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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)

Choosing an effective domain name is a crucial decision for any organisation. It is a marketing decision and not one to be taken by IT staff who do not appreciate the value of a domain name in marketing terms.

A search in Google for the phrase 'advice on choosing domain names' gave me 880,000 returns in less than half a second. Although I admit that I didn't look at them all, I was a long way in before I gave up - and I had found very, very few sites that actually offered me any advice that was of any value or significance.

Why take any notice of me?

Back in the day - OK, it was late 1996 - I got involved with a publishing company that was looking at the Internet for new business models. Many were tried, and most fell by the wayside, but one that was successful was the registration of domain names. The venture was given impetus by the fact that the organisation had already registered [amongst others] the domain name ''. So it was that I ended up visiting companies, answering telephones, replying to emails and delivering talks at business seminars on the subject of e-commerce in general, and domain names in particular. All of this led to me being perceived as an expert in the subject.

Part of my knowledge came from finding the answers to customers' questions [the day I took a phone call from a guy in Eire who wanted to register the domain name of his company in every country in Europe sticks in my mind - we'd only registered .co.uks and .coms at the time], but the other part of my 'expertise' was gained from advising thousands of organisations on what domain name they should register - maybe I had a knack for it, but the skills came from experience in the field. To give you an idea of what I was doing around this time, take a look at why register a domain name - heaven knows how many prints of this I handed out when giving talks at meetings hosted by the likes of local Chambers of Commerce and business clubs from 1997 to 1999.

Advice on choosing a domain name found on the web is:

  • Rarely independent - usually on the site of a company selling registration services
  • Often US based, which has an effect on suffixes and 'accepted local norms' such as the use of a dash
  • Often limited - particularly from companies who register domain names as part of their business eg web designers
  • Often written by someone whose expertise is limited
  • Often written by someone who is not a marketer
  • Often written by someone who does not appreciate the value [to a company / brand] of a domain name eg a web designer, programmer or IT specialist
  • Sometimes technically wrong
  • Often inappropriate

To address these issues, back in 2009 I published a book advising folk on how to choose the right domain name. It has sold well over the years, but now some aspects of it are a tad dated ... so I've put it all online to be read for FREE.

You can start by going to the book's contents page

Copyright 2009 Alan Charlesworth. All rights reserved.
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