When you start a business, you probably think about a website, and therefore a domain name. In my case the name “Bourquin” was already taken. Probably some distant cousin in France or Sweden or something. It doesn’t matter it wasn’t available. When I started in this business there were only 800 or so domain names registered. I had the opportunity to buy Nissan.com for $8. I didn’t. I felt that wasn’t ethical since I wasn’t Nissan Motor Corporation.
There was a man who did just that. Kevin Ham became “The man who owns the internet” according to a Forbes Article. Along the way I did have some great domains as I built and sold businesses. Others weren’t so good. Today the Internic, that is the agency responsible for managing domain names, puts a hefty fee on good names. I guess they do that so people like Kevin Ham can’t make as much money. Or at least I hope that was their idea. I think they really just wanted a piece of the pie. There is also a process where a company like Nissan can just claim their name, as they should be able to do. Sadly it takes a lot of money and good lawyers if the other side is out of the country you are in.
So What’s In A (Domain) Name?
It used to be that you wanted a quick short memorable name that represented your business. Simply put, we didn’t have Google and at first Google wasn’t that smart or crafty. Today is a whole new ballgame. You can have a fairly long domain name and still rank very well. A few years back we had a client that moved up on rankings to a solid second. The spot I consider ideal most of the time. A competitor added an “s” to the end of the domain name and outspent our client, moving into that coveted 2nd spot. That was one of my biggest challenges to date.
Our domain name is simply our name, but we own several other businesses. Our virtual audience app is at Fan2Stage.com. That domain name says it all, but only once you understand the app. There is a bit of an educational challenge with that kind of name. Another client was CakeTahoe. A cupcake shop in the Lake Tahoe area. During Covid there was an oversight and the domain name wasn’t paid for. She lost it, and we acquired CakeTahoeCupcakes.com for her. Since she mostly made cupcakes, it didn’t hurt at all. Her cupcakes had a solid social following. The website became a placeholder until she shutdown due to Covid. Personally I am looking forward to the delicious reopening.
The End Name
Your domain name should be as short as it needs to be but be long enough to connect your customers and potential new customers to you. Another one of our companies is Custom Photocraft. We acquired this business from my Uncle, and kept the name since it had been around since the 1970’s. You don’t give up name recognition ever.
When you are picking a domain name, grab a few, see what sticks and what works with your customers. When you find one you like grab the next closest one like CakeTahoeCupcake for instance.