When an Internet user types a domain name into a website browser a request is sent out to the local Internet Service Provider (ISP) asking where it can find that website. The ISP checks with the relevant master domain name server for the country then the server points the user to the location of the website.
Now to speed these domain name queries up, whenever the local ISP makes a query on a domain name it will store the result for a period of time so that it doesn’t have to ask again. This is a process called caching. Every now and then the ISP will update their stored cache with the information stored on the master domain name server. This period of time can range between a few minutes and 48 hours.
Whenever you want to update the information that is stored about your domain name on the master domain name server, because of caching, it can take up to 48 hours for every ISP around the world to update their records. This is a process called ‘propagation’.
Unfortunately, a ‘.com’ domain name is difficult to find these days. There are now over 24 million ‘.com’ names registered so the chances of finding the name you want will be difficult.
Other international alternatives to a domain ending in ‘.com’ is a domain name ending in ‘.net’ or ‘.biz’. These domain names are not as good as a domain name ending in ‘.com’ but can be used successfully with careful marketing and branding.
If your target market is local or predominately local then a domain name ending in ‘.co.nz’ should be your first choice. If your audience know you as a New Zealand company they will expect you to have a ‘.co.nz’ domain.
If your target market is a combination of both international and New Zealand users you should consider using both.
For many companies it is a good idea to register other secondary top level domain names such as ‘.net’ or ‘.org’ to protect your business brand. Very few people will use these domain names to access your website, but by registering them you prevent other businesses taking them and stealing website visitors or damaging your brand by displaying obscenities at their addresses.
If your domain name combines two separate words, make sure you register versions with and without hyphens. Search engines prefer domain names with hyphens and users prefer them without. If it is easy to misspell the domain name – consider registering the misspelt version of the domain name.
It is also a good idea to register the domain name of individual products, especially if these are well known brands and people have heard of them and are searching for them. This will also protect your product names.
Your domain name should reflect your business name and if possible portray who you are and what you do. Try to obtain a domain name that is:
Look to reflect your business name in your domain name. Zeald is our domain name and our company name. When we tell people we work for a company called Zeald, it instantly tells them that our company has something to do with the Internet and that we have a website.
Some great domain names include key words that your audience are searching for. Search engines will often credit words in the domain name as part of their ranking process. So if your domain name includes popular keywords that your target audience are searching for, your website will have that added advantage.
If you are just starting a new business, try to research popular keywords and see what domains you can register before you brand your new business.
Keep in mind that cute or non-traditional spellings may elude potential visitors.
In this situation, we suggest you register the original business name so you don’t lose that traffic, but also register a name made up of popular keywords that would attract more targeted traffic, perhaps a name that focuses on the product or service as opposed to the company. You can use this keyword-rich domain name as your main address and redirect the traffic from your original ‘company name’ domain name to the same address.
If the business is completely changing to an online focus, or your brand is not well established, you may want to consider changing the business name altogether.
Don’t feel restricted by an existing business name in order to purchase a good domain. Even what may seem like a perfect keyword domain name, is not a guarantee.
Consider establishing a trademark on your name - during this process you will discover any possible infringements. For information on establishing a New Zealand trademark go to http://www.iponz.govt.nz. You can also do a free search of US trademarks at the US Patent and Trademark office’s website at www.uspto.gov.
Keep in mind that when you purchase your domain name, you are essentially reserving the name for your own usage, for a set period of time. You are not required to put up a website on the new domain name immediately. You also don’t need to have your website hosted by the same company that registers or hosts your domain name.
Finally make sure you keep your contact information up-to-date, as you do not want to miss being notified when your domain name is about to expire, thus letting your competition scoop it up, along with all your hard-earned website traffic.
“Is Your Website Producing Amazing RESULTS?”
If you answer anything less than a resounding yes, then you need to learn about Zeald and the ‘Websites that Work!” program. Because results that are anything less than ‘amazing’ means you are selling yourself short!