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book cover: choosing the right domain name

Choosing the Right Domain Name:
a Marketing Perspective

all you need to know about domain names (and some you don't need to know, but is interesting anyway)


CHAPTER 3.12
CHOOSING THE RIGHT DOMAIN NAME FOR A GEOGRAPHICAL DESTINATION WEBSITE

I'll start this section with a confession - I have made up the term geographical destination website because I could find no suitable term to describe those websites that are about a place. As with community sites (in the previous section), these sites can be commercial or non-profit - though in my experience the latter are rare, with even 'amateur' sites hosting ads to generate income. The main problem for the publisher of the destination website is that all geographical names have long since been registered - and, as with generic terms, domains like london.com, newyork.com are extremely valuable [As an aside, the organization I worked with back in the day had quite a few geographic domain names and I had a number of interesting conversations with entities such as City Councils and Chambers of Commerce who claimed they 'owned' the name of their location.]. However, salvation is at hand by way of adding adjective, verb, descriptive phrase or even question to the name of the place. Examples might include:
visitathens / allofboston / allaboutnewyork / singaporeonline / paris365 / tokyoontheweb / exploreneworleans / whyvisitseatle / whattoseeinsydney

The domain name can also be easily made to match the purpose or objectives of the site, for example:
Hotelsinlasvegas / wheretoeatindublin / wheretopartyinberlin / chicagoaccommodation / madridrestaurants / mexicocarhire

I suspect that at least some of the above have been registered. However, not only will these - I hope - give you food for thought, but it is unlikely that every combination of region, city, town, village or locale and descriptive adjective has already been registered on the various suitable suffixes.

DOMAIN NAMES IN PRACTICE :
make it clear
I saw this on an ad 'sticker': domain name examples
What would you type into your browser: birmingham.com or visitbirmingham.com? It's the latter, but my first thought was the former.

Something of a footnote to this section is advice for the local organization that is in some way 'selling' a destination elsewhere. For example, consider this: I am a UK travel agent who specializes in putting together trips from the UK to Toronto. Obviously, toronto.ca and toronto.com will be long-since registered - but what about putting my Toronto-vacations website on toronto.co.uk? Conversely, the Chicago Tourism Bureau might put a website targeting UK citizens on visitchicago.co.uk, with similarly targeted - and translated - websites for other countries (and suffixes) around the world.

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Copyright copyright 2009 Alan Charlesworth. All rights reserved.
International Standard Book Number: 978-1-4452-0538-0
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author.
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Every effort has been made to make this book as complete and as accurate as possible, but no warranty or fitness is implied. The information provided is on an 'as is' basis. No responsibility is assumed by the author for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the material herein.
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