Discount Domain Names

The real work of domain name system happens is a very distributed, very desentralized way

Month: November 2015

4 Ways Your Domain Name Can Make or Break Your Business

If you’re starting a new business and you think you’re ready to give it a name, pause one second. You’re going to build a website for your new enterprise soon and with that you’ll need a suitable domain name. Picking the right one is so intertwined with naming a business these days that the process is almost one and the same. This is exactly why you should use the following four methods of discovery as a guide to ensure that you pick a domain name that will make, and not break, your business.

1. Searching for extensions

The first step in the process is to understand the importance of getting a dot-com domain name. Everyone from investors to potential customers see this as an indicator of the credibility of your business. With all the different domain extensions that have been enabled over the last several years, it’s incredibly easy for a new business to settle for something like a dot-info, dot-people, or dot-business extension.

Don’t do it. The internet has been a part of our culture for a very long time now and dot-com is what people are accustomed to. Of course, it’s getting harder by the day to find a dot-com domain name that fits your business, but go for it. Get creative. This process is important since it can actually determine the name of companies and brands.

If you truly must settle, you can get away with a dot-net, and while not politically correct, a dot-org–though typically those are supposed to be reserved for nonprofits. But even if you do get the dot-com you want, grab these extensions as well so none of your competitors can.

2. Spelling/pronunciation/length

When searching for that golden dot-com domain name, keep the following three factors in mind: spelling, pronunciation, and length. If you get one of these wrong it could decrease the chances of people discovering your website.

“Basically the domain has to be easy to say to someone in conversation,” says Andrew Rosener of MediaOptions.com. “It should be something they can easily remember, something they can jot down or enter into their phones without any problem. Long URLs will most likely be forgotten. Words with weird spellings often get confused or mixed up. If you can’t pronounce it, you might have not only a domain problem, but a branding problem in general.”

3. Including keywords

Developers and designers of new websites often now keep SEO practices in mind as they create and launch their online presence. One way to get a boost is by including an important keyword in the domain name.

However, there are some caveats to remember with this method. The first is to include a keyword only if it really makes sense. You have to ask yourself an important question: Does this keyword encompass the most important element of your business today, tomorrow, and five years from now? For example, if you’re opening a comic book store, chances are the name “action-comics.com” is a good one to go with. If your business is going to encompass much more (say, for example, the venture is also an online lifestyle/fashion brand), you might want to skip a comics-related keyword.

One final note here. See the hyphen in the above example? Stick to only one if you are including one at all. If possible, you should avoid using hyphens, which Moz has suggested for some time now. Most important, Google doesn’t appear to appreciate hyphens either. Try to avoid these if you can, to prevent any possible damage to your future search engine rankings.

4. Originality and branding

Some think that using keywords in your domain name is a good idea only if it fits your brand. It could be that this works best for more local, brick-and-mortar style businesses, or those that are very specialized. But what if you’re going for a bigger branding idea? John Rampton from Hostt says forget the keywords and come up with something completely original.

“Think about some of the big tech brands that exist today, like Google or Yahoo. Want to know why those names fit their brands so well? It’s because for the most part they are completely original words. Our minds didn’t really have a concept of what these names meant before we ever heard them, so the companies behind them could easily create the image of what they meant to us from scratch. Heck, Google has since become a verb.”

There are a lot of elements that go into finding the perfect domain name, and you can see in the examples above that the process can even determine the name of your business. Have fun, get creative, and also remember that the domain you pick today doesn’t have to be the one you stick with forever. It’s all a part of an ongoing branding effort that you may change and adjust along the way.

 

top tips for marketing your web site

Here are some great tips for marketing your web site to make sure that prospective customers know where and how to find your business.

1. Think of your domain name as a short classified advert
Choose your domain name carefully. Consider the value of multiple
domain names to increase the chances of catching passing traffic. Use
domain name strategies to attract customers from particular geographical
areas; for example in the UK, 72% of adults visit a .uk web site first when
browsing or shopping online. When faced with a list of domain names on
a search engine, people don’t necessarily click on the top one, but quickly
scan for a link that sounds appealing, useful or interesting.

2. Be aware of opportunities for publicising your business
Proactive media relations (with online and offline publications) are a core
element of many marketing strategies and an extremely useful tool for
raising awareness within a target audience. Be aware of opportunities to
publicise your business – ranging from new product launches and
promotional offers to charity initiatives and executive appointments – and
use them as opportunities to drive traffic to your web site.

3. Mention your web site URL at every opportunity
Include it in email signatures, marketing literature, business cards,
adverts, promotional gifts, packaging material ….the opportunities are
endless! Also consider offering online services, such as a delivery tracker
for goods ordered or discounts for online purchases, in order to drive
repeat traffic to your web site.

4. Make your web site more than a shop window
Research shows that, in Britain alone, 5.4 million Internet users research
buying decisions online before completing their purchase in the shops.
Providing a free information resource for people to research their
decisions is a very effective way of attracting traffic – therefore
prospective customers – to your web site.

5. Search engines remain the first port of call for finding a web site
With more than 95% of web surfers using search engines to find what
they are looking for, achieving a high ranking is often regarded as the holy
grail of online marketing. Search engines tend to apply individual
techniques for ordering and displaying results making this even more of a
challenge, but there are experts who specialise in optimising search
engine rankings.

6. Consider a paid for listing on major search engines
Whilst some consumers prefer to sift through search results, others find it
easier to look at the paid for listings services that are provided by most
major search engines. This can be a way of ensuring that your company
is listed on the front page of a relevant search query every time.

7. Banner ads should be treated with caution
Few people tend to knowingly click on banner ads and instead they are
often regarded as an irritant for Internet users with few generating a good
click through rate. The problem is that they are rarely designed to provide
a compelling reason to be followed, so, if you do choose to include banner
ads within your marketing strategy, make sure that they have a clear ‘call
to action’ and are attractive and interesting.

8. Explore the opportunities of affiliate marketing
Links from other web sites can drive traffic between sites hosting
complementary goods and services, raising awareness of both as a
result. Do your research and make sure you are partnering with reputable
companies that will enhance your own profile and market perception.

9. Invest in tracking software to understand your market
Tracking software is a valuable tool for monitoring the number of visitors
to your web site, tracing navigators around the site and measuring
conversion into actual transactions. The more advanced tracking tools on
the market also enable you to see from which sites or search engines
customers arrive, as well as where they go afterwards. This can help you
to target your marketing efforts and also provide insight into buying
behaviours.

10. Open customer dialogue channels
Create interactivity through your web site and make every effort to get to
know your customers, what they want and how they shop. Registration,
loyalty schemes and customer feedback forms are all great ways of
collecting information, which can then be used to feed into an effective
marketing programme for your web site.

An Introduction to Buying and Selling Domain Names

The domain name industry is extremely active and competitive, which makes it no surprise that so many people are becoming involved in buying and selling domain names on a daily basis. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation online concerning the value and selling process of domain names.

If you’re interested in profiting from one of the fastest growing industries in the world, then it’s important to have the facts on domaineering.

Types of Domain Speculation

Domain speculation is the art of judging the value of buying and selling domain names. For many individuals and businesses, this practice has become a full-time profitable job.

There are currently two main types of domain speculators: those that buy domains, build sites around them, and then flip the domain and accompanying website, and then there are those that buy and sell domain names without web sites attached. While both can be very lucrative businesses, the second type is much easier for novices to learn, and as such, shall be the topic of discussion for this article.

How to Obtain Valuable Domain Names

Buying a domain name is simple, however, finding one that will actually yield a profit is much more difficult. There are a myriad of factors that determine the value of a domain name, but the major factors are memorability and keyword/SEO optimization.

One of the best ways to obtain a valuable domain that is already search engine optimized is to purchase existing domains via auction sites.  This strategy can be beneficial mainly in two ways.  Firstly, any domain that has already been purchased was probably already researched for potential benefits.  Secondly and more importantly, the second benefit is that many recently expired domains still retain some of the search engine optimization attributes that were built up by the previous owner. For example, a recently expired domain name may still have active backlinks on the web, and the page rank of the domain could still be high, giving the purchaser instant SEO gratification with minimal effort.

Using keyword research tools is another great way to find out which domains could prove to be valuable, as many webmasters use such tools when deciding which domains to buy. If you can obtain a domain name that contains a popular keyword, then you can easily find a buyer in most cases.

Selling the Domain Name

Acquiring what you believe may be a valuable domain name is the easiest part of the equation.  Finding the right  buyer is much more difficult. Using auction sites and forums is perhaps the best way to find qualified buyers that are interested in your domain, and using auctions will take some of the stress away from establishing the value of a domain name yourself.

If your domain name is related to a particular niche, then you may find success by advertising in forums that are related to that niche. Simply placing a link in the signature of your posts can tremendously speed up the selling process. While it may be possible to find prospective webmasters on niche-specific forums, it is generally better to advertise on webmaster forums, where there is a high volume of potential customers.

Most auction sites will be heavy with competition, and many of the domains for sale also include a full pre-constructed web site that may already be generating a profit. Before listing your domain for sale, it is important to ensure that you’re not stepping into a market that is saturated with full website and domain packages.

Domain Name Squatting and Volume Selling

Unfortunately, most domain names take at least a couple of months to sell, especially without an attached website. Thus, there is no need to become discouraged if your domain name does not sell immediately. Most people make the mistake of quitting their domain speculation endeavor after waiting for several months to sell without success. In reality, domain name squatting can be just as profitable, and it is a valid form of long term investing.

Consider, for example, the domain name hammocks.com. How much was this domain name worth in 1995 vs. 2010?  For the domaineer with patience, hammocks.com sold in 2010 for $700,000, surely a significantly higher amount than it would have secured in the 1990s.

Instead of focusing on one domain name to sell quickly, try selling large volumes of domain names over longer periods of time. While this may require a more substantial investment, it will also return a greater profit in the long term. Remember, if you follow the basic principles of domain name speculation, there is good chance that your domain names will sell eventually.

The Basics of Domain Name Registration

Domain names are words or phrases that are combined with a domain TLD to access a website through a browser.  In simple terms, the domain name is just the name of your web site. It is important to note that it is possible to have several domain names pointing to the same web site through the process of URL forwarding.

It is also possible to own a domain name without associating it with a web site; when this is done it is called a “parked” domain, as it is not yet being used.

Registering a domain is usually a simple process, and most people can do so without assistance. However, if you’re having trouble understanding the domain name registration process, then you may want to consider the following information.

Where to Buy Domain Names

Domain names are sold by domain registrars that have access to the DNS database. Many web hosting companies are also domain name registrars, and some even offer package deals that include discounts for hosting plans and domain names bundled together.  In fact, some web hosts offer free domain names with certain hosting plans. Often times you can receive a discount when purchasing multiple domain extensions simultaneously.

Aside from standard domain registrars, it is also possible to purchase aged domains from domain auction sites. Purchasing an aged domain has many benefits, including better search engine optimization attributes with no effort.

During the domain name registration, there are a variety of options to choose from, some of which can be confusing to the novice webmaster. The following information may help you make the best decisions during the registration process.

Domain Name Extensions

The first option you’ll need to consider is the domain name extension, which is basically the letters that appear after the last dot. For example, .com is a domain name extension. While most people tend to choose a .com domain, it may be best to research the meaning of each extension before choosing one that is suitable for your web site.  There are now an abundance of extensions, such as .org, .net, .co, .tv, and a plethora of country-specific domain extensions.

The domain extension is the main factor that will affect the cost of the domain registration. Dot com domains tend to cost the most, with a yearly registration costing about $10 from most domain registrars. The cheapest domain extension other than free domains is .info, which usually only costs about $1 per year. Free domain names include .tk and .cc, however, it is important to note that these domains generally have a harder time ranking higher in the search engine results.

Registration Length

When registering a domain, you have the option of choosing how long you would like to lease the domain. Usually, the typical time periods available are 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years. Most professional business owners register domains for 10 years at a time, as this will prevent any unnecessary expiration and/or loss of the domain. However, if you don’t want to spare the additional expense of registering the domain for long periods of time, then it should be noted that adequate notification is usually issued by the domain registrar before the domain registration expires.

Registration Privacy

Another important option to consider during the registration is whether or not you would like the domain ownership details to be private. When you register a domain name, by default, the contact and billing information for the domain are stored in a publicly viewable database known as the WHOIS database.

Contrary to popular belief, this database is often used by marketers (including telemarketers) to send harassing advertisements. The information can also be used for legal disputes or personal vendettas as well. If you don’t want your name, address, phone number and other personal information available to the public, then you may want to consider private domain registration. The option for private registration is offered by most domain registrars, and it usually only costs about $10 extra per year.

Business Certification

You’ll also have the option of certifying the domain as an official business entity, which offers a variety of advantages. Certifying a domain usually only costs about $2- $5, depending upon the particular registrar. Having a certified domain will mean that you can legally prove ownership in court using a printed certificate of the domain registration. If you plan on using your web site to operate an official business, then you may want to consider the benefits of certifying your domain name during the registration process.