We have already seen a lot of changes to the Internet in 2014 that will affect how companies use their domains. Google has unleashed huge algorithm changes under the guise of such seemingly harmless creatures as hummingbirds and penguins. If you aren’t following the Google algorithm changes, then you should. For an SEO guy like me, Google has been a constant source of stress.
The Internet is always changing and there is always something new that governments or dominant players want to do to it. The United States government wants to dictate content, while the big ISPs want to charge you extra to have your website seen outside of your geographic region. It’s all a mess, but there are domain mistakes you can avoid in 2014 that should put you in a position to avoid much of the confusion that is going on.
Not Using a .Com
I cannot tell you how many times I have arguments with customers about getting a .com domain. Yes, you can buy other domains that are cheaper, but not by much. You are talking the difference between a $10 domain and a $2 domain. Is your company’s future really worth trying to save $8 on your domain? To just about every web user in the world, .com is the Internet default. If you do not have a .com, then your traffic will suffer.
Don’t Be Cute With Your Domain Name
I am a big believer in the most direct relationship between your domain name and your company name. Not only is it easier for customers to find you on the Internet, but it is also easier to establish your international brand name. I have had customers try to use everything from their wife’s middle name to the license plate number on the company car as domain names. Don’t be cute with something as important as your company brand and domain.
Not Buying All of the Extensions
While your primary domain name needs to be a .com, you still need to buy all of the other extensions if you want to protect your trademarked brand. It is going to cost a little more to buy a whole series of domains with different extensions on them, but it is worth it. Not only will you be protecting your domain name, but you can also point all of those other extensions at your .com address and significantly increase your traffic.
Not Doing the Research
So you went through all of the available .com domains and you were able to put together something that represents your business adequately. It is always a risk when you cannot just buy your company name as a domain name because then you are forced to get creative. You may wind up with a creative domain name that has no special meaning in English, but what about other cultures? Remember that your website will be seen by an international audience and you do not want to offend any potential customers. Before you register your domain name and invest money into it, you will want to do some research and make sure that the name you have chosen is not going to offend people in other parts of the world.
The Internet is constantly changing and offering a vast selection of new opportunities. As your business moves into 2014, make sure that you give it a chance at success with an effective and strong domain name.
Photo credit: Justin Marty