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Maximizing the value of your domain name

By Staff

You’ve chosen the perfect domain name for your website. One that solidifies your business image. Or so you think! Make sure to choose a domain name that reflects what your business is all about. For instance, you don’t want the domain name mechanics.com if you are selling shoes do you? Choose a name that will not only be representative of your products or services, but will also portray your business in a professional manner. Think before you buy!  Valuation of a domain name is both an art and a science. Knowledge and experience in understanding the factors that influence the value of a domain name is the art, while quantifying the importance of these factors is a science. However, the reliability of appraisal values cannot be accurately determined without comparison of statistical models.

Due to their widespread availability and low price, domain names can often be bought on impulse. Most domains bought this way are rarely used. Think about it carefully before selecting a domain name. After all, you will be stuck with it for at least a year.  

You then registered your domain name and now you think that it's going to pay for itself a hundred times over. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong! No matter what domain name you buy, it's not going to pay for itself on its own. Just because you think that you have chosen the most perfect domain name, others may not agree. Registering a domain name has become a lot cheaper over the years. As your business grows, you will probably want to register more domains. Don’t be swayed to choose the cheapest, they may not necessarily be the best. Remember that you get what you pay for. Maximizing a domain name's value takes thought, creativity and effort. It also requires selecting a good name in the first place. That’s where it all starts. There are ways though that you can maximize the value of your chosen domain name. Let’s look at a few suggestions to help you do just that.

The Right Domain Name Matters

A domain name is your unique web site address and the location of your website. By registering your own domain name, you can distinguish yourself and promote your business instead of being one of millions of other users on one web address (ex: @everyone.com). In addition, your e-mail can be independent of your local ISP, which means that you can change providers anytime without changing your email address! This is very important to keeping your customers. While just about every word in the English language has been registered one time or another as a domain name, you may be talked into using a name that is hyphenated or one that has a funny-sounding acronym. You may think that it will be easier to remember this way. Not so! The reason is that in actuality hyphens make a domain name longer. Although a domain like Bobsinternetreservices.com is long, it's not as long as bobs-internet-services.com. It can become very cumbersome and more difficult for people to remember because of all the pauses caused by using hyphens in the first place. The single most important thing that you NEVER want to do is to make it difficult for people to remember your domain name. You will never get traffic to your site that way.

Website owners often believe that hyphenated domains will improve their Web site's ranking in search engines. This is simply not true. Once upon a time search engines looked at each word in between hyphens as a keyword. A search engine would then compare each keyword with the content of your site, match it to the query of the user performing the search, and then determine where your site should appear in its listings (ranking). Today, search engines are much smarter; they look at a website's content and little else. Because of that, hyphenated domain names no longer have any influence on search engine rankings. The best way to drive traffic to your site is using a single name, even if it has to be a little longer that you would like. It’s better here to be safe than sorry later on.

Consider a Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD)

A Top Level Domain or "TLD" is the most commonly used code forming an Internet Domain Name. Apart from the well-known extension codes for domain names such as .com, .net, or .org, there are many others, which are used to divide the domain name space up geographically. A Country Code Top Level Domain or “ccTld” on the other hand has a country code as its suffix instead of the typical .com, .net or .org extension. Each country has its own domain extension; Canada, for example, is .ca, while Japan has been assigned .jp.  From a functional perspective, Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) work just as well as any Top Level Domain. Today, more and more website owners are opting for country-specific domains. This is die to the fact that better names are typically readily available than when choosing a domain under the .com, .org or .net extensions. If all the domains available for your site are extremely long, it may be wise to consider purchasing a ccTLD. As long as the domain name can provide full functionality and regional branding, it really wont’s matter want the extension is. The downside to using cctld’s is loss of business branding. If you can’t afford to publicize the fact that your business is at yourbiz.to, then you stand a chance that no one will have a clue what your business is about. On the other hand, if your site will only be listed on the Internet, and won't be advertised on TV or radio, you can probably get away with using a cctld, including a .us domain. The key to all of this is simplicity. Wherever possible it is extremely important to your business image to retain your own brand, whatever that is.

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