Top 5 Domain Buying Mistakes

October 17th, 2014

domain mistake blog

When starting a new business or venture, selecting a new domain name is a necessity. In fact, the right domain name has gone from being a nice-to-have, to an essential ingredient that can impact the success or failure of your marketing efforts.

Learn from these mistakes so that the name you choose for your domain is a successful one.

1. You’re trying to be too cool

Didn’t your mother ever tell you to “just be yourself”? Sure there are some very alluring naming trends out there today, such as dropping the “e” on names like Flickr or Tumblr.  A trendy domain name might sound cutting-edge today but in a few years’ time it will immediately sound dated. And, in the meantime, it can cause confusion. Even Flickr had to buy Flicker.com. Think about your naming selection like fashion and don’t brand your company with the acid-wash jean equivalent of domain names.

2. Your domain name is way too long

This one should be obvious but with a lot of factors at play it can be a challenge: you want your domain name to mirror your business name, but also provide insight into what your business does, to not be confused with competitors, etc.  This is the cardinal rule of domain name selection; the longer your domain name, the more likely a person is to forget the address, make a mistake when typing it in or give up and not even attempt to remember the name.

3. Your name has numbers or hyphens

Trying to get the perfect domain name can be a challenge, and it may seem like the addition of hyphens or numbers would be the solution, but picture this: you’re networking at a swanky cocktail party and telling a new colleague to go check out your business. If your domain name includes hyphens or irrelevant numbers, it can be a real mouthful to communicate. And it also sends a distinct message about the credibility (or lack thereof) of your business.

4. You chose words that are difficult to remember or spell

Even if your preferred domain name doesn’t include words that would classify them for a spelling bee final, think about the more common areas of confusion.  Words with “ie” or “ei” in them often get misspelled so avoid it if you can…also make sure to buy the domains of the most common misspellings.

5. You didn’t consider how it reads without spaces or capitalization

There are countless examples of how domain names can go wrong. Look at your perspective domain name without capitals, without those nice spaces that define each word to the next. Make sure you’re not accidentally sending a very embarrassing inappropriate message!  Here’s a PG-rated example of how this can go terribly wrong: a tourism company focusing on Spain called “Choose Spain”. If they purchase an exact-match of their domain name, it could easily be read as ChoosesPain.com. Needless to say, that website no longer exists.

Avoid these domain name pitfalls and you’ll set your new business up for online marketing success! BuyDomains has the largest inventory of high-quality, brandable domain names available for sale.  To find a domain that’s right for you, just search BuyDomains.com.

I Bought a Domain, Now What?…5 Tips for the Domain Owner Newbie!

September 25th, 2014

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Have you ever thought about purchasing a domain but are unsure about what to do once it’s in your ownership? Here, we are going to break down the top 5 next steps to domain ownership and development.

1)      Check your Domain Expiration Date: Every domain has to be registered from year to year; you can go ahead and buy multiple years of registration (up to 10 years) at any one time. You will want to ensure you keep your registration current otherwise you risk letting it lapse and losing the ownership rights to the domain, so we recommend buying registration in bulk!

 

2)      Find a Hosting Company: If you are planning to develop the domain into a website you will need a hosting provider. A hosting provider is the company that you use to get your domain online and populating to a website. Most often your registrar will have hosting options available to you and there are hundreds of hosting companies out there too.

 

3)      Setup Social Media Accounts: Secure the Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin handles for your new domain immediately.  In the long run this will help when you are ready to start your marketing efforts and it will enable opportunities to brand your new domain.

 

4)      Purchase other TLDs: Once you purchase your domain, you will want to purchase subsequent domains that are the same but with a different TLD. (Example: You purchase cats.com, you will then want to go out and purchase cats.net, .org, .biz, etc…) This will help you when your site is live because you can then use these other extensions to redirect traffic right back to your original domain purchase.  Also you will then be the sole owner of that domain name once you buy up all the other extensions, eliminating any competitors and ensuring your customers do not get confused.

 

5)      Park Your Domain: Maybe you buy the domain but are not able to use it right away; this is where parking would come in handy. You can park your domain at a parking company and potentially earn revenue just for pointing your domain to the parking DNS (Domain Name Servers).  This in turn will help you build traffic to your domain and develop an online existence.

Want to Own Your Domain Name for Life?

September 16th, 2014

domain for life

Our customers who are interested in owning their domain name for life are pleased to hear that when a premium domain is purchased, they own it forever.  However there is one very important caveat: the domain owner must maintain the domain’s registration.  Fortunately, domain registration is inexpensive and easy to keep up to date.  In fact, most registrars offer the option of multi-year registration, and also send automatic expiration alerts well before your domain registration expires, which makes maintaining registration easy.

Your premium domain purchase is an investment.  There are many attributes to names that BuyDomains sells every day that make it a valuable asset, including memorability, its short length, its strong TLD (like .com, or .net), and other characteristics that contribute to its value.

Domains have various registration status codes that range from “active” to “pending delete”.  It’s very important to maintain an active status. If you don’t maintain registration for your domain name, the registrars can change your domain’s status and eventually delete them.  For example, if your domain status has slipped to “registrar-hold”, it is possible to re-acquire your name, but much more costly and complicated than simply maintaining registration.

Here are the two most important things you can do to maintain your domain registration, and protect your investment by insuring ownership for life.

  • Select multi-year registration when you initially register your domain name, or when you review your domain name registration.
  • Make sure your contact information stays up to date with your registrar to insure you receive the renewal alerts.

Follow these easy guidelines and enjoy that domain name for a many years to come.

Domain Name Myths and Misconceptions

September 3rd, 2014

 

 

At BuyDomains.com, we talk to thousands of customers; from first time entrepreneurs to savvy web developers.  Over the years, we’ve noticed some common myths about the domain purchasing process and domain ownership. To help dispel these, we are clearing up the 4 most common misconceptions:

 

All the good domain names are taken

It’s true that hundreds of millions of domain names have already been registered: 276 million to be exact (as of March 2014). But don’t lose hope! Millions of the domains that have been previously registered are licensed one year at a time, so they are destined to expire and become available again. Or, like any other asset, a domain owner may decide to sell the domain name on the secondary market or through a domain broker.

 

I own the domain name so I have the legal rights to that name

While a domain name may be available for purchase, that doesn’t mean that the copyrights or brand trademark is purchased along with the domain name.  It is best to take precautions to ensuring that the name you choose does not infringe upon any existing trademark. If you are unsure, seeking legal advice is always recommended.

 

Since I bought the .com, I don’t have to worry about anyone being able to use the other extensions.

Not true.  As a rule of thumb, when you go to register a domain name, you can protect your brand by also purchasing domain names similar to your main name. For example, if abc.com is available, you should also consider purchasing abc.net and abc.org if you can.  In addition to brand protection this will also help to eliminate any confusion amongst your customers.

 

All I have to do is buy a domain name, and then I am ready to start posting on my website. 

Purchasing a domain name is a critical first step, but to begin your website, there are crucial steps to take:

  1. 1. Register the name with a registrar (think GoDaddy or Register.com). Purchasing the name itself is just one step, you must also submit the name to be registered with an ICANN accredited registrar.  Despite what a lot of people think, a domain reservation alone will not give you access to post web pages.
  2. 2. Select a hosting plan. A web host connects your new domain name to the internet, providing space for your website to operate.
  3. 3. Though not a necessity, you may also want to consider additional features such as a dedicated IP address and a private SSL certificate to help protect customer data and establish yourself as a trustworthy site.
  4. 4. Design your website.
  5. 5. Launch!

 

Your website is often the first and most important impression you’ll make with potential customers.  Acquiring a reputable, memorable domain name is the first and most important step to getting a business or organization online.

Search through our inventory to find the premium domain name of your dreams.

How does your domain name affect page rankings in today’s search landscape?

August 6th, 2014

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Did you know that Google uses more than 200 factors in their algorithm to help them evaluate your website for their rankings?  These factors play a key role as to how your website will be ranked, and ultimately appear in searches conducted by your customers.   It’s important to know what Google values today in websites, so that you can optimize your site and tailor your marketing strategies to attract more customers.

Your domain name plays a role in several of the 200 factors that Google considers.  Here are a few of the ways that a premium domain name may help your search rankings, and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.

Keyword in Domain Name- While keywords in the domain name don’t weigh as heavily as they have in the past when EMDs- or Exact Match Domains-  were popular, Google looks for words in your domain name that will give them clues as to how relevant your site is.

Exact Match Domains- While we are on the subject, EMDs are only beneficial if they are high quality exact matches. What is considered a high-quality Exact Match Domain?  Stay away from hyphenated, keyword-stuffed, spammy domains when you select your web address.

Public vs. Private WhoIs Information- A private WhoIs profile in itself is not an indication that your site is low quality.  There are many reasons why a company would want to privatize their information.  However several suspicious factors together may raise flags as to the type of site or business you run. If you don’t have a great reason to keep your WhoIs information private, then don’t.

Domain Name Length- Studies have shown a correlation between long length of domain name and lower search rankings for that site.   In general, shorter is better, not just to make Google happy but it’s easier for your customers to find you online.

Domain Age- It appears that, while there is not a huge difference in a domain that is six months old vs. a year, it is clear that Google does use domain age as a factor. 

 

For a list of more factors that may play a role in Google rankings, check out this article.  To find a premium domain that can propel your website in search rankings, search BuyDomains’ inventory of  high quality premium domains today.

BuyDomains has an inventory of over one million domain names, most of which are descriptive and keyword-focused.

 

5 Ways To Heat Up Your Online Marketing

July 17th, 2014

 

Often business slows down in the summer as customers and prospects take time off and go on vacation.  This slower seasonality is a great time for you to take a step back and think about ways you can improve your marketing, particularly your website, your largest digital marketing asset.  We’ve put together a list of the most impactful things you should be considering during the slower summer months that will help drive more traffic to your website, and convert this traffic into customers.

1. Secure Your Brand with Alternative TLDs: If you don’t already, it’s important to consider owning all of the domain extensions of your domain name.  For example, do you own the .com, .net, .org or any of the new TLDs that were released in 2013 and 2014?  If not, it’s a good idea to snap up as many of these variations as you can.  If you don’t own the .com yet, start researching what it would take to upgrade your domain.

Also consider buying the misspellings, alternate spellings, plural forms, and close variations of your primary domain name.  By doing this, you can be sure to retain any potentially confused visitor, as well as guard against other businesses buying and profiting from your name.

While you’re at it, do the same exercise for all social media platform handles.

2. Renew Your Domain Registration for Multiple Years: If you forget to register or re-register your premium domain name, you will most likely lose the name, and along with it the investment that you made.  Why not add years of registration to your domain name today, and protect your investment for years to come?

As an added bonus, search engines consider the length of site registration when determining a name’s domain authority and rankings in search results.

3. Verify Your Domain’s Security:  You want your customers to trust you, especially if you are collecting any personal or financial information.  Potential customers are savvy enough today to look for indications of a secure site prior to transacting.  Therefore you should make sure you have verified the following information:

  • DNS registration access rights and credentials
  • Correct and current Whois contact information
  • Registrar Locked domain status

4. Ensure Your Site is Visible in Search Results: While websites are in development, webmasters or developers often limit search engine spider access by blocking them in the robots.txt or .htaccess files, or with meta tags.  Make sure that once your site is developed and you are ready to launch, you remove these blocks so that each page on your domain can be indexed by search engines.

You should also be thinking about new ways to improve your keyword rankings, so that your website is more visible in search results.  Things like a site audit, new content, and earning quality links from other websites all contribute to your search engine optimization efforts.

5. Invest in a Premium Domain Name:  Your domain name is your first impression for both customers and search engines.  Make sure you are adhering to best practices when selecting a domain name.   It should be short and memorable, and easy for your customers to find you.

BuyDomains.com has over one million premium domains for sale.  Search our inventory today to find your perfect domain name and turn up the heat on your website marketing.

The Most Expensive Domain Sale of 2014

April 29th, 2014

The biggest domain name purchase this year was just completed by Xiaomi, who purchased Mi.com for a cool $3.6 million USD. Prior to this, the most expensive domain sale of the year was for Whisky.com, which went for $3.1 million USD, according to DN Journal.

Xiaomi is a smartphone manufacturer based in China with at least $360 million in funding, according to Crunchbase.

Their 2014 plan includes significant international expansions; however Xiaomi had a significant obstacle which was its very name. Not everyone can pronounce it and even fewer can remember how to spell it. For the record, it’s pronounced “shao-mi”, where the “shao” rhymes with “cow.” Xaomi appears to have dropped the “Xiao-” from its English-language branding altogether and has simplified the brand to “Mi”, hence the acquisition of Mi.com.

Xiaomi will face multi-fold competition from international phone makers, including Samsung, Apple and Sony, home-bred companies such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava, besides other Chinese brands Gionee, Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo that are aggressively marketing their products to consumers.

“The new domain is simpler and more accessible to an international audience,” the company said. It added that the newly launched domain also gives a more succinct meaning to the “Mi” brand, which stands for Mobile Internet.

Co-founder and VP, Li Wanqiang, also noted that the new Web domain will contribute to the company’s e-commerce business, which accounts for about 70 percent of its total sales volume. “When it comes to e-commerce, a short domain name helps obtain higher user traffic because it is easy to remember,” Li said in a press statement.

It makes sense for Xiaomi to make such a move, even at such a high price tag. Having a simple, catchy and internationally understood brand name and domain name could just give Xiaomi the edge they need to surpass the competition.

Matt Cutts: Avoiding a Penalized Domain Purchase

April 25th, 2014


With Google’s recent algorithm updates cracking down on poor link building tactics, above the fold ads, and spammy content, it’s becoming increasingly more important to do whatever you can to avoid receiving a Google penalty to your site. But what if you haven’t acquired your site yet? Are you safe to buy anything available and start with a clean slate? Not necessarily.

This week, Google’s Matt Cutts released a video discussing the steps one should take in order to avoid buying a domain that has previously been the recipient of a Google penalty. Domains carry history, and if the domain you are interested in has been used and built out previously, it is possible that it has received a penalty. Cutts drew attention to the following ways to make sure you’re buying smart and safe:

  • Search for the domain using both the site:domain.com command, and the domain name itself minus the TLD. Searching for the domain allows you to see if there is any content indexed. No results at all can be a bad sign. A parked domain, however, is not a red flag, although more often than not these parked pages are removed from the listings by Google’s algorithm regardless.
  • Check Archive.org to see what the past version of the site looked like. If it appears spammy, proceed with caution.
  • If you are dealing with a private seller, ask to access or view screenshots from Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, or other tracking systems they may use. Getting a clear view of any notifications and traffic trends will help you understand if the domain is in danger.

Once you’ve researched the historic quality of your potential domain, and you still decide to purchase it despite an old penalty, there are ways to get back into the search engine’s good graces. Submit a reconsideration request to Google with clear details on the steps you have taken to correct the previous owner’s mistakes and how you plan to proceed in the future. If the links going to the domain when you buy it are all spammy, consider disavowing all of them and starting fresh.

View the full video from Matt Cutts here:

Is it the Internet or the Web? A Domain or URL?

April 17th, 2014

We’ve all been guilty of it…using terms that are almost accurate. So here is clarification on some commonly misused Internet-related terms.

 

The Web vs. The Internet

The terms Internet and Web or World Wide Web are often used interchangeably; however they are two very different entities.

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that link several billion devices worldwide. It is a network of networks. Think computers, GPS, video games, smart phones, etc.

The World Wide Web is the most popular portion of the Internet and is just one of many protocols or services housed on the internet. Other internet protocols include FTP, email and instant messaging.

 

What’s an IP Address?

Your computer’s ‘internet protocol‘ address is a four-part or eight-part electronic serial number, which can look something like ’102.5.774.11′ with dot or colon separators. Every computer, cell phone, and device that accesses the Internet is assigned at least one IP address for tracking purposes.

Wherever you browse, whenever you send an email or instant message, and whenever you download a file, your IP address acts like a type of automobile license plate to enforce accountability and traceability.

 

URL vs. Domain

“Hey, go check out this great new Uniform Resource Locator I found.”

Admit it, you had no idea what URL stood for until now.

A domain name is commonly part of a larger Internet address called a “URL”. URL’s, or ‘uniform resource locators’, are the web browser addresses of a specific internet page and file. A URL goes into much more detail than domain name, providing much more information, including the specific page address, folder name, machine name, and protocol language.

URL’s commonly use three parts to address a page or file:

  1. 1. The protocol – the portion ending in ‘//:
  2. 2. The domain name – www.buydomains.com
  3. 3. The filename/pagename itself – domain-reviews/#testimonial-raisingthebar

For example:

http://www.buydomains.com/domain-reviews/#testimonial-raisingthebar

Consider yourself informed. You’re Welcome.

Happy 25th, Web. Now You Can Rent a Car! …Or Just Show Us Where To.

March 12th, 2014

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For anybody under the age of 20 it is hard to imagine what life would be like without the web. Back in 1989 a British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee wrote a paper proposing the architecture that would become the World Wide Web.

His intent: A simple file-sharing service for scientists. Instead, it paved the way for the tech giants of today, to simplify the things we do every day. He went on to develop an invention that has revolutionized the lives of billions.

In 1995 a mere 14 percent of Americans told the Pew Research Center they used the internet. Maybe it had something to do with those primitive, screeching and slow dial-up modems.

According to pew, that number jumped to 46 percent by 2000… and stands at 87 percent today — the coupling of wi-fi and smartphones meaning the web is pretty much always at hand.

Usage and demand continues to peak. In fact, just 3 months ago, all 4-character .COM domain names have been registered.  From AAAA.com to ZZZZ.com, all 456,976 combinations have been exhausted. The three-character .com domains have been used up since 1997.

The future evolution of the Web is an exciting prospect and although there is much speculation, we can be sure it will drastically transform our lives.