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Marketing a Domain
How your domain name fits into your marketing plans should be part of your thinking from the very start. This article gives tips about marketing a domain name as part of an overall marketing approach to maximize the value of your ecommerce efforts.
Choosing a Domain Name with Marketing in Mind
Thinking about marketing your domain name is a good thing to have in mind from the very first moment that you begin brainstorming possible domain names. The name of your business, the name of your flagship product, your product niche, and your own name are all possible content to consider in choosing a domain name. Of course, your choice can be hampered by the fact that domain names are registered on a first-come-first-served basis plus the fact that people buy domain names speculatively in order to sell them at a (huge) profit to someone who needs it for their business. Whatever approach you take to choosing your domain, in order to be able to market it effectively, it will be ideal if it includes potent keywords. A domain name that is keyword-rich will be indispensable in drawing targeted traffic to your website. Keyword utilities are available that can help you find keywords relevant to your business, if you need assistance.
Second, your domain should be short and memorable. Amazon.com is much easier to remember than myreallygreatbook-store.com, especially with the hyphen. Hyphens and underscores can impede customers ability to type the site name accurately into their browser.
The Top Level Domain (TLD) of your website is another key element in creating a website that will be marketable. Unless you have a good reason to use a TLD like .biz, .info, .org - perhaps because it is such a good fit with your company's business or name - the advice still holds to choose .com if you can and .net as a second choice. Since most websites are still .com, it remains the extension that your customers are likely to guess if they cannot remember your URL exactly.
One exception to everything said so far is if you can create a clever and memorable name by using, for example, a country extension. This is sometimes called a "domain name hack" or "domain hack." Unlike other terms with hack in them, domain name hack does not mean that there is some wrongdoing and has nothing to do with phishing sites that mimic legitimate domains - it only means that some "creative" use has been made of the domain names to create the webstie's title. For example:
• the URL shortener Bilty uses the .ly extension of Libya to make it's URL bit.ly
• Delicious, the social bookmarking web service, uses del.icio.us, incorporating the .us extension of the United States
• The WhoIs service, which collects the registration information for every domain, is registered as who.is, using the country extension of Iceland.
More Tips for Marketing a Domain Name
Once you've settled on your domain name, there are other marketing strategies you can apply. First, consider including your domain name in your logo. And don't make the mistake of only using your domain on the Internet. Print it on your letterhead, include it in your email signature, feature it on your business cards, and include it in your print advertisements. If you have a retail store, emblazon it on your shopping bags, and if you're operating completely online, have it printed on the side of the boxes you use to send out your products. If you've chosen a short, catchy name, it won't clutter up any of these, and the frequent contact with it will help embed it in your customers' minds.
You can also consider the possibility of using multiple domain names, all leading to the same landing page, or leading to different pages on your website, if you sell diverse products that appeal to vastly different audiences. For starters, if you have managed to obtain the .com version of your domain name, registering the .net version, too, is a good idea, if only to keep others from doing so and to avoid misdirection of customers who forget you're a .com and type .net by accident. A redirect from the .net will take care of this issue.
Related Article: Reselling Domain Names >>
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