As a worker in the domain ... I was ... by the ... between this yearand last in the Super Bowl. No, I didn't ... care about the teams ... but Iam an avid watcher of th
As a worker in the domain industry, I was surprised by the difference between this year and last in the Super Bowl. No, I didn't necessarily care about the teams involved, but I am an avid watcher of the commercials every year, and took note of the fact that it seemed about half of the ads one year ago were for .com companies. This year, there were very few by comparison…
Traffic. The Internet game is all about traffic. It's a simple equation- visitors = $$. Whether they are buying your products or driving up your ad revenues, visitors to your website are the key to your success. There are, of course, many ways to increase traffic to your site. It would appear, though, that spending more than a million bucks on a 30-second commercial is not a cost-effective method, as many of those companies in the 2000 Super Bowl discovered.
One method that is cost-effective is not effectively utilized by many webmasters. Most webmasters I know have just one domain name for their site. As a simple rule, though, the more ways there are to find you, the more you will be found.
Your company name, obviously, is a great place to start. I, like many other contemporary websurfers, am a "web-guesser". If I'm looking for The Widget Company, Inc., I'll type in "widgetcompany.com" and get their website more often than not. If the webmaster for The Widget Company is smart, though, he'll also have "thewidgetcompany.com", "widgetcompanyinc.com" and "thewidgetcompanyinc.com" pointing to the same site. Real-life example- Coca-Cola. Their official website is coke.com. They also own, however, cocacola.com, coca-cola.com, coca-colacompany.com and thecoca-colacompany.com, along with a whole host of others.
One offshoot of the company name is variants. Have you ever lamented the state of education in America today? What would happen if someone typed in "wiGDetcompany.com"? Misspellings of your domain count just the same as the correct one. Poor spellers, after all, need your services as much as the good ones do. If you're in doubt, find some people that don't already know your company's name. Tell them the name, and then have them write it out on paper. You might be surprised at the creative variations of your name they'll come up with. Reserve those "mistake" names- they'll count as hits, too. Real-life example- Hewlett-Packard. Not the easiest name to spell, right? Their official website at hp.com can also be reached by hewlettpackard.com, hewlittpackard.com, hewlitpackard.com and other assorted misspellings.
OK, you make widgets. You should have "widgets.com". If you make red widgets, you should also own "redwidgets.com". If you make small widgets, you should get "smallwidgets.com" and so on. You spend your time marketing these product names, you should expect that someone would remember it and go looking for it online. Real-life example- Procter & Gamble. P&G owns around 200 domains, including pampers.com, pringles.com, tide.com, clearasil.com, folgers.com and many, many more.
Having these domains gives you a competitive advantage. You can get more traffic just from these simple tricks. I've seen webmasters spend a lot of money on advertising, hiring search-engine submission specialists and the like. Now that the cost of domains has dropped more than 50% in the past year (less than $15.00 at the company I consult for), it's actually one of the more affordable things you can do to get the eyeballs to your site.
Kevin Sullivan is a consultant for the domain registrar ItsYourDomain.com. Kevin has been in the domain registration business for about 2 years, ever since ICANN mandated open competition. Kevin can be reached online at www.itsyourdomain.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org"