22 Jun Business Domain Names
Your business domain names or URL is the most essential part of your online presence. It is the asset that you need to own. Many businesses have their web designer register their domain name when their website is being built. Realize that if this is the case, then your web designer owns the domain name and NOT you. We recommend that you check to verify that you own your domain and if not, have it transferred into your name. We have heard horror stories from business owners about being held hostage over their domain name.
Imagine if you decide to change web designers and they get angry about losing the business and decide to keep your company’s domain name. They have the right to shut down your site or even sell the domain name! This is a worst case scenario, but it is good practice to deal with this proactively, and not from a point of weakness if the relationship sours.
If you did not personally register and pay for your domain name or are not sure if it is registered in your name, complete the following:
• Go to http://www.GoDaddy.com.
• Enter your domain name into the search box and click the “Go” button
• Next to the message that states that your domain name is already taken is a link, Get info. Click on it
• Scroll down and see if you are listed under “Registrant.” This is the owner of the domain name. If it is not listed as either you or your business, then you need to have it transferred
Domain Name Ownership Transfer
To obtain ownership of your domain name, do the following:
- Call your web designer or current owner of the domain and indicate that you would prefer to have it registered to your business, as it is standard practice
- Contact the domain name registrar where the domain was registered; advise them that you wish to set up an account and that a domain name will be transferred to the account. If the registrar is difficult to contact or does not respond, you can call GoDaddy and they will set up a free account for you over the phone. They will also instruct you through the process required to transfer the domain
- When your web designer responds to the transfer verification process, you will become the new owner and be billed the renewal fee annually. You can also register the domain name for multiple years or have it automatically renew when the registration payment is due
Choosing a Domain Name
If you currently do not have a website and plan to invest in having one developed, you will need to choose and register a domain name to represent your business online. Many businesses use their name. However, a better alternative is to select a domain name that is a keyword phrase representing your business. This technique works well because it identifies your niche, however it may not have the SEO ranking value that it did historically. Your Internet marketing consultant can conduct the keyword research and explore the available domains for the keyword phrases. An example is, “Tampa Locksmith.” The following is the criteria for selecting a keyword rich domain:
• The keyword phrase you choose should have monthly traffic.
• Limit the phrase to three or four words in length.
• Try to avoid using hyphens if possible, like South-Tampa-Locksmith.
• Use only a .com, .net or .org extension.
• A .mobi domain name can be used for your mobile website
NOTE: The first choice is to obtain a .com extension. If it is not available, then the other extensions will be sufficient. There are several keyword phrases for most niches and with a little research you can find a keyword-rich domain name to associate with your business.
TIP: If you already have a business domain name and it is being used on your business cards and/or printed marketing material, you can forward the business domain name to the keyword-rich domain name and it will be transparent to the surfer. This helps your website’s SEO while preserving the investment in your business cards and printed material. This is an example:
http://www.AcmeLocksmithInc.com ==> http://www.LocksmithInBoston.com
Our Niche Dominance digital media marketing strategies are designed to evolve with the rapidly changing search engine environment so your business can achieve a competitive advantage in today’s growing competitive landscape. This includes ensuring that your business owns its online assets.