In this article, you’ll discover a key element of your Web site and how you can use it to drive traffic to your site from offline sources.
What is the most “basic element” of a website?
It’s your domain name – your business’ virtual address.
To figure out why a business’ domain name is important to its Web site’s offline promotions, a little background into domain names is in order. Domain names are also closely related to what is called domain extensions
What are Domain Extensions?
These are categories of Internet domain names that you would enter after typing a domain name and serve as a description of what the user is looking for. For instance, this website is called cheap sense then followed by a .com
To begin with, there are two main classes of domain name extensions, gTLDs (general Top Level Domains) and ccTLDs (country code Top Level Domains).
The ccTLDs were developed to represent entities from specific regions, such as the United States (.us), France (.fr), or Japan (.jp)
What are gTLDs?
.com, .net, .org, .coop, .edu, .gov, and .int.
Educational institutions use .edu, cooperatives use .coop. gov ( government)
As of the writing of this article, several new gTLDs have been or are in the process of being launched by ICANN, the governing body of TLDs.
list of mainstream domain extensions 2017 (gTLDs)
- com – commercial
- net – network
- org – organisation ( nonprofit)
- co –
What is the best domain extension?
In most cases, if you find the right registrar, you can purchase a domain name with any extension, no matter the reason you need the name or where you are based.
Nowadays the best extensions are based on your location and the kind of website or business you will be running.
The best choice by far is a good solid “dot com”. Why? Because people are familiar with it, and it’s what people associate most with Internet addresses. .com represents the word “commercial.
Most businesses also prefer a .com domain name because it is a highly recognised symbol for having a business presence on the Internet creating an element of trust. The general public would normally type a name preceded by .com on their browser without even thinking.
This is very important in offline advertising because if a potential customer sees your Web address, he or she will likely have to remember that address when it’s time to pull up the old Web browser to visit the site.
So generally speaking, a domain name ending in .com is most desirable for offline advertising.
Should I register all domain extensions?
Unless you need to protect your intellectual property rights in a name, probably not.
Several other important issues to consider are the domain name length, use of hyphens in the domain name, and the name’s overall “readability”.
The domain name length can have a direct impact on how effective that name is at driving traffic to a site.
As you can probably imagine, the fewer the characters in a domain name, the better. It is memorable and easy to type into your browser.
The use of hyphens in a domain name can have a negative impact on a name’s effectiveness, so they should be avoided if offline advertising is planned.
A name’s readability should also be taken into consideration when planning offline promotions. Do the words run together confusingly?
Are the letters positioned in such a way that the name might be misread? If so, capitalization can be used in print to eliminate some of the confusion.
So what if you’ve already registered a name, and you find another name that you think would work better for offline advertising?
That’s simple. Register the new name, and get your host to set up an “alias” that will direct any traffic the new address receives to your existing Website.
I hope this helps you in choosing the best name to brand your business and at the same time drive offline traffic to your website.