1. Use a category defining generic “exact match” name if you can. A good example is our DiversityJobs.com. But remember, the premium one-word generic name may not always be the right choice, if it’s too broad a term. While conferring extraordinary credibility on your project, such broad terms are difficult to develop and brand because of their vagueness.
On the other hand, consider paying a pretty penny for a name that delivers very specific commercial type-in or direct navigation traffic. Sometimes owning the traffic is preferable to paying Google and Yahoo for it, year in and year out.
2. Integrate domains into your marketing and traffic strategies. The traffic and credibility you get from these will pay off in spades with time if your content is good.
3. Maintain a list of words to combine with your keywords to help you create good names. For example: _world, _zone, _web, etc… without a list, your memory may not be sufficient to help you pick the best name for your project. Here is a list of domain types for job boards.
4. Protect your niche by registering names that could be confused with yours. Create a moat around your business to keep competitors from unintentionally violating your trademark. It’s more expensive to enforce a trademark than it is to register the names. Don’t forget:
- domain extensions like .net and .org
- the singular and plural for example diversityjob.com and diversityjobs.com
- hyphens for example diversity-jobs.com
- add the word the in front for example jobster.com and thejobster.com
- append your industry keyword to your brand if it is not descriptive. our flagship website latpro.com is a good example — we didn’t register latprojobs.com and academiccareers.com is using it as a traffic generator (this is illegal).
- typos and relatives like
latinpro.com or latinopro.com
- do not allow your affiliates to register domains that incorporate or resemble your own domain.
5. Register multiple names for yourself and your products and services. You can’t predict what’s going to grow and what you’ll want to spin off but you can predict demand for good names will go up and what costs $7 today could cost $7,000 a couple of years from now. Don’t forget to register your name, possibly with and without your middlename, and your kids names.
6. Look 5 years into the future when deciding what to register and understand your next best alternative to domains. A domainer needs $8 a year from a domain for it to pay for itself which could mean 80 visitors whereas a developer may need only 8 visitors if his cpc cost for visitors on Google is $1. Furthermore, if cpc costs rise to $8 a click in 5 years, the developer will only need 1 single visitor a year to be at breakeven.
7. Consider using .org, .info, .us and domains with dashes in CPC advertising when the .com isn’t available after testing in Google for attractiveness. Depending on the niche, these extensions can pull nearly as well or occasionally better than .com.
8. Avoid trademark issues. Stay away from names that incorporate trademark names or are similar to famous brands. Do this to protect your reputation and your portfolio. If you lose a challenge to one of your names, you could be branded a ‘cybersquatter’ and you could lose future cases where the plaintiff has no legitimate claim on your domains simply because your reputation was clouded.
9. Develop a weaker keyword or extension. If you can’t afford the .com, develop another keyword, extension or the hyphenated .com. for example, we developed careeradviceblogs.com instead of careeradvice.com. Once you start making money, you can begin buying the premium domains.
10. Manage your realestate. Remember the McDonald’s quote: “We are in the real estate business. The only reason we sell hamburgers is because they are the greatest producer of revenue from which our tenants can pay us rent.” Regardless of whether McDonald’s CFO, Harry J. Sonneborn actually uttered these words or not, the principle is important. Internet domains are virtual real estate. Manage them well and your portfolio may one day have as much or more value than your primary business.
- choose your registrar carefully — a user-friendly interface and high security should be more important to you than finding a rock-bottom price
- make sure your registrar is always white listed in your spam filters and read the e-mail they send you
- don’t entrust complete responsibility for your domains to an employee. login to your account periodically and review settings on your key domains. set up monitoring on your key domains and white list domaintools.com in your e-mail spam blocker.
- register key domains for two to 10 years in advance to avoid losingany of them.
- if your registrar allows you to create groups or categories of domains, put your most valuable domains together so you can review them easily.
- don’t share your registrar account username and password with anyone when it’s not necessary. Don’t login to your account using free wireless services for example in an airport or hotel.
Think this is overkill? Just consider how much money flows through your top domain in a year… if it expired or was hijacked then sold to someone in China and redirected to a parking page, would that hurt your business?