In the same way, that we have names, websites have domain names. The domain name is the address that you type into your browser when you want to go to a website. Every single page on the Internet has a unique name. Uniqueness is created by adding lower level page names. You will generally find the full name of each page in the Internet browser at the top of your screen. If you copy a page address and paste it into an e-Mail to a friend that person will go directly to the page in question when they use the address that you sent them. Internet browsers are programmes that manage the interface between your PC and the Internet, e.g., Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Bing, etc..
Try this; watch the address space at the top of your screen; you will see the address change with every page that you go to. If the address does not change then, the address has been “cloaked.” We will introduce re-direction and cloaking below.
9.2 What Is The Best Name?
Eish! It’s a good but tough question. My view is that the best does not depend on how short, pretty or catchy it is, but it is the one that best describes who you are. If you are the answer to what the world will ask for; what is the question? If there is a word that captures this question, then that is the right name. If you were “Coke” what should your Internet name be? This is easy because billions have been spent over decades to teach you to use this name when you want one.
If you were a new organisation what should your name be? That there is a minimum of a dozen “name the baby” books in most bookstores indicates that while the name is usually a personal preference it is the reputation and exposure that the name gets, as it grows older, that will become increasingly more relevant. This said when you are hoping to be “caught” by those “fishing/surfing/browsing” on the Internet and who you know enter “keywords” as “bait” for information then selecting a domain name that will position you within a category of supplier may be relevant to the growth of your website’s popularity.
Let's say that you sell a Cabernet wine. Those that are not seeking a specific brand will search the broad search term or keyword “cabernet.” In this case selecting a name like YourDomainNameCabernet will place you in the “shoal” of other “Cabernet” sellers. As a browser, without a brand knowledge or reputation, you would select a name that arouses interest. If you know what that name will be; it is the one for you! If you have an established reputation and brand name then using it to guide your domain name selection is astute.
If you are new to the world that you want to market to, we suggest that you commit time to selecting a variety of available options and then that you go and ask a sample of the people, which you would like to have as customers, for their opinions.
Remember that there are two main ways to be found; you tell the world, or you get found!
9.3 What is a Domain Name Extension?
The letters that follow your domain name after the dot is your domain name extension. Domain name extensions put the domain name options available to you in categories. The first to be introduced are those often referred to as Generic Top Level Domains (GTLDs). These are the international domains with no geographic connotations. The second to be introduced are the Country-Coded Top Level Domains (CCTLDs).
9.4 Generic Top Level Domain Extensions
There are a variety of international GTLDs to choose from; yourdomainname.com, yourdomainname.co, yourdomainname.net, yourdomainname.info, yourdomainname.org, yourdomainname.biz, yourdomainname.mobi, yourdomainname.tv etc.
The most sought after domain extension in the world is the .com option. This is because of it’s international universal applicability and popularity. A .info extension is generally selected to provide the subtle hint that it is an “Information” site. A .org extension is often seen as being a public sector or NGO site, and some also see the .net extension as being an alternative for public entities. The latter inferences, while there, are not derived from any web rule book! As you move away from a .com, you will find that you can be more choosy in your choice of domain name.
9.5 Country-Coded Domain Extensions
Most countries offer country-coded domain extensions. Examples include .co.za and .za for South Africa, .co.uk for British Sites, .co.ke for Kenyan sites, .ca for Canadian sites, .fr for French sites and so on. If your focus is country specific, then a great thing about country-coded domains is that your preferred domain name is often more likely to be available. Another advantage is that if the optimisation of your site is not well done then, your site is likely to gather a better ranking in the country that it is coded for. If however the site belonged to say, a vet, then the optimisation would need to be around a neighbourhood and being country coded would help little. The reason for this is that one is unlikely to take one's dog to a Vet on the other side of town never mind to one in the next town. Thus while there is a definite place for country-coded domain extensions the matter of attracting the desired search traffic to your website is a function of many variables.
9.6 Folder Domain Names and Sub-Domain Names
A folder domain name may be thought of as the “human” naming convention in reverse. Yes, humans place their first or nickname first and their family or surname second. Website naming conventions work the other way around. When it comes to the Internet, we place the “family name” first and the individual web page name second. As we suggested above, we suggest that you once again pay attention to the web page name of the pages that you visit. You will see that the initial part of the name is constant but that the back end changes on a page to page basis.
The name structure normally is http://www.domainname.extension/foldername/etc
Internet addresses that include “folder” names carry the same credibility as any other name from search engines; in fact, the entire Internet is structured around folder name page referencing.
The name structure for a sub-domain name is http://www.sub.domainname.extension
The sub-domain name is set as a prefix to the domain name with a dot between. There is much consensus that sub-domain names are not highly rated by search engines and in the absence of opinion that suggests otherwise we recommend that you research the matter further before considering the use of a sub-domain name. Why we say this is that conventions change so gather a current opinion or tow before building a strategy around sub domain names.
9.7 Domain Name Redirection
The practice of redirection is a mature and well-established practice or process of forwarding a browser/person that navigates to a given domain name to another.
It is as simple as: “Hi, Jack’s not here he is at Jill’s house!” You can use link forwarding which discloses the journey, or you can use domain name cloaking which keeps your top level domain at the top! As a generalisation as long as the redirection is set as being a permanent redirection the top level domain will carry as much “recognition” as the linked underlying domain. The practice is understood to carry search engine support. Often, where one seeks the “best of both worlds” one may enjoy the immediacy of a folder domain as well as the pluses of being associated with a collective marketing opportunity but in addition the look and feel of branded individualism are available by redirecting a branded individualistic domain to a hub domain name that offers folder identities to members of the group.
Regular link forwarding:
Redirection may be done in such a way that the browser can track the Internet journey by following the domain name and folder name changes as one migrates from one web page to another.
Domain Name Cloaking:
It may also be done in such a way that the browser is unable to see the true lower level location address of any given web page. The latter process is known as domain name “cloaking.” Simply put, the top level domain name cloaks or hides the underlying lower level portion of the domain name. Thus one may find that the landing page URL does not change as you move through a website. This may stay the case if you are redirected to other URL addresses. The latter possibility offers the opportunity to those seeking to hide their destination.
With link forwarding your browser will reflect the full designated domain name ( the top level name and the lower level name) for all pages and the uncloaked approach will allow the user to follow the migration path and as such the “journey” is transparent. The cloaked approach “brands” the site with the top level domain name and cloaks/hides further name information. There are arguments for and against cloaking that may be akin to arguments for and against disclosing your family surname, club name, town name, country, e My view is that it is not how short or how pretty, hectic., it is, but it is the one that best describes who you are. If you are the answer to what the world will ask for; what is the question? If there is a word that captures this question, then that is the right name. If you were “Coke” what should your Internet name be? This is easy because billions have been spent over decades to teach you to use this name when you want one, etc. There were times when cloaking was said to be frowned upon but hey, it seems pride in one’s name has won the day over prejudice! Once again, however, I suggest that you get an updated opinion on cloaking before you use this approach. At present, however, major domain name providers such as GoDaddy will redirect with cloaking if so desired by yourself.
The Internet was founded on an intensely individualistic approach within a global environment. Individual sites with unique identifiers were placed on the world wide web. More and more the benefits of association in one way or another such as by link swapping, directory listing, etc. are used to boost the visibility of individual sites on the web. As portrayed in the picture of the shoal of small fish; they are more likely to be found on the web than a single big fish; a shop in a shopping mall may enjoy more passing traffic than the big conglomerate in an industrial park. So too we have seen the growth of country-coded domains and trend spotters will see that directories and site builders often offer a community-coded domain name.
9.8 Domain Name Hyphens,Prefixes and Suffixes
The use of hyphens to introduce prefixes and suffixes is becoming more of reality as traditional domain names tend to be taken. There are no guidelines issued by search engines on acceptability, but one must bear in mind that search engine “Kudos” relate to ranking, a very important matter but human keyword selection drives the process. So if you were to want to have the domain name cabernet for the wine that you produced you would find that the domain name:
www.cabernet.com is taken | Availability may be acquired by using hyphens etc
www.Vinyard-Cabernet is available as is Think-Cabernet.com | Use of a Hyphen
www.CoastalCabernet.com is available as is www.AgedCabernet.com | Use of a prefix
www.CabernetSite.com is available as is CabernetOnline.com | Use of a suffix
When exploring hyphen, prefix and suffix opportunities one should bear in mind the ease of marketing and brand building. Do not select a name that will be difficult to remember or brand. Using prefixes, suffixes and hyphens open the way to some exciting opportunities so as to be the answer to match keyword phrases entered by users into search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. In this area the concept of keyword density becomes important. If a user entered a keyword phrase in a search engine of “aged cabernet” the keyword density would be 100%. If the user entered only the keyword “cabernet”, then the keyword density of our AgedCabernet domain name would be 75% because it has an 8 out of 12 strike rate. The higher the strike rate or keyword density, the higher your site will rank in search engine ranking.
We suggest that you employ a few “golden rules” when exploring these opportunities; it must fit the nature of the business; it must render your site as a relevant search result; it must be pleasing to the eye i.e. have a good look and feel; it must be easy to remember; and you must be able to build a brand identity with it.
9.9 Domain Acquisition
Registering on a directory or site builder will automatically provide you with a unique Internet address in the form of a community-coded address as follows:
Lead by the social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and the like belonging to a community on the Internet is old news! Yes, Facebook offers a community-coded domain name for your Facebook page. Years back, having a community-coded Internet address was seen by some as being inferior. Being in a physical brick and mortar shopping mall was ok but being in one on the Internet was not well understood. Times have changed, and the advantages of having a community-coded domain name are many but for those that seek an individual brand identity you can have both, in fact, you can have as many as you like. The extra domain names are simply redirected to the folder addresses.
Usually, the username that you select when you register on a directory will be the website folder suffix to your website address on the directory. In this way, the community address is at the top, and your user name is used to uniquely code the domain. Once selected you may often not change the username that you register with on a directory as the databases are hinged upon this selection.
If you want your own top level domain name in addition to the community-coded domain name, then you need to first build your website and then once built you can point it to the site that you have built. This is an optional extra, it is not required and is a question of preference. To be clear, this process of pointing domain names to websites is not unusual. Every single domain name on the Internet is pointed to nameservers that host your website.
Should you require a domain with an international generic domain name extension or a domain with a country-coded domain extension, then one may very easily have this by acquiring the domain desired (subject to availability) from a domain registrar. Once acquired you can seamlessly use or redirect this address. You may also acquire a few similar names to protect your brand from the existence of identity similarities. These “extra” domain names would normally be parked with the registrar. Acquiring a domain name and hosting it are two separate matters. See below.
Should you use a third party to acquire your domain for you, then it is important that you are registered as the registrant or owner.
We have a P. S. For the domain brainstorming, which so often deserves more attention, and that is that you check to see that the name is not a registered trade mark, patent or trade name. If you register a domain name that belongs to another, you could lose the right to the name in the future.
The cost of domain names is normally an annual fee. Generic domain names are competitively priced with some country-coded domain names being relatively expensive. Once you have a domain name, you need to point it to the place where your website is hosted.
9.10 Website and Domain Name Hosting
The provision of a community-coded domain name and the hosting thereof are normally instantly and seamlessly provided by online site builders. The analogy may be that of the domain name being the sign post that you rent on an annual basis and the hosting fee being the monthly rental paid for the piece of land upon which you have erected your sign post.
The price of Internet hosting is normally based on an algorithm that feeds off your file storage size needs and the bandwidth that you utilise in sending and receiving information.
Use of a “click-build” site builder is usually included in any monthly hosting fee. It is common for the large international registrars to enable domain redirection on a cloaked and or uncloaked basis without the requirement that the name is hosted. While this is the norm with international generic domains, it is normal for country-coded domain registrars to require that the domain is hosted by them or by another. Once hosted the name can then be redirected.
9.11 Sell Goods via e-Commerce Classifieds
Having done the research you should have the necessary insight to the dynamics of the market and the trading opportunities for identified products within it. Before you continue to take the test. Does the product require support, training and or repair and if so have you researched the implications of these follow-on implications of a sale? Can the product be economically delivered outside your local area? Does the manufacturer offer promotional material such as brochures or / e-brochures? What are the acquisition lead times and what size is the stock holding needed to be? Do you know if it solves a problem and if so what is it?
The more common the problem is, the wider the market for the solution will be but the market may be established and price competitive. Your job will be to gain a market share. Is it best marketed on price, gift packaging, the speed of delivery or some other differentiating factor.
The more unique the problem is, the more likely it is that you could become a sole or preferred supplier of a solution in a highly profitable niche but one in which market awareness will have to be built. Your job will be to establish the market. Does it have instant appeal (impulse buy) or must it be explained in person or can this be done online on a video? It is most likely to be best marketed as delivering measurable benefits, status, exclusivity, value for money etc.
Having researched the market and having established the theoretical size of the market, you now need to put your research to the test. Once again, it is an inexact science that will offer you the comfort that you seek before you invest in the acquisition of stock.
Firstly; observe. Monitor local e-commerce sites and establish the trends for the period it takes to sell products and note the price of these products. Search for these products on Google and find the paid Adwords. Within Adwords, you will be able to determine the likely cost of these Adwords as well. The merchant that is bidding on these keywords is paying for the Google adverts and the longer they do so it will indicate to you that there is an online market for the product and that the product is selling. Otherwise, it would not be advertised. Should you wish to monitor a large number of keywords, there are reasonably priced packages, like Keyword Elite, available that will do this monitoring for you. Another avenue to research is to browse printed magazines for adverts for your selected products.
Next; test the market. Obtain some of these products and sell them on e-commerce sites as well as in the local newspaper classifieds to further test the market for the products. In no small way, this exercise will address any Internet phobias that may exist. There are shoppers and shops who fear even the everyday computer. Computers disguised as mobile phones are changing this; fast. e-Commerce is not going to slow down, and everyday consumers will continue to convert to being online shoppers. A small businesses’ online turnover will grow because e-commerce gets’s your business growing; it’s that simple. Keep a dedicated focus on the user experience; buying on your site must be easier than on a competitor site. Get experience on branded e-commerce sites such as iTunes and OLX and use it to judge your site. When you are satisfied that you have found a product line that people are looking for and which you have successfully sold, it will be time to consider sourcing supplies to stock your online product showcase/store. Alternatively, you may wish to remain to be an agency or online affiliate e-tailer.
Big brand name e-Commerce sites have huge advertising budgets, and you need to continue to use them to generate sales leads. These sites offer the opportunity for only snapshot information on the product advertised. Mostly listing on these sites is free and doing so makes good sense to generate sales leads. When contacted by a potential buyer you can refer them to your website (offering your website address on the e-commerce site is not always permitted) where they could be spoilt for choice and information. In some sectors of the market such as for motor vehicles, the online sites often charge high prices to place adverts. Let us say that your niche is a particular range of vintage cars that you restore to sell. You could host your full range on your website and attract leads by placing adverts for a limited few on the large commercial e-commerce site. In this way, you would drive traffic to your site.
Take the Test
What could I do with the time that I spend in the traffic?
My child is young and I want to work from home.
I want to spend more time at home.
I live on a farm, my office is in a barn and I live far from the commercial centre.
I want a second income.
I want to build up a passive income stream.
Because I can, I want to!