name is considered as a global domain name for companies. Many people think that it is enough to have 2 domain names. For successful Internet brand management it is not enough. Beside, .ie and .com domains, Infacta owns domains in all major generic top level domain extensions (gtld) like .net, .org and .info. This is to prevent people or companies to use other Infacta name in other extensions that can confuse our customers and make harm to our brand. Beside that, we registered domain names for our products GroupMail and GroupMetrics in different domain extensions. Other famous companies have literally hundred and even thousand domains in their portfolio for each country where they have a presence and for their services. That is called a professional brand management.
There is also one more thing that can show how serious one company is regarding their domain names and Internet presence, in general. That is domain expiration date. Domain names expire. After that (preferably before that) date domain owners have to renew them. When you make whois inquiry about certain domain name, for example at http://www.whois.sc , beside registrant info you will see an expiration date. Imagine that you want to see an expiration date of your email marketing software company and you see that the expiration date is the next year or even this year. This doesn’t sound promising if you want a reliable business partner that will be in the business in the next 10 years, too, that you can count on. It is not only important because of whois searches and credibility, it is important because of search engines. Google gives better placement for companies that have domains registered for longer period. It is a sure indicator that it is a stable business and that they won’t go anywhere. Infacta domain name http://www.infacta.com expires in 2011.
There are some services that can help you in Internet brand management, to monitor that someone else is not using your trademarked names. One of those companies that offer brand monitoring services is NameProtect, Inc. at http://www.nameprotect.com Also, it is highly recommended that before you register your domain name to visit http://www.uspto.gov to check if your name that you want to register has been trademarked to avoid possible problem and law suits later. USPTO is official web site of the United States Government for patents and trademarks. Here you can also register your patent, trademark or service mark.
If your company’s name has a good, generic name and you want to register a domain, it is most likely that the .com domain will be taken. Sometimes, it is good choice to buy it from the actual owner. Also, you can buy domain names that are highly connected with your products and services and that will help you in Internet marketing.
The most popular web sites for buying/selling domain names are:
Sedo – http://www.sedo.com
Great Domains – [http://www.GreatDomains.com]
Afternic – http://www.afternic.com