Sometimes the domain names I register are the name of a product, service, or company. Other times, they are additional "landing page" domains so I can use Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs to funnel traffic to my primary sites.
Most people think they "need" one domain name. And, strictly speaking, that may be all you need. But if you use the Internet for marketing and sales generation, then you'll need additional domains. Here are the primary uses I have for domains:
Basic Web site
Duh. But also, it's amazing how many people still don't have a web site. The "local search" functions of Google and Bing have made it painfully obvious how many people still don't have a web site.
Those people probably aren't reading this blog, so I'll address the hundreds of millions of businesses what ARE using the Internet.
I find it handy to have separate web site addresses for some of my blogs, especially if the blog has a different focus from my company name or primary company web site. See also the discussion of landing pages and marketing below.
In one instance, my blog title became a domain name (smallbizthoughts.com) because it gets a lot of traffic. Later, I decided to create an actual web site (a small one) around smallbizthoughts.com, so the blog is now http://blog.smallbizthoughts.com/ and the web site is http://www.smallbizthoughts.com/.
That domain is among the top half-million domains for traffic in the U.S. I know, half a million doesn't seem like an achievement. But it is!
What's a landing page? Well, when you do advertising, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, you need to send those clicks someplace. It is not very useful to send them to your homepage because you won't easily be able to tell the advertising traffic from other traffic.
In addition, you ads should take people to a specific page with a specific call to action (fill out the form, request a quote, sign up for a service, etc.). Whatever the call to action is, this landing page needs to focus VERY heavily on making the visitor follow through. That content is probably not what you want on your home page.
You could use a specific page on your domain, such as http://www.yourdomain.com/google, but that might not get you the best ad rates on Google. Google actually reads the domain name and includes it in their relevancy ranking for search ad pricing and for search results generally. So www.sacramentomobility.com will get better focused hits for "mobility" than KPEnterprises. KPEnterprises is a great name, but is completely meaningless to search engines unless you're searching for KPEnterprises.
In addition, it is very handy to Split Test your traffic. Do the people connecting from Google respond differently to the same content than people from Facebook? So you can set up different pages for each.
Split Testing Ads
If you run ads on any search service (Google, Facebook, MSN), you should have at least three ads for each set of keywords. All these services will automatically track which ad is most effective. This allows you to tweak the wording on your worst-performing ad in order to increase return on your investment.
Now that little bit takes place at Google (Facebook, etc.) and it not related to domain names. But . . .
You should also be split-testing your landing pages. So you should send 1/3 of your clicks to each of three different landing pages. Again, these could be on one domain or across more than one domain.
Recycling Domain Usage
Once you are finished with an ad campaign, you should leave those pages up for awhile, or even replace the landing pages with other calls to actions. This is obviously true with time-specific marketing campaigns. But it is also useful generally to transition these landing pages to general marketing and use them to move traffic to your main web site or to your current campaign.
Do not let these pages die or be outdated because they refer to an old deadline.
This means that your next campaign will need a fresh set of pages. For me, the easiest way to do that is to set up a new domain or two just for the next campaign. So, domains from campaign one go into "cruise control" mode while a new domain (or two) are used for campaign two. You might then move on to campaign three in the saw manner.
Eventually, you may re-use the domain(s) from campaign one in a future campaign.
Radio and Other Advertising
I'm a real believer that telephone numbers in radio advertising is a waste of time. But so are many web sites! You need a good, easily understood domain name. When we do radio ads, we send people to I5PC.com and not KPEnterprises. You'll see some examples below that use the local freeway in a domain name. It's easy to remember!
Domains Are Cheap
If you're not reselling domains, start today. They are cheap and easy to manage. Hosting is similarly cheap. For some services, adding addition domains is actually free. And if you are serving these yourself from your own servers, then hosting is essentially free.
When I have an idea, I go try to register at least three domains for each project or service. Even if I'm not sure what I'll do with them, it's good to have them.
Domains for Sale
I have recently decided to auction off some of my domains. Even with a staff of eight people, I just can't use them as fast as I collect them. Soon we'll be putting these for sale on EBay. Stay tuned.
Category: Cloud Computing
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