Domain Names: A Double Edged Sword
By J Thomas
There has been a lot said recently, about the need to have a domain name for your business but consider some of the following before you decide when, or if you need one.
An undeniable advantage of a domain name, is that it allows you to change service providers without losing position on the search engines, or affecting other promotions. It should not be used lightly though, as it has been known to take longer then eight weeks for the change over to be completed.
Respectability And Confidence
A second advantage I've heard argued, is that having a domain name shows people that you are a serious company.
At one time this was true statement but the Internet is quickly changing and it's time that this concept was revisited.
I have been "surfing the net" for years, have had a business on it for the last two and I, personally, don't care if you're a .com address or not. The hundreds of thousands of people who joined the net in the last year (some say 50% to 75% of the total Internet population) don't seem to care, and the 60 to 100,000 people joining up every month definitely don't care.
What we care about now, is what we find on site once we get there. Do we feel like we are at a professional establishment? Is it easy and safe to order? Do you have a guarantee? We base our purchasing decision on these and other factors, not a ".com" address.
Two factors have also arisen that are starting to erode the unquestioning "respectability" of the domain addresses.
One is that the Internet has received a lot of media exposure lately, usually negative. This causes people to be on the lookout for scams and ripoffs and they find them, real or perceived, on domain and non domain sites alike.
The second one is the illusion that only the respectable business gets a domain name. The true rip off artists have caught on to this fact and are, unfortunately, using it to their advantage to give themselves an air of respectability.
It Helps You Get A Better Position On The Search Engines
This is true only on certain engines, and then only if you have the right name, which is becoming harder and harder to do these days.
Even on these engines I have searched a specific keyword that resulted in two million choices, and the number one and number two spots were a domain name and a non domain url, side by side. So one has to wonder if it makes any difference at all anymore?
It Gives Your Company A Lifetime Identity
This is true, and if you are going to stay on the Internet you will eventually need one. The question is do you want a lifetime identity right now.
If you are Microsoft, Disney, or Coca Cola you are already a well known big name so the answer is yes. If you are going to invest a lot of money to become the next Amazon or E-Bay, then maybe, but if you are anyone else the answer is, probably not.
You should get your house in order first. Build a site that is both professional and functional, optimize it for the search engines, test your product, etc. Once you have all your ducks in a row and proved your worth then you can think about your lifetime identity.
When you decide you are ready, it is a simple matter of finding a service provider that is going to serve your needs, duplicate your site on it, get your domain name and start promoting it.
Never close the old site before the new one is outperforming it. Most people though, never close any site that is bringing them even the smallest bit of business. Let it die a natural death, and that is only when you are getting no more traffic on it.
What's In A Name
Everything. On the Internet, it's all you are. -If you can't get the exact domain name you want. -If you are not ready to convey the image you want. -If you cannot yet supply the technical standards necessary (secure order forms, accepting credit card etc.) Then you are better off without a domain (lifetime) name.
Any business on the Internet will eventually benefit from having a domain name. If you jump the gun though and get it before you are ready it can hurt you, and for a long time. I have arrived at domain sites that looked like they were thrown together in a matter of minutes and while they may have improved since then, I will never know. When I encounter that name again I, like thousands of other people, associate it with a negative impression and move on to the next name on the list.
On the Internet you are judged often on one click of the mouse, so decide carefully if you want that judgment to be temporary or for a lifetime.
Other Relevant Articles:
Domain Naming for Prosperity
Great misconception about domain names has quickly spread over
the web and seized a lot of minds of internet entrepreneurs. It is time to
put things on the right track, presenting other side of the domain name
"medal" as well as going through the "check list" of the proper domain
The importance of having your own domain name
This article tells you why you need to have your own domain name in order to get a high ranking in the search engines and to provide credibility with your customers.
What's In A
Name ... Selecting the Right Business Name
500 people, already in business, how they decided upon their
business name and you will get 500 different answers. Everyone
has a story behind how they chose their business name.
James Thomas publishes the weekly EasyTips 101 - Lessons From Cyberspace ezine.
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