Business and Operations
By Alan Zelcovitch
Domain names reign on search engines. Here’s a solution for improving yours if it isn’t scoring high in the rankings.
By Alan Zelcovitch
A domain name is a web address for a company. You use them every day. Here are a few examples: www.thebay.com, www.ford.com and www.cnn.com.
The domain name of a website is the address that a user types in to get to a web page. So, if you want to go to CNN news, you would type in www.cnn.com. Many people do not understand the relationship between the domain name and the Google search engine (and search engines in general). It is through this lack of understanding that an improperly named domain can cost you many sales.
WHERE THINGS GO WRONG
Let’s use the following example. You have a company that specializes in delivering pizza. You purchased the domain www.incredibletoppings.com for your website. The marketing team thought it was a genius name and the CEO loved it too. It also sounds very catchy.
That’s all fine and dandy, except the search engines do not love it. If someone is searching for really good pizza in Toronto and types in “amazing pizza delivery in Toronto,” the website will not come up with a high rating. The domain name has none of the pertinent words. Of course if someone types in “incredible toppings for pizza in Toronto,” the site would likely come up.
Realistically who would use the combination of words “incredible toppings for pizza in Toronto” when searching for a pizza? In all likelihood, they would use something very generic like “best pizza in Toronto” or something like that.
Many business owners have made this mistake and do nothing to correct it because they feel that if they make a change to their name then people will stop coming.
There is a solution for this. It’s called redirection.
Imagine you have a company that only sells pink purses and you have a domain called www.gloriousdesigns.com. Clearly these are useless words to help out with a search to find pink purses. As a matter of fact, the search would likely render design companies for houses or offices. The solution is to create a new domain name called, for example, www.pinkpursestoronto.com.
When a person searches for pink purses in Toronto, they get taken to www.pinkpursestoronto.com, which actually forwards to www.gloriusdesigns.com. The user wouldn’t notice or care that the web address was www.gloriousdesigns.com. All they will care about is that they see the pink purses they are looking for. Once this happens, hopefully they buy and you get to make a sale.
KEYWORDS IN YOUR DOMAIN NAME
I would still encourage companies to use this system even if they have a keyword in their domain name. For example, say there is a bakery called www.mamascakes.com. Obviously from the name you know it is a cake company and that is good, but imagine all the people searching for something very common like a “custom cake.” The best thing to do here would be to create a new domain called www.customcakes.com and forward anyone who clicks on that to www.mamascakes.com.
In this simple step, we have taken a very common search word and given it better search presence, which translates to more sales.
There are also many tools available to actually see what people are searching for so you can design your very own targeted domain names.
This explanation is very simplified in order to make it easy to understand. There may be some complications and I encourage you to contact me for any assistance you may need.
Alan Zelcovitch owns Zelcovia Cookies, an online bakery business, and a computer technical support company, CSN Canada. He has had both for 13 years. He is an expert in technology and how it relates to food businesses. He offers a wide range of consulting services, with an emphasis on food businesses. He can be reached at 416.488.3886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.