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Top 5 Internet Domain Name Tips

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I have a lot of experience in all things related to Internet domain names – you know, those things that take you to a home page of a website? leebenning.com is a domain name, so is facebook.com and bbc.co.uk. I was asked by someone starting a new job as an E-Marketing Manager to provide my top 5 tips on domain names and have decided to share them with you.

1) Always try to secure the .com version of a domain and your country code version (.co.uk for UK) as a minimum.

Firefox web browser still defaults to the .com if you type a domain name without the extension (try typing “www.sony” in the Firefox address bar). You could also be losing out on type-in traffic, and if this page goes to a PPC landing page, you could end up paying for the visitors clicking through to your site (or worse, they visit the link to a competitor site).

2) Register as many variations of your primary domain name as possible

This includes typing errors (I’m sure Foursquare would like to own www.forsquare.com), number/abbreviation translation (Phones4u.co.uk could also do with owning phones4you.co.uk and phonesforyou.co.uk) and singular/plural (mysinglefriend.com could be losing visitors from not owning mysinglefriends.com <–NSFW!).

3) Try to avoid domain names with hyphens (unless you also own the version without hyphens)!

Think of word-of-mouth and imagine if YouTube was located at www.you-tube.com, or Facebook was at www.face-book.com and they didn’t own the domain without the hyphen. A LOT of lost visitors I think (and phishing attempts!).

4) Register as many generic domain names as you can

If there are any domains in your industry still freely available I would register them. I used to run a british wrestling website hosted on the domain name www.1stopwrestling.co.uk – I also own the domains britishwrestling.co.uk and wrestlingtraining.co.uk and redirected these to my main site. Generic domain names can make you seem like an authority in that industry so even if all you do is a 301 permanent redirect to your main site, you cut off a competitor’s ability to capitalise on the use of them (plus you may get a bit of type-in traffic). British Gas use www.house.co.uk on a lot of their promotional literature, which is a portal for their consumer offerings. As generic domains are usually descriptive of the product/service they are being used for, there are almost never any Trade Mark issues.

5) This may sound simple, but always ensure you have CNAME records for www, ww, wwww and w on your DNS server (if you don’t have your own DNS server, most domain registrars allow you to edit the DNS settings).

By having these CNAME (sometimes called ‘Alias’) records, you make sure if someone were to type ww.yoursitename.com, or wwww.yoursitename.com they still end up on your site. May seem like a little thing but if people miss one of the ‘w”s and get a server error message they won’t always notice that they have made a typing error and could visit a competitor site instead.

I hope you have found this article useful. If so, please use the buttons on this page to share the article and leave a comment if there is anything you would like me to expand on.

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Lee Benning | Digital Marketing Consultant

Lodge Road, Locks Heath
Southampton, Hampshire
SO31 6QY, UK. 023 8097 1190