April 18, 2013

All About Mobile Domain Names

When the Internet first came out it was restricted to a wired connection to a computer.  Eventually technology improved, creating wireless Internet.  At that point the Internet could be accessible through desktops, laptops and mobile devices without wiring.  This means that the Internet was now portable.  And as more mobile devices are getting created, consumers are exploring how to increase this portability.  In fact, wireless Internet has gotten so popular with mobile devices, domain name companies have created a new extension.  It's called .mobi.  

.Mobi is the extension of choice for websites that are being formatted for cell phones, pdas and other mobile devices.  It can be bought from most major domain name companies such as Godaddy or Network Solutions.  As far as registering a .mobi domain name, one would go through the same type of procedure that is associated with traditional domain names.  This involves first choosing a .mobi domain name and seeing if it is available. 

If it is not available, the domain name company will offer suggestions on what a person can use.  Either way, the customer will be given another chance to select another .mobi domain name.  Once they get one that is not taken, they can proceed to purchase it.  The contract will last one to two years, depending on what they agreed upon with the domain name company.  When the contract is up, a person will have to renew their .mobi domain name if they want to continue to keep it. 

So, why would a webmaster decide to invest in a domain name that is restricted to mobile devices?  Well, it's mainly because they get an opportunity to center in on a market that is relatively new.  Since most webmasters or companies are trying to take advantage of the .coms or the .nets, the .mobi has become somewhat forgotten.  This means that it is prime for search engine keywords that would normally not be available for traditional domain names.  It can also allow a webmaster a branding opportunity for their company.  

However, since a .mobi domain name means a webmaster is creating a website specially designed for a mobile phone, it cannot have the types of frills that it could have if it was being promoted on a computer.  Good mobile websites need to be mostly textual with very limited number of pics, (if any).   Granted, plain text is not fancy, but it doesn't require much loading time.  Mobile phone sites should also not be very large nor should they be created with frames or other more complicated layouts. 

A webmaster may also want to consider trying to divert the mobile website visitor to a regular website.  One way this can be done is by advertising the domain name that is associated with a traditional website.  But it must be made clear that the site will only display appropriately on regular computers.  Another option is trying to capture the person's email address by offering them something free, such as an e-book or low-cost merchandise.

When they sign up to the email subscription, their first newsletter could advertise the traditional website a webmaster wants promoted.  By doing either of these options, webmasters can still take advantage of pay-per-clicks or affiliate programs, revenue generators which may not be promoted on .mobi websites due to viewing limitations with banner or text ads.  

April 17, 2013

7 Strategies to Choosing an Effective Domain Name

7 Strategies to Choosing an Effective Domain Name
7 Strategies to Choosing an Effective Domain Name

A friend of mine calls me the "Domain Queen", since at one time I owned around 50 domains.  I've let many of them go (I own only 22 now) as my business has changed and developed, or I've just simply lost interest in the project.  I'm often asked how I go about picking effective domain names, so as the "Domain Queen", I'll share my thought process with you.

1.What's the purpose of the domain name? Are you planning on using this name as the main website for your company, as a one page sales letter site, or squeeze page site?  If the domain name will be your primary company website, try and find the closest version to your company name that you can.  If you're just starting out, choose your business name and domain name with care.  When I started my virtual assistant practice, I chose the name SOHO Business Solutions, as I thought everyone knew that SOHO stood for Small Office, Home Office.  I think I've run into 2 people in my 7 years in business who knew what that acronym stood for. If I had it to do over again for this business, I would choose a business name and domain name with virtual assistant in the title, like InternetMarketingVirtualAssistant.com, a name I just recently purchased.

If the purpose of a domain is for a one-page sales letter site or a squeeze page, think ahead as to how you might promote this site.  Because content is king in today's internet marketing world, there's little chance that either of these types of sites would be picked up by the search engines on key words.  Therefore, your best promotion strategy is PPC, or "pay per click", where you're buying keywords for placement in search engines.  If you're buying keywords from Google, for example, the paid listings appear at the top of a search in a blue box, or down the right-hand side of your screen.  You want to be sure that the info displayed there is compelling enough to get someone to click and visit your site.  So, for example, I've created a squeeze page, GetMoreClientsOnline.com, which has a compelling solution to a common problem that my clients have, as a side door gateway to my OnlineBizCoachingCompany.com coaching website.

2.  Brainstorm a list of ideas of the problem you're trying to solve or the solution that you have.  A domain name that clearly indicates what you do, or a problem that you solve, or a solution that you have to a problem will give a visitor a fairly clear picture of what s/he'll find on your website.  What I typically do is go to my domain registrar, www.UltraNetDomains.com, and just start plugging in the names I'm brainstorming until I come up with 3 or 4 that are available.  If the domain name that you type in isn't available, the service will come up with 10 or so alternates for you to consider.  I found this alternate listing quite helpful recently in picking the name of an article directory site that I want to create.

3.  For SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes, it helps to have your keywords in your domain name.  Marla Regan, who's a professional organizer, has put two keywords in her domain name, OrganizedTime.com. Retirement Coach Lin Schreiber has her keyword niche in her domain, RevolutionizeRetirement.com.  Consultant John Reddish has the desired outcome keywords in his domain, GetResults.com.  I own a domain that I haven't yet developed for house sitters, BecomeAHouseSitter.com.  Before buying your domain, make a list of keywords that someone might use to find you online.  This list could include your industry, your target market or niche, a problem your target market has, or a solution that you can offer.

4. Shorter is better, if it's to be your primary domain. I haven't always followed my own rules here, as I tend to have business names that are quite lengthy. If the domain name is going to be your primary domain where your primary email address will be housed, you want your domain name to be as short, catchy, and memorable as possible. After a few times of spelling out your lengthy email address, you'll come to appreciate the beauty of a short domain name. Your domain name can contain up to 67 letters and numbers, although I would encourage you not to have one of this length, and can contain no special characters other than hyphens.

5.  Purchase your your given name as a domain name.  I typically tell my clients not to try and brand their given name as their business name, as that takes many years, much money, and lots of hard work to have the name recognition of Oprah, for example.  However, it still pays to purchase your given name as a domain name, as well as any common misspellings of your name.  Many people think my name is Donna Gunther, with an "h" in the last name, but I've been unable to register that common misspelling of my name, as a photographer in Venice, CA, has owned in since 2000. Once you've purchased your name as a domain, you can redirect it to your primary website.  This means that when someone types in a domain, they land at the website to which you pointed that domain.  So, currently DonnaGunter.com redirects to OnlineBizCoachingCompany.com because I don't want to use my name as a website, although that might change in the future.

6. Buy the .COM version of the name if it is available.  When people hear a domain name, they "hear" .COM whether it's .NET or .BIZ or .ORG or whatever.  So, it pays to find a domain name that you like that is part of the .COM family. If you just can't get the name you want, try a hyphenated version of the .COM name.  For example, when I was seeking a domain name for my Self-Employment Coaching Gym, I really wanted SelfEmploymentSuccess.com, but it wasn't available.  However, Self-Employment-Success.com was available, so I grabbed that.  Many SEO specialists state that search engines like hyphenated names, and many online business owners use hyphenated keywords in their domain names to be more attractive to search engines. I don't have a clear answer as to the validity of this theory, so I just advocate going this route before having to resort to the .NET or .BIZ of the name you desire.  Some domain name holders may be willing to sell you the domain name that you want.  You can find out who owns a domain name by checking the WhoIs Registry at Internic, http://www.internic.net/whois.html.  For info about country codes (two-letter) top-level domains (.UK or .CA, for example) visit http://www.uwhois.com/cgi/domains.cgi?User=NoAds

7.  Consider owning other versions of your primary domain name. If you are registering the .COM version of a domain for your business, you may also want to secure variations of the name, alternate spellings, common misspellings, and the .NET and .ORG versions of your domain and repoint them to your main site to keep them out of the hands of your competitors. You can also go broke very quickly by purchasing all of these variations, so exercise some restraint in your purchases and don't go crazy with purchasing every single variation of your domain name.  For my coaching company site, I own both the OnlineBizCoachingCompany.com and OnlineBusinessCoachingCompany.com and decided that was good enough.

Your domain name is the beginning of the establishment of your presence online,  Take some time and put some thought into the process so that the domain name serves you well in the years to come, and is an effective tool for helping you get more clients online.

Copyright 2006 Donna Gunter

Bulk Domain Name Registration

Bulk Domain Name Registration
Bulk Domain Name Registration

Most Internet marketing gurus know the importance of using a domain name.  However, only the experts use bulk domain names when marketing their website.  How do things work if one is using bulk domain names?  Basically, with the bulk domain name tactic, dozens maybe even hundreds of domain names point to one site.  The practice is completely legal, (since ICANN places no limitations on how many domain names a person can register), and could even boost search engine listings.  This is because search engine bots have more URLs they can find that relate to a particular website.  

So, how can a person get started with bulk domain name registration?  Well, if they have money, it's best if they go to a bulk domain name company.  These are better than traditional domain name companies, because they are specially designed to help webmaster better manage their bulk domain name campaigns.  With a bulk domain name company, webmasters can manage up to 10,000 domain names in just one account.  This includes placing them in related groups, alphabetizing them or viewing which ones are going to expire first.  An example of an excellent service offering these features is DomainNext.com.  

If a person doesn't have money, they will need to consider other means of bulk domain name registration.  For example, they could try to get maybe 100 or so domain names from domain name registrars charging just a dollar.  This would mean the initial fees would be $100, which is an affordable amount for most people.  They could also consider getting a series of free domain names.  However, they must be aware that many free domain name providers will places ads on a site as well as contain an extension that is not traditional.

There may also be a limit to how many free domain names a person can register.  Either way, webmasters may want to consider pointing free domain names to a second site that relates to whatever they are promoting.  They can advertise the domain name to their main site.  With this method they can take advantage of free bulk domain names without having to worry about bombarding their original site with advertisements. 

It should be noted that if a person does not get free bulk domain names, they will have to pay renewal fees once their domain names expire.  If a person got a number of bulk domain names they can handle, this may not be an issue.  However, if it is, they can consider selling their domain names on domain name auction sites.  They will lose the marketing advantage, but at least they will get an opportunity to save money. 

In conclusion, bulk domain name registration can be a way for webmasters to help corner the Internet market.  They can go about registering several paid domains and/or free domains.  Regardless, they should also make sure that their site contains other elements that make for good Internet marketing.  This includes being keyword-optimized and containing several inbound links.  Without doing these things, bulk domain name registration in and of itself will only bring limited results. 

April 16, 2013

A Simple Guide To Choosing A Domain Name

A Simple Guide To Choosing A Domain Name
A Simple Guide To Choosing A Domain Name

There has been much debate on which factors are the most important when determining what domain to purchase. Choosing a domain name should be deeply tied to the business plan and the vision of the company. A domain can be chosen for its advantages in Search Engine placement, a company’s brand, or as a description of a general term. One must consider a domains size, pronunciation, how memorable it is, and if the name is taken in other similar forms or extensions. For example, if one registers a domain.net, but the domain.com is taken and developed, creating a brand for domain.net would be very dangerous and might end up being confused for its .com counterpart. 

Search Engine Placement Domains 
The purpose of these domains is to rank high in the search engines, because the actual domain name contains the keywords being searched for. Search Engine domains are very rarely brandable, and are mostly used exclusively as side Internet properties to redirect traffic to the main site. A company who sells red widgets would benefit from acquiring red-widgets.com and redwidgets.com , because it is natural that people will remember such address, but most importantly, that domain name has a high probability of ranking at, or very near to, the top of a search for ‘red widgets’. A very popular tool used to find what is being searched for on the net is: Overture Keywords (http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/

Brand Domains 

When coming from the offline business into the online, the obvious choice for brand domains is the offline brand name as .com and/or .country extension. Country extensions are used in countries were there is more popularity in their country extension than on the .com. In the case that no previous brand existed before moving online, one most be very creative into the approach of a brandable name. At this point, there are millions of domain names registered and many times, one finds that the desired domain is taken. There is a consensus among most Internet domain experts that the shorter the domain, the better. A domain that is about 5 letters long is highly desirable for a brand. However, the domain must sound right as well. Xyqpt.com would be undesirable, because it cannot be easily said or remembered to the general public. 

General Term Domains 

In the height of the Internet Bubble, general term domains were the most popular choice. Many companies failed, even though they had the generic word for their market. Companies like TheKnot.com refused to purchase Weddings.com, because they were conscious that they needed to focus on brand. Although this strategy worked for TheKnot.com, generic words have a value of their own that cannot be ignored. Like Search Engine Placement Domains, which attract a large number of visitors through search engine referrals, so do generic word domains. For this reason, generic word names are still very much desired and their value continue to rise. What should be learned about the Dot Com Bubble is that generic domains are not everything in a dot com business, rather they are a valuable (yet, not essential) component in an array of variables that make an Internet business a success. The current value of these domains, and other domains in general can be seen at an online publication that covers recent domain name transactions at: Domain Journal Sales (http://www.dnjournal.com/domainsales.htm)

April 15, 2013

The Best Guide To Domain Name Registration

A Guide To Domain Name Registration
A Guide To Domain Name Registration

Are you considering doing business online? If you’re affirmative about that then, you need a home for your site on the Internet first, for that you’ll have to register a domain name. 

A domain name provides your website an Internet address. Under the Domain Name System DNS, domain names are framed of the four elements – a server prefix, a domain name, a domain suffix or extension, and a country code (optional). For instance, www.jasssony.com is an example of a domain name where ‘www’ is the server prefix, ‘jasssony’ is the domain name and ‘com’ is the domain suffix. 

‘Dot-com’ is an example of a top level domain extension. There are generic top level domains, gTLDs, and country code top level domains, ccTLDs. Register a domain name of your own. Many ‘Internet Service Providers’, ISPs and Web Hosts also offer free or bargain-rate domain services that essentially make a domain name an extension of theirs. For example, if the ISP is a fictional like ‘youneedweserve’, then the resulting domain name could be www.youneedweserve/jass/index.html. While registering your own domain name, make sure that the extension name should look like a professional one. With an extension domain name, you always have to change the ISP or web host. 

Many people do not realize it, but it is a fact that the names on the Internet really matter. Choose a domain name that identifies the business and it should also be easy to remember; so many people type the names or partial names into search engines for finding the site that they are seeking for. Most of the best or obvious domain names are already registered by the people. You should also consider the facts when you are choosing a domain name for the online business and how to register a domain name.  

Registering a generic top level domain name or a country code top level domain, the things mostly depend on the market for the product or service. For example, if you are selling your product or services to USA, you can use the country code top level domain, dot-us domain. If you are marketing the products or services globally, you can choose to register the online business as a dot-com or a dot-biz.

April 14, 2013

5 Ways To Think Up A Great Domain Name That's Still Available

5 Ways To Think Up A Great Domain Name That's Still Available
5 Ways To Think Up A Great Domain Name That's Still Available

I'd be a Millionaire if I earned a dollar each time someone complains that all the great domain names are already taken. It's just not true, however. Even in a highly competitive industry, you can think up original, appealing domain names for businesses by using naming tactics that few people use, such as these:

1. Focus on results. What is the outcome or end result that people want to have from buying a certain product or service? How do they feel when they have finished the transaction? My own company name, Named At Last, falls into this category.

2. Look for puns. Make a list of relevant keywords, say each out loud and play around with the sounds. Puns are much less likely than other kinds of names to have been registered because their component parts are not actual words. For instance, the name Sitesfaction, for a web design company, was a finalist in our first naming contest - and an available domain at that time despite tens of thousands of web design firms in the English-speaking world.

3. Think slang. Let your imagination and memory fly around for pleasing-to-the-ear expressions. As of today, the domain BoyOhBoyToys.com for an online toy store is unregistered, as is a domain for its sister store AttaGirlToys.com.

4. Go symbolic. Suppose you're an expert on the horror genre and want to start a paid online community for horror fans. Horrorific.com, horrorgate.com and Horrornet.com are all taken, but as of today, the less obvious and more vivid FrightOwl.com is not.

5. Vary real words. "Google's name is a play on the word googol, which refers to the number 1 followed by one hundred zeroes," says the Press Center of the world's most successful search engine. "The word was coined by the nine-year-old nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner," it continues - providing another hint for creative naming: consult a kid.

Happy Naming!

Affordable Domain Hosting

Affordable Domain Hosting
Affordable Domain Hosting

Searching for affordable domain hosting for your personal or business website needs could get confusing.  There are so many plans to choose from, and plans are offered from so many companies.  While it is often thought you need to pay more for quality hosting, this is not necessarily the case.  By knowing exactly which features you need for your website, you will find that using the cheaper providers will fulfill your needs for much less money.  

Many companies will offer the same or similar packages for less, offering a more affordable domain hosting service.  When you pay more you probably are just paying for the name of the company.  While companies such as GoDaddy.com offer site hosting with 5GB of disk space for only $3.95 per month, other companies such as SBC Yahoo! are charging $11.95 per month for the same plan features.  Both remain affordable, though SBC Yahoo! is an established company and able to charge more for their services.  GoDaddy.com is a relatively new start-up venture, though their services are no less reliable.  

For a small, personal website, cheaper is the way to go, as fewer features will be needed.  However, for a large-scale business site, spending a few extra dollars will provide you with the options you will need in the long term.  Just remember that when searching for an affordable domain hosting service, comparing plans is extremely important.  By knowing exactly what each plan offers you pay only for the services you need and avoid paying for features that you simply won’t use.

April 13, 2013

10 Tips For Accurate Domain Registration

10 Tips For Accurate Domain Registration
10 Tips For Accurate Domain Registration

You should think about registering a domain name before you actually do it. Many people come up with a catchy name, or feel the need to lock in their name, and rush out to buy a domain name. But there are several things to consider in your domain name. After all, your domain name is an extension of your business and your image—don't you want to project the right one?

These ten tips will help you to pick just the right domain name for you and/or your business.

1. The extension you select makes a statement to user about where you are and who you are aiming to attract. For example, .co.uk tells people you are operating out of the United Kingdom, and .ca tells them you are operating out of Canada. If that is important to you, then register accordingly. If you would rather give them impression of being a global company, or based in the US, then pick a .com name.

2. Use a reputable registration service. Unfortunately, some domain registration services are little more than a scam. They are only middlemen. You tell them the domain name you want, and they register it, for a fee higher than you would pay! In the worst case, they actually register the domain name using their information, so it becomes very difficult for you to do anything with your domain name. 
Do some background research into the company before you register a domain with them.

3. Use keywords in your domain name. These will sometimes help search engines in ranking your website. For example, if you sell gourmet dog treats online and from your own store, but your business name is "Laura's Homemade Snacks," you might consider two domain names: one for your business name, and one for keywords. In this case you might select "gourmetdogtreats.com" as your domain name to represent to the search engines and searchers what you are about.

4. Short names are easier to spell correctly. What's easier to remember and type in: gourmetdogtreats.com, or laurashomemadeandgourmetdogsnacks.com?

5. Avoid trademarks from other companies. Companies have been known to sue website owners for copyright and trademark infringement, so be very careful if you try to play off an existing business. Make sure that you register a domain name in good faith, and think about the possibilities and connections that might exist between you and another business.

6. Avoid hyphens. Sometimes you must use hyphens because the straightforward name is gone. In that case, a better idea is to come up with a completely different name. The problem with hyphens is that users may end up visiting the wrong site. If you try to register gourmetdogtreats.com but it is already taken, you might choose to register gourmet-dog-treats.com instead. But you run the risk of someone trying to find you typing in the first address. This means you lose business. Better to try and register a name like homemadedogtreats.com instead.

7. Consider buying several different extensions so no one else can infringe on your success by registering a similar name. For example, if you register homemadedogtreats.com, you might also take .net and .org (with the same name), since these are the most popular extensions after .com. That way, no one can register homemadedogtreats.net and try to piggyback of your success.

8. Look for companies that offer telephone support. If you have trouble with your domain name, you need to be able to contact the company and talk to someone. If there is no phone contact, that may be a sign that you are not dealing with a reputable company.

9. Look for accreditations (i.e., ICANN). Reputable companies will seek out accreditations because they know it boosts their business image to be part of a group that enforces good business ethics and practices. Failure to have an accreditation does not necessarily mean the company is bad, but it could mean that. If the company you are looking at does not have an accreditation, make sure you check for other things like phone support, payment procedures, etc.

10. After you find a company you like, do a search on Google for "domain registration." Does your company of choice appear in the first couple of pages of results, or just via Adwords? If the latter, they may not have been around for a long time and may not be reputable. A legitimate company with a solid track record will be ranked in Google's search engine, especially within the first couple of pages. Beware of registration companies that you can only find in Adwords.

These ten tips will help you as you seek to register your domain name.

Benefit of Expired Domains

Benefit of Expired Domains
Benefit of Expired Domains

When you are creating a business or new website on the internet, as you probably know you will need a domain name. This of course is the obvious for any internet business, without a domain name you will not have a website, end of story. Now if you are new to the internet business world (where have you been?) you may not realize the importance of SEO tactics. SEO tactics, if done correctly, are designed to give you an advantage within the search engine ranks. Of course, you may be sitting there wondering, “What in the world are you talking about”. 

Well, this all leads to the title of the article and will answer the question what is the “Benefit of Expired Domains”. You see when an domain has been in use by another person and this person allows the domain to expire without renewing, the domain name is placed back into the pool of “domains for sale”. This is where the benefits begin to show, just like a new domain name, the expired domain name is available to anyone who wishes to purchase it. What is the difference between a new and expired domain name? Simple, the expired domain name has already been in use. This means that the previous own has likely invested a great deal of effort and time, not to mention money into the promotion of that domain name.

Furthermore, this means that the expired domain is likely all over the internet, with a multitude of back links. Think about it, taking possession of an expired domain name means less work for you and more time for other, more important issues. You will have the opportunity to take advantage of the work that someone else has already performed. The expired domain could already be listed with many search engines, forums, directories, and a wide variety of other websites that have this link already on them.

What does this mean? Because the previous owner already did most of the legwork, it leaves less for you to do. The traffic specific to that expired domain now becomes your traffic, which leads to your sales, and ultimately your revenue. All of this because someone else was kind enough to do the work for you already and let the domain name expire. 

Now surely you would know by now, that if you were to purchase a brand new domain name, you would have to do all the advertising, promotion, SEO work, submission to search engines, forums, and directories yourself. That is a lot of time, effort, and money spent on your part and trust when we say it takes a lot of all of the above to make a new domain work. It makes sense to take advantage of an expired domain does it not? We think so, you should find the expired domain of your choice today and begin taking full advantage of the legwork that has already been done for you and use it for your website.

3 Steps to Used Expired Domain Names and Deleted Domains

3 Steps to Used Expired Domain Names and Deleted Domains
3 Steps to Used Expired Domain Names and Deleted Domains
Have ever searched your favorite search engine for "expired domain", "domain names", and / or "deleted domains names"? Well, if you have recently been scouring the internet for good used domain names, then this idea may help. By following a few simple directions you will soon be on your way to domain name reseller success. 
1. Start a free general website directory in order to accept free link submissions manual or automated. You can get to free or open source website directory script at script directories such as Hotscripts.com, Needscripts.com, or ask members of Digitalpoint.com forums to help you find the best and most webmaster friendly directory script. 

2. Be prepared to receive lots of junk sites new and old. The junk sites will soon be to your most advantage because the webmaster will soon give up on the site. 

3. Every week or month run the validate feature that your website links directory script come along with. You'll be surprised how many of the junk sites you accept in your directory have been expired or no longer running and will soon be an expired domain name. Remember, the domain name of that expired site is what we're interested in. 

The webmaster that owned the promoted and we're assuming that the webmaster's site will soon gain a Google page rank of 1 or better. Therefore, one site owner's trash will be a domain name reseller's internet treasure. 
The more popular that your free general website links directory is, the more junk website submissions you'll receive, and the better your chances at expired domain name reseller success will be. If you follow the above steps, you can't go wrong. Domain names expire on a daily basis and at many webmasters chasing the dream of owing a profitable website will fail. Be there for the opportunities that will open up in reselling domain names. Good luck with you new domain name buying and selling business.
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