Jacob and wolf pack domainsIf you are starting a business or already have a business and want to increase your customers there is nothing better than buying the right domain name. It may cost a bit more initially but it is essential if you want to stand out from your competitors.

There are a lot of ideas out there on what constitutes a good domain name but I’m going to tell you the most important thing is to buy a targeted keyword domain name that has natural type-in traffic. For example, let’s say there is a guy named Bob Buttons and he owns a flower shop. Bob decides to buy a domain name so he picks up BobButtonsAndSons.com and hires someone to build a website. Months go by and not one person has bought flowers from Bob’s site and he just can’t understand why. I will tell you why, it’s because people can’t find his site. When Bob’s customers are looking for flowers the first thing they will probably do is type “buy flowers” into the search bar or maybe “nyc flower shop” if they are in New York City. Unless they know Bob’s shop by name they are not going to search for it. So what could Bob do differently? Well, he could spend his life savings on advertising to build his brand, but the better solution would be to buy a targeted keyword domain. Now, since Bob is a smaller business he may not be able to afford flowers.com or maybe that name is already in use. His next option could be to buy nycflowers.com, buyflowers.com, or even bobsflowers.com if they are available. These names have the keyword “flowers” and are short and easy to remember.

Many people believe that having a super long domain name like bobsgreatflowershopinnewyorkcity.com is good because it has the keyword “flowers” and “new york city”. Wrong. First, no one is going to type in that long name let alone remember it. Second, it will be nearly impossible to get on the first page of a search engine if you are in an industry that is highly competitive.

People are also told that they can buy a domain name with dashes or hyphens between the words like bobs-flower-shop.com and it will get them priority in the search engines. Wrong. If bobsflowershop.com (no dashes) already exists (which it does, go Bob!), they will just end up sending their customers to that site instead of their own. People don’t generally remember to type dashes between words in a domain and Google will most likely give the no dash domain priority since they consider domains with dashes “suspicious”.  If you saw wall-street-journal.com you probably would think it’s a rip off right?

Another thing you are going to hear about in the upcoming months is the new gTLDs (generic top level domains) that are going to be added to the internet. This is the extension at the end of a domain name like .com, .net or .org. There are hundreds of possible new gTLDs that are set to be released. Let’s say the extension .flowers is one of them. People are going to tell you that if you buy bobsflowers.flowers you will now have your own brand and be able to compete with bobsflowers.com. Wrong. First of all bobsflowers.com is taken and trademarked and you don’t want to mess with that, and second you will find yourself sending traffic once again to Bob!

You might ask, “Well what about SEO? Can’t that help my domain name move up in the search results?” Yes absolutely, however if you are starting off with a name that is super long, hyphenated or not a .com extension, you are going to have a tough road ahead. If you do purchase SEO services make sure it is a reputable company and you understand fully what they are offering. If their website doesn’t rank well in the search engines, chances are they won’t be able to get your site to rank well either.

If you have already put time and money into a domain name that is not generating the revenue you desire, don’t give up hope! My advice would be to purchase a great keyword domain name for your business and redirect it to your site. For example, I typed “coffee” directly into the search bar and it redirected to a company called Peets Coffee and Tea. Just think of how much traffic Peets is receiving from people typing in “coffee” or “coffee.com”! If you are a larger business and have the means, consider buying the keyword for your category. If it is out of your budget, contact the owner and see if they may be willing to lease the name to you. Several domain owners are offering their domains for lease the same way a building owner would lease space to a retail store. It’s less cash to put out up front and the increased visibility to your brand means more sales and money in your pocket.

If you are a smaller business you can still do wonders with what I call a second tier domain name. For example, maybe you own a snorkeling business in Florida. You check snorkeling.com and it’s not for sale or maybe it is for sale and they want more than you can afford. (Just for the record, I checked this domain name and it is parked.) Now you move on to the next good domain floridasnorkeling.com and you see that it is for sale for $2888.00 (It actually is, I checked.) This is a good investment for your budding snorkeling business in Florida. Personally I would haggle on the price a bit since I love to negotiate, but ultimately I would advise picking this name up. (Also for the record I have no idea who owns floridasnorkeling.com, it’s just being used for an example. Although maybe I should see if they want to cut me in on a sale 🙂

By now I hope you are starting to understand why you need a great domain name to stand out from the pack. And I hope my Breaking Dawn pic made you laugh….isn’t Jacob just fierce?

If you have any questions or comments leave them below or send me an email. Remember, there is no substitute for a great domain name!

Till Next Time,
Cara Mia

I think Bob deserves a link!

Bobs Flower Shop

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