Don't Stop Your Online Sales Before They Even Start
An Indie recently contacted me about joining the Indie Beauty Network. After talking with her, I realized that the business had a few significant problems, starting with their website address: BusinessName.info. Yick.
It's difficult indeed to launch a business with a unique brand name that is also attractive and available as a dot com. I appreciate this. However, when you find out the name you want is not available as a dot com, the next step should be to pick another name. Not add a subprime extension to the name you want and call it a day.
Yes, the other domain extensions are out there, but dot com is still the Ferrari (oooh!) of domain extensions, and probably will be for decades to come. The business owner I spoke with was unwilling to consider changing her business name even though her business had not officially launched. I predict this will cost her thousands of dollars over the course of her business. Here's why.
1. Dot com stands for commerce. That should be enough right there. If you plan to engage in online commerce, use the domain extension that stands for commerce.
2. People expect dot com. If your domain name is .info or .biz, you have to emphasize that in conversation to make sure the person you are talking to understands that your website address is not dot com. If that person forgets what you said and loses your business card too (imagine that …), it may be difficult for them to find you on the Web.
Even if someone recalls your brand name, they are most likely to search for you online using that name with a dot com extension. And if they have to look too hard, they quickly forget all about you. And please, don't operate a for profit business using a dot org domain extension. Everyone thinks of philanthropic giving when they see dot org, and that's as it should be.
3. Search engines favor dot com. Go to any search engine and type in a name, any name. What shows up first? dot com. Even if it's not what you are looking for, dot com appears in search results far more frequently than anything else.
I don't mean to say that other domain extensions are worthless. I do mean to say they are not worth nearly as much as dot com extensions, especially if you are selling products online. If you are launching a business, why handicap yourself with a second rate domain name? I'd rather see you create wealth using a brand name you hate with a dot com extension, than to see you broke using a brand name you love with dot something else.
Well, that’s my rant for the day.