Get The Right Domain Name

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Introduction – Domain Names Work

Registering a Domain Name (website address) is like registering your business name. It is your identity and location on the Internet. www.YourBusinessName

With over 80 million Domain Names cancelled already (deleted from registries), you realise that a lot of money has been wasted on registration fees, web design and advertising. It is vitally important that you make the right decision first time. This article will provide you with all that you need to know to carefully plan and consider your options, then make a powerful decision.

When you have your own Domain Name registered it is transferable to any web hosting server. Just like a driver’s license can be used to drive any make of car; it’s your name and address wherever you go. This also means that your Email addresses will always stay the same regardless of which Internet Service Provider you are using.

TIP: Don’t use a generic Email address from your ISP for business purposes. It looks very unprofessional. Also, if you change Internet providers your Email address will change.

How Domain Names Work

It is your location and identity (brand name) on the Internet.

Using the example www.AustralianWebsiteMarketing.com.au
www. stands for the World Wide Web
futuresuccess represents the brand name of the business or entity
.com reflects a commercial purpose
.au reflects the country, in this case it is Australia

Domain Names are text based to make them easy for humans to remember. But the Internet actually addresses by a numbering system (called IP addresses). For example the web address www.AustralianWebsiteMarketing.com.au corresponds to the IP address 203.202.16.107

The translation from a text based Domain Name to an IP address is done automatically by a Domain Name Server (DNS). It is an invisible process to the Internet user.

Domain Names for Internet Only Businesses

When you are an Internet only business like Amazon.com or Google.com then your website address needs to stand alone as a brand name. For a pure Internet business all they have is their website address. You don’t pass their shop as you drive down the road. They only exist on the Internet, so their Domain Name is their most valuable asset. If you are planning an Internet only business then you had better come up with a great web address. It needs to be easy to remember, pronounce and spell.

You can build and promote your domain Name like a brand, building name equity / value. A brand is not just a physical thing like a logo or a tagline. It has an emotional element that is intangible; like reputation, image and values. Its value is what it means in the mind of a consumer.

Let’s look at Coke as an example. The entire company is valued at $83 billion US dollars. A whopping 59% of that market capitalisation (value) is the brand. Only 41% of the companies value is tangible assets like real estate and delivery trucks. The Coke brand equity is worth more value than the money in their bank, their manufacturing plants, real estate, vehicles, and all the other stuff that Coke owns.

Look at these examples Yahoo, eBay, Amazon, Seek, MSN. Notice how easy to remember, spell and pronounce these Domain Names are!

Off-line Business Registering a Domain Name

If you are a traditional off-line business, then you will probably be using your website to support what you are already doing in the real world. In this case your Domain Name should reflect your Business Name. Your Business Name has value and trust built into it, which is vitally important to your clients. So when they visit your website or they are looking for your website they will logically expect the names to reflect each other.

www.barnesandnoble.com chose a domain name to reflect their off-line brand. They have over 500 real-world (bricks and mortar) super stores around the world. Their web address leverages itself and benefits from a very strong off-line brand name.

I wanted to find out when the Sydney Kings basketball team were playing at the Entertainment Centre next, so I assumed the website address was www.sydneykings.com.au – I was right. With no hassle or frustration I found their website and got the information I needed. Sydney Kings got my business.

I wanted to get more details on a pay-per-view TV event on the Main Event channel. So I opened my Internet browser and assumed the address was www.mainevent.com.au – I was right. No hassle and no frustration. The extra information that I was able to help myself to was enough to complete my buying decision. They got my business.

In my own real-world business I provide a knowledge sharing service as a Website Marketing consultant, presenter and trainer. The focus is sharing my expertise and educating business people in the real world. I am a real world business and my website is a vital tool that helps me achieve that objective. Because I am a real world business my Domain Name reflects my Business Name. The name of my business is Australian Website Marketing. My website address is www.AustralianWebsiteMarketing.com.au.

Important Naming Considerations

If you know what website address you want to register and it is available, don’t hesitate. Register it immediately. Otherwise the address on the Internet could be taken by someone else. www.domain-not-available-to-you.com.au

On the Internet, the shorter the name the better. Here is a hypothetical example to illustrate the point. A business name like “Clean Away Cleaning Services Pty Ltd” would not translate well as www.cleanawaycleaningservices.com.au. This long web address is too long and confusing to promote, or for users to remember, or type into a web browser. A better alternative would be “www.cleanaway.com.au” or “ www.clean-away.com.au”.

– Simple and easy to remember.

– Less chance of the user making a spelling error when entering the address into the browser.

– If a person is presented with several competitors’ web addresses, they will go for the option that is the shortest and easiest.

Names that rhyme are always easy to remember:

– Coca-Cola

– Weight Watchers

– Marilyn Monroe

Make sure that you listen to the name: is it easy to say and does it sound good.

Don’t just choose names that look good printed on paper.

If you are launching a website selling one thing but intend to evolve over time to sell different items, then have a flexible name. www.amazon.com started out selling books only, now they sell many other unrelated things. On the other hand a website like www.flowers.com doesn’t have a lot of room to move.

Don’t use common prefixes in your domain name like “e” www.eFlowers.com or “net” www.netFlowers.com . They are becoming so common that consumers can be confused about who’s who. You need to be unique, especially in years to come when the number of web addresses increases exponentially and advertising of Domain Names reaches saturation. You need to stand out in the consumers mind. What a waste if your potential customer went to your competitor’s site by accident and you lost the business.

It could be dangerous to use generic category names like “flowers” “travel”, etc, because they may never be thought of as a brand name by consumers. These sort of names are working well and are popular while the Internet is in its infancy. But they may not work so well once strong Internet brands become established.

Website browsers are not case sensitive so it doesn’t matter if you use capital letters or not. FutureSuccess.com.au is the same as futuresuccess.com.au This can be beneficial when promoting your Domain Name on business cards and other printed materials.

If the Domain Name that you want has already been registered by another business, try creating a slight variation. Hyphenating ( If www.webworld.com is not available, try www.web-world.com ) You can also add a generic name ( If www.erin.com is not available, try www.erinbooks.com ).

Make sure that you register a suitable Domain Name for your business. Definitely do not use a free Domain Name provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). Nothing looks more unprofessional than a business using a free generic www.MyISP.I-am-2-cheap.com web address.

TIP: When naming your company consider using the business founder or owners name. J.P.Morgan sounds good. Hewlett Packard sounds good. Ernst & Young sounds good. If your name sounds corny then change it. The designer Ralph Lifshitz changed his name to Ralph Lauren.

How Many Domain Names Should Be Registered?

For most businesses only one Domain Name is necessary. But it may be beneficial to register more than one Domain Name if potential customers know you by more than one name or are likely to look for you at more than one possible address.

A good example is my business name www.AustralianWebsiteMarketing.com.au and my professional speaking name www.lukehayes.com.au both open the same website.

If your audience is only in Australia, then you only need to register a .com.au Domain Name. But if you have an international strategy, a global target audience, then you should also register the .com Domain Name or the domain extension for the country extensions which you will be targeting.

Examples of different country domain extensions;

.com.au Australia

.co.uk United Kingdom

.co.nz New Zealand

A good example of an organisation which has several websites around the world with different content and Domain Names to suit each country is Yahoo. www.yahoo.com.au for Australia, www.yahoo.co.uk for the United Kingdom.

Having multiple Domain Names doesn’t mean that you have to have two or more websites. You can simply redirect the extra addresses that you have registered to point to the location of your website. But if your strategy is global and you’re targeting different cultures then it will probably be necessary to have different websites.

Domain Name Extensions

.com.au

For Australian commercial entities.

.net.au

For large corporate networks and internet service providers.

.org.au

For use by non-profit community-based organisations and charities.

.gov.au

Reserved for Australian government and semi-government entities.

.edu.au

Reserved for Australian education and tertiary institutions.

.asn.au

For Australian associations.

.id.au

For use by Australian residents and citizens.

.com

Can be registered by any organisation or individual anywhere in the world. As long as the name is available, you may register it.

.net

Can be registered by any organisation or individual anywhere in the world. As long as the name is available, you may register it.

.org

Can be registered by any organisation or individual anywhere in the world. As long as the name is available, you may register it.

.biz

For commercial entities wishing to have a global presence.

.info

For commercial entities wishing to have a global presence.

Is The Domain Name That You Want Available?

When registering a Domain Name there can only be one unique address registered. It is first in, best dressed.

One place that you can check the availability of domain names is at www.inww.com.au (Internet Names WorldWide) If someone has already registered the name that you want, there isn’t much that you can do about it. If you want to contact the owner of a Domain Name you can go through their website or use the WHO IS link on the Internet Names Worldwide website.

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