Have you ever heard about famous people having to buy their own names to get a website? It happens all the time. As soon as a wannabe celebrity gets noticed, some enterprising person will purchase all of the domain names that could be associated with that person’s name. Then when that celebrity wants to get their own website, they have to buy their name – usually at an inflated cost.
ARE YOU FAMOUS?
Now, this only works if you’re famous. For instance, if you type in “General Motors”, one of the top results will be the official GM website. If you type in “Barack Obama” or “Mitt Romney”, one of the first sites you’ll see listed is the official one.
However, if you are not famous, there is no point in using your name, or the name of your company, as your domain name. That’s because nobody will look for you – it’s just a fact. If you WANT a domain name all your own for the fun of it, that’s one thing. But, most people developing a web site are doing it to make money, and that means customers have to find you. That means you have to get a domain name that people look for.
WHAT DO YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT?
What do you sell? If you sell services, what are the most trafficked keywords for those services? THOSE are the domain names you need to pursue. So if you are an exterminator in the San Francisco Bay area, look for domain names using keywords based on that service: pest control San Francisco Bay, exterminators San Francisco Bay, San Francisco Bay pest control, tec. Chances are, most of them have been bought. However, if you’ll go to an online domain auction, you can often find the domain names you want. Domain registries will have many domains that are sitting dormant. After a period of time, if the owner doesn’t do anything with the domain, the registrar will auction off the name.
You may have to pay a little more for an auctioned domain, but it will make a big difference in your traffic.
Is there commonly a plural and a singular of your service? For example: exterminator San Francisco Bay, exterminators San Francisco Bay. You may want to have more than one domain name, and link them all to your website. You can really get tangled up in this, so don’t stress over it. But, you may want to get a domain name in your company’s name, too, just to be sure that when someone DOES type in your company name, they get your website. So, when they type in “XYZ Exterminators”, or San Francisco Bay exterminators, they go to the same place.
CONSIDER MULTIPLE EXTENSIONS
You may also want all three of the international extensions: “.com”, “.net”, and “.org”. If yours is a strictly commercial site, this may be unnecessary. Most people automatically type in the “.com” extension, However, if your site will have “.net” or “.org” development, you need to be prepared for that.
Care with your domain names is vital for successful web design. Don’t be afraid to spend a little money on this one.