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Tuesday, January 21 2014
When To Ditch Your Biz Name To Play The Domain Game

confusing domain disorderStarting a business for the first time is a new and exciting experience. There are so many decisions to make and so much work to do. You're passionate about it and have this vision in your mind that drives you to be creative and expressive. So when you file the paper work to license or incorporate your business, you name it something that will tell the world all about what you do. Unfortunately, that name can cause difficulties down the road when it's time to start promoting your business.

Remember that TV commercial or web ad you saw recently that had that really great product or service? It had that really snappy or creative website address. Something like No? Of course not, because no company or marketing agency would attempt to promote such a long, vague, and unremarkable domain name. That's because, in marketing, you literally have seconds to imprint your identity in the memory of your audience and a domain like that is too easily forgotten or even misremembered.

Simply Change It Up
Does that mean you need to scrap the business name you chose and start all over? No, definitely not. It's not uncommon for a business to have an “official” name and then a second “doing business as” identity. A shorter, easier to spell, more descriptive, or more memorable identity can be your “dba” name and it can also be the domain name connected to your business website.

Similar examples of that kind of arrangement have been practiced in the offline business world, probably forever. Take notice the next time you're driving by a shopping center. Chances are you'll see small business shops that have signs above them that just say “Dry Cleaners”, “Tax Services”, “Liquor Store”, or “Pizza Shop”. They are simple, easy to see from the road, easy to understand, and easy to imprint subconsciously to the memory of all the people driving by day after day.

The domain name or address to your website should function in the same way. It doesn't always need to be so simple as the above examples, but if you're lucky enough to find an available domain like that then you should snatch it up because simple, descriptive domains typically have built in traffic by default.

Create Domain Distinction
The odds are against you though finding an available domain name that is so generic, but descriptive. So after exhausting all options along those lines, what should you be looking for? First, you want a domain that is as short as possible. Anything less then 10 characters is ideal, but will be hard to find. More realistically, it's ok to be in the 12 – 18 character range. In most cases, you should stay away from using numbers or hyphens. However, numbers can make sense if your overall branding strategy includes a number. For example, if you're a plumber and you're available 24 hours a day 7 days a week then a good domain would be Or if you're located on a major roadway then something like would be good.

The next requirement is that the domain name should be easy for the average person to spell and equally easy for you, or someone else, to communicate verbally. For example, if a customer wants to refer your site to someone they are speaking to on the phone then you want them to be able to just say the domain address and have the person they are speaking to understand, remember it, or easily write it down. You don't want it to have to be spelled out for someone every time after the domain name gets mentioned. That's a recipe for being easily forgotten.

That brings us to the last objective, the domain should be easy to remember. An ideal domain name in many cases is just a shortened variation of the official business name with a little creativity thrown in to make it descriptive in some way and that creativity is what makes it memorable. For example, let's consider a fictional business officially named Broderick Nursery and Tree Farm. Which of these hypothetical domain names would be better, or For marketing purposes, the shorter one is better for all the obvious reasons.

Use It and Don't Lose It
The really good news is you can register and connect more than one domain name to your website. You can get one that matches your “official” company name and one that is your identity for marketing or branding purposes. However, and this is very important, you can only actively market one of the domains online. Only one of the domains can be the primary domain connected directly to the site and that is the domain that you use in links, search engines, ads, etc. The other domain needs to be setup as a 301 redirect to the primary domain.

The reason for that configuration is because you don't want the search engines to associate your website content with more than one domain. If that happens then your site will be given a duplicate content penalty, which can harm it in getting the site listed in the search engines.

As long as you have the domains setup correctly, you get the benefit of having one that matches your business name for anyone who happens to look for you online using that name and one that is short, creative and memorable for anyone who saw it in your marketing efforts. That way you have all your bases covered and have a better chance of being found for anyone looking for what you offer.

By the way, all of the business name and domain name examples included in this post were totally made up and available as of it's writing. We think that's proof enough that there are still plenty of useful domain names available on the .com extension for just about any potential business. Contact us if you would like assistance finding a good, marketable domain name for your existing or soon to be new business.


Posted by: eBizWebpages AT 11:14 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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