Domain Names, TLDs, and Branding working hand in hand

October 1st, 2007

New websites are all about the domain names and branding. You want a domain name that is memorable by others and relevant to the content of your site. If you were thinking this would be the easiest part of your site’s creation that could be the understatement of the millennium. First, it has become extremely hard to find a good domain name since hundreds of new sites are created everyday. Next, people are buying up domain names by the dozens to sell in the future.

I personally spent 6 hours on lobolinks dot com which had expired only days earlier. I had been trying to come up with something unique to my content for a few days and decided to sit down one Saturday to work it all out. When I finally found Lobo Links I quickly grabbed the .com and .net TLDs.

A top-level domain (TLD) is the last part of an Internet domain name; that is, the letters which follow the final dot of any domain name. For example, in the domain name www.example.com, the top-level domain is com (or COM, as domain names are not case-sensitive).

COM TLD’s are the most popular and with good reasoning. They are the general TLD association given to any website by 90% of all internet users. Search engines have made this common association a lot easier to deal with.

The most popular are in this order

  • .com
  • .net
  • .org

This is may be where branding comes into play. Lets say you want register bluewidgets.com, but some domain squatter has beat you to the punch. If you have a small budget, registering one of the free TLDs like .net or .org will work just as good. Now, that you have your domain name you can start to brand your unique name and pray that squatter never has any luck with a sale. If your website really makes a smash it would be good advice to purchase the .com or brand your name to the fullest.

Niche Marketing

If you plan to go after one specific niche market finding the right domain name can be less tricky. Since your actual domain name is strong associated with the site’s content you can pack specific keywords in your name. (ex: buybluewidgets.com)

Avoid the dashes

I personally made this mistake on one of my first internet projects. I did a fairly nice job branding my product and adding a lot of unique link bait. The result was a domain squatter buying the dash free version of my domain name and sitting on it for no less than $7,900. By the time I learned that a dash free version might increase my daily visitors or just be easier to tell someone over the phone it was too late.

Have you ever tried to tell someone your website address over the phone or even in person when it contains a lot of dashes? Just try repeating this sentence out loud as if you were speaking with a friend or customer on the phone.

Please visit my site www.blue-widgets-for-cheap.com for more information

Yeah it is a mouth full and usually they will get it wrong. This leads to them finding their favorite search engine and try to hunt you down. So as you can see domain names and branding really go hand in hand. You just can not have one without the other these days.

Great Articles on Domaining and Branding

How Not to Pick / Name a Site / Domain Name

Bad Marketing and Bad Domain Names Kill Business and cause Lawsuits

10 US Laws Every Domainer Needs to Know

99 Tips to cheaply brand a startup

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