What’s in a domain name?

With the recent announcement from ICANN of the release of potentially new domain extensions beyond the existing (com, net, org, edu, etc.) we have to wonder what is the value to businesses to obtain them?  Many of our clients have significant investments in their domain names and at first glance, this new “opportunity” from ICANN appears to have created a financial windfall throughout the registration process with the significant registration fees.  Beyond that, what is the value for businesses and corporations to apply for, obtain and long-term support their personalized domain extension?Finding that perfect domain name for a marketing campaign can often be a challenge. Depending upon how the domain name will be used this is not as important as it has been in the past.

Why? If you answer yes to any one of the following questions, you need to put serious consideration into your domain name selection.

  1. Will you be using your domain name will be used as part of your email address?  If yes, you’ll want to have a domain name that is as description to your business or services as possible, especially if you’ll be printing the email address on business cards or other locations.
  2. Will you be incorporating your domain name into a marketing campaign that includes print, radio or television advertising? If yes, you’ll want to have a domain name that is as descriptive and memorable as possible.
  3. Is your desired domain name already taken? If yes, and the name is available in a .net or another country extension (.fm, .ly, .me, etc.) it may be necessary to perform an aggressive SEO and SEM initiative to improve positioning in search as well as reduce potential consumer confusion if they perform a search.

As the tools and engagement points for the Internet continue to evolve, the necessity of a creative memorable domain name continue to fade. Here are a few examples as to why:

  1. More than 80% of traffic to most web sites is driven as a result of search. Search results are although partially based upon the domain name; the content and relativity to a user’s search continue to be major factors in search positioning. Social integration and auto-completion within search engines are also evolving search results and the domain name plays a minor role with these results.
  2. Mobile browsing is growing exponentially and accessing a web site from a mobile browser address bar is often difficult or non-existent. Accessing a web site from a mobile device continues to grow from email, social applications (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) as well as mobile tags such as QR codes.

In the end, choosing the right domain name is important for a variety of reasons, be sure they fit your specific needs and can produce a return for your investment.

 

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