Your Web site is your “home” for reference information about your company, its plans, its recruiting, its press relations, its customer acquisition. So the domain name is a crucial company asset. This issue talks about the basic steps you should take with your domain name; choosing it, acquiring it, protecting it and using it.
Choose Your Domain Name
The first step is selecting your domain name. Find a few important words that characterize your business for the domain name. You’ll hare to research which names are available; you can do this easily at networksolutions.com. Use full words, even it the domain name gets a little long; abbreviations and other cute shortenings make the name harder to remember. For example, webmarketingadvantage.com is a longie, but what’s the chance that anyone can get webmrktngadv.com correct?
Protect Your Domain Name
You’re going to put a lot of time and money into promoting your domain name, and it’s going to become a very valuable business asset. So you need to give it the protection that you would give to any such important business asset.
If you can, register your domain name as a trademark. It’s not expensive, and a trademark can be very useful if someone else decided to cash on the promotion work that you do on your domain name.
I recommend that you use Network Solutions to register your domain name and not a discount registrar. Yes, they’re more expensive–it will cost you an extra $10 a year or so–but they have more robust procedures around disputes than the other provider. If you have a serious dispute you may not be happy with even their procedures, but at least you can keep in mind that they have some of the best.
I also recommend that a company executive, with significant equity in the company and a long-term commitment to the company, be the person who registers the domain name and not a technical person or consultant. The person who registers it will be recognized as the person who legitimately controls it and can take it off the air or can transfer it to ownership of another party. You do not want this valuable asset to be controlled by someone who does not have a long-term commitment to the company.
Use Your Domain Name
The guideline I give for providing real prominence for your domain name is that you should tattoo it on you forehead and make sure that everyone in your staff does so also. If you don’t want to take this step, then do everything else you can think of short of this step. Be sure the domain name is on all signs that have the company name, your letterhead, your business cards, any marketing giveaways you have, and so on. Be sure that your domain name appears in every ad that place in any medium. Including social networks.
Make sure that no email goes out from your company without using the domain name as an email address. Especially as the proprietor, be sure that your own email always bears your domain name. Each email is a promotional opportunity, and you want to make sure that it helps to promote the business.
The Bottom Line
Your domain name can help your business if you make promoting the domain name second nature to you. Promote your domain name all the time.