Which domain name would you type first? (image credit)
A couple of month ago I have written about the basics on how to choose a domain name. Today let me add one important point.
A friend of mine runs a successful business and just has launched a new website with some great tips for lead generation. I wanted to read one of his articles again and typed-in his URL. Instead of his homepage I saw:
Error: Server not found
This was quite a surprise. He has one of those domains where you have a hard time to remember whether to add the “s” for plural or not. Like in
The weird mess up on his part is that he even has a very beautiful logo with …labs, but his domain name is …lab.com.
I don’t think I am the only one making this mistake, but I am one of the few who actually try the other version as well. The average web surfer might just give up right away.
Of course I wrote to him immediately and shouted,
“… get the plural version of your domain as long as you can.
You can buy it from me for $2,397.00 if you decide on the spot while we are talking. Otherwise I throw it on the market for at least $4,997.00 tomorrow. Your choice …”
Well, the last part is made up, I did not try to rip him off. Fortunately his missed domain is still available. That’s the secret reason why I don’t spell out his domain name here.
I am sure he understood the hint and will buy it.
Type-in traffic can be more valuable than you think
Ask yourself, “Who types in your domain directly into the browser?”
Likely someone who already has heard about you and wants to know more. For example she has remembered your company name, brand name, product name from an ad you ran in a magazine, from a radio or late night TV ad, or in best case from someone who mentioned your products and services in a very favorable tone — basically referred her in your direction.
Sounds like a not so cold prospect.
That type-in user whom you have lost just 3 minutes ago, and another one 10 hours and 27 minutes ago might have signed up to your newsletter or bought something right away. You’ll never know.
Tip: When you think about registering a certain domain name consider right away whether it makes sense to register both singular and plural versions of it.
- Is there already a competitor using one version or the other?
Maybe you should get a totally different name then to avoid trademark related issues in the future.
- How many searches are on the major search engines for each — the singular and the plural version of the keyword — respectively domain name.
A quick quiz
What do you think is the more popular site?
(display the answer)
This treatment is a bit incomplete but don’t waste your time to find the holes in my argument. Take action instead.
- Rather check if you have domains that are effected, shell out a few bucks and register the plural and singular versions of your important domains.
- Then redirect your traffic with a 301 Permanently Moved HTTP status response code to your main domain. Your web hosting provider has documentation on how to do this or even can do it for you.
Now get to work.
By the way did you notice that in general most of the folks who make a good living on the Internet have a lot of domains. (Just a hint more.)
John W. Furst
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