Really? But I already have a domain name for my website.
Uh huh. But it might not be working as hard as it should to bring you new business online.
Which is why you have a website, right?
Maybe you haven’t yet asked yourself the Big Question: what ACTION should somebody take, after visiting your website? (If not, this post will help.)
Your domain name, to be technical, is a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and for most of internet history the Top Level Domain (TLD) of choice has been .com
(TLD = the word/s to the right of the dot.)
Let’s imagine you’re a dentist in Dallas TX so, if you’ve done a really good job, your domain will say something about what you do and where you are: joethedallasdentist.com.
But more likely you registered something like: drjoedentist.com
Even that’s better than what many business owners have chosen. At least we know you’re a dentist.
But staying with the dentist example, what does drkeeter.com tell you?
Sorry Kyle, but that’s part of why you’re on page 4 of the Google SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages.) You’ll be listening to crickets down there!
Of course, this post is not just about domains for dentists. It’s pretty much true for most business categories.
For example, lticsd.com is actually a law firm in San Diego.
And westelm.com is an Atlanta furnishing store,
Do you have any idea what Chuck does at chucklaverty.com?
(He’s an HVAC mechanic in Massachusetts.)
Let’s pause for a minute and think about how your customers are looking for you online.
We all know the Yellow Pages have been consigned to history, but it’s still a surprise to discover how much impact the Internet has on your local business.
You see, according to Google, 94% of consumers search online when seeking a local supplier for products and services.
Think of it as a river of prospects flowing past your door. You need to take some action which will divert them into your business.
Sure, advertising is good. Especially if you feature your URL in your advertising and then give them great value when they get to your website.
But that’s a post for another day.
For now, let’s stick with people who are already searching for you online. Except they’re not looking for YOU, remember. They’re just looking for a local supplier of the product or service they need.
So if they need a dentist in Dallas chances are they’ll jump online and enter “dallas dentist” then hit the search button.
You can see that joethedallasdentist.com does a pretty good job of telling Google you might be the right solution. (That’s what drives Google: finding the most relevant, highest quality results for a search.)
If possible, you’d register a domain which is an exact match for the keywords for which a prospective customer might search.
Key point: it doesn’t matter if that’s not the URL for your existing website, because you can redirect it.
And that’s exactly what the Forte Implant Center did, in Dallas. They registered the domain “dallasdentist.com” and redirected it to their existing website at implantdentistryofdallas.com
Click for my instruction guide
“How to redirect an exact match domain to your existing website.”
According to the Google keyword tool, there are 890 monthly searches for “dallas dentist” so, for the cost of buying the domain, the Forte Implant Center is saving a bunch of advertising dollars to get a steady flow of new business leads.
Unfortunately, however, some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialists go waaay too far in trying to tell Google they have the answer, to the point where it becomes meaningless to the consumer.
Here’s an extreme example:
That domain is for search engines, not for people!
And yet it was on page 5 of the SERPs, so I’d guess that strategy isn’t working.
I’ve said before that many of the business owners I talk to are bewildered by the speed at which marketing is changing – especially online. And now there’s another significant change: descriptive TLDs.
The ideal solution would be a domain name that’s an exact match for your business. Except that most every local geographic match is long gone, already: dallasdentist.com was first registered in 1997!
However, if you’re advertising in your local market, as you should be, then you could use your business name, provided you identify the product or service you supply.
For example, joesplumbing.com
Except that’s long gone, too (first registered in 2003.)
I’ve said before that many of the business owners I talk to are bewildered by the speed at which marketing is changing – especially online. And now another significant change is coming along: descriptive TLDs.
New TLDs have been created for words that are industry descriptions, such as .lawyer, .dentist, .accountant, .attorney, .contractors and, yes, .plumbing
Guess what? As I write this, joes.plumbing is still available (although dallas.dentist is claimed, already!)
Other new TLDs are words that have commercial relevance, such as .solutions, .coupons, .gifts, .delivery, .discount, .systems, .tech and .website
There are 1,235 new TLDs proposed, of which 363 are already available.
Take a few minutes to search and register yours here. That’s a promotional link to GoDaddy – which is where I register almost all my own domains. And I’ve had hundreds of them.
Yes, really. I’ll tell you the story one day.
But for now, here are Action Steps you can take:
1. Think of the products and services you supply and ask yourself if there’s value in advertising them to a niche target audience. (This is one of the things we look at in my Marketing Makeover.)
If so, then you might want to register an exact match domain and build out a landing page specifically for that promotional campaign.
I often see an AdWords campaign or Facebook advertising which is sending traffic to a generic website. The problem is, that will kill the conversion rate.
This post explains why you need dedicated landing pages.
2. Visit Godaddy and look at the list of new TLD domain extensions. Brainstorm an exact match domain which is a better description for what you offer in your market.
For example, tucsonwidget.systems or fresnoquality.furniture
Then redirect this new domain to your existing website. Click for my guide:“How to redirect an exact match domain to your existing website.”
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