Imagine an internet where if you wanted to connect to a web site or email someone you needed to remember a series of numbers and dots called an IP (internet protocol) address in the form of 126.96.36.199. From 1973 until the mid ’80s this was the method by which a connected computer system that eventually became the world wide web was able to communicate.
Fortunately, in 1984 the first ‘name servers’ were developed – basically a series of computers that would translate ‘company.com’ into it’s respective IP address. And thus the gold mine began! The guys with the foresight to register money.com, business.com, insurance.com, finance.com and any number of other one word, easily remembered domains would eventually become millionaires. No need to build a web site or business around the domain – just the name itself was worth millions. Just like in the real world where a patch of bare land in Manhattan is like gold – domain names are the real estate of today’s world and location is everything.
So, how do you choose a domain name in today’s world when the vast majority of easily recognizable names are already registered. Let’s start with what is called the ‘top level domain’ – .com, .edu, .net, .info, .biz, .tv, .me, etc. Unless you have a specific reason to buy one of the alternatives (e.g. – bite.me) the most valuable, most recognized and easily remembered is a .com domain. Most people if they only remember the first part of your domain (startamicrobusiness of startamicrobusiness.com) will instinctively add the .com at the end. If you own startamicrobusiness.net you’re going to lose a lot of visitors and wasted marketing efforts to the guy who owns startamicrobusiness.com.
Which brings us to the part of your domain that goes in front of the .com. Most companies will instinctively choose the name of their business (billscleaning.com), and you’ll probably still want to register that just so a competitor doesn’t buy it, but you’ll also want to think outside the box a bit. What are some phrases that people will type in to search for your business niche? 24 hour plumber? If so, 24hourplumber.com is going to easily outrank you in the search engine listings just as frenchcookingtips.com will easily outrank cullinaryinstitute.com.
Now that I have you thinking outside the box you’re probably wondering how to choose between several good options? You don’t! When I began registering domain names 15 yrs ago they were $75/yr each. With the current competition in the marketplace you can register your favorite names (and you’ll want several) for around $10/yr (namecheap.com)
Start with one main web site and point all your domains to it. As you continue to develop your internet presence peel off your other domains one at a time and start a small niche web site for each one. The beauty of this strategy is that the search engines love very focused web sites and will rank your individual domain sites higher than if you had several different branches on one main site.
There’s another benefit to this strategy. I have several niche’s that I one 4 – 6 domain names based on a couple of search term phrases. The beauty is that in a few common search phrases in that niche when someone does a Google search for that phrase, 4 of my sites (all different domain names) are in the top 10 rank. The chances of someone finding me on the internet are 4 times greater than the guy who put all his eggs in one basket with only one domain name.
Send me a note if you have any questions – search for your perfect domain names at http://dean-martin.com/namecheap.