A good domain name can be a more valuable address than the physical address of your business. That’s why it’s important to know how a strong domain name can work in your favor.
The Anatomy of a Domain Name
A standard Internet address (URL) reads like this: http://www.google.com. The domain name part is google.com.
- The top-level domain in this example is .com. Traditionally, there have been eight primary top-level domain name extensions. Other popular extensions are .org for non-profits, .gov for government, and .edu for education. These are all known as generic. There are also country code top-level domains like .ca (Canada).
- The second-level domain name is .google. This is the unique identifier. Of the hundreds of millions of websites, each has its own name.
- There are some third-level domains. One example would be maps.google.com. The third-level name is maps.
There is a simple process for securing a domain name. Multiple providers authorized through ICANN will register the name for a small annual fee.
The Value of Domain Names
There is much more to a domain than just an address. Domains are essential to businesses for marketing and branding purposes. If the goal is to increase website traffic, creating a good domain is one of the most important marketing decisions. But due to the exploding number of websites throughout the world, securing a productive name is not as easy as it used to be. Keywords surrounded by numbers or dashes may help discover possible names.
Let’s say Mary owns a flower shop in Funnytown, USA. She can forget trying to get flowers.com as her own domain. It is possible the current owner might sell it to her — for millions! She must search for another name without losing the essence of her business. A very good one, if available, would be flowers-funnytown.com.
The Future of Domain Names
There is a coming explosion of top-level domain extensions. For a large fee, a buyer will be able to purchase a unique top-level name just like the second-level domain. The value for business is most obvious. Instead of ford.com, it could be ford.explorer. This will increase the power of search, making it easier for users to find the exactly what they are looking for.
Who could have predicted a generation ago how vast this virtual frontier would become?
This content is provided by Patriot Software, Inc., a developer of small business software for U.S. employers. Patriot offers software for building a website, paying employees or 1099 contractors, hiring employees, or handling human resources. For more information, visit PatriotSoftware.com.