Sure, it’s possible to run a successful online business with a lousy domain name, but your business will always do better with a good domain name. The internet is like a city centre shopping area – you can either have a high-street address or a side street address. A clumsy domain name makes a business look less credible and less memorable.
A domain name is not just something that you type in on a computer keyboard – it is your brand, written on your letterheads, business cards, advertisements, maybe also on your company vehicles, carrier bags, promotional give-aways etc. Your domain name also forms part of your email address. Furthermore the most exciting technological development now means that your domain name can also serve as your phone number for the very simple reason that it is much easier and more intuitive to remember a domain name than a telephone number.
Not only typed, or written, an extremely long or complicated domain name makes it harder for people to type and to share through word of mouth. They also fit much more easily into a 140-character tweet.
A short domain name on the other hand aids for a memorable identity providing a powerful tool for marketing and brand building. Examples of created brand names which fit into this category: eBay, uBid, xBox, iPod, Digg, Hulu, Bebo,Tivo,Bing.
The fact that they are short makes them easy to remember. The longer the domain name the more prone to typing errors. This is even more true if your full company name is complicated to spell.
How do you spell that ? Some words are difficult to spell. It is therefore easy to understand why it makes sense for organizations such as “Oconomowoc Developmental Training Center” to have the 4-letter domain name “ODTC.com” and “Narragansett Bay Insurance Company ” to have the 4-letter domain “NBIC.com”. And for the company “Anderson Bauman Tourtellot Vos” (how do you spell that ??) then they were very wise to opt for “ABTV.com”. Or how about spelling “Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation” which use “ACFN.com” or “ArbeitsGemeinschaft der KörperschutzImporteure” which use “AGKI.com” or “Deutsch Aserbaidschanischen WirtschaftsFörderinstitutionen ” which uses DAWF.com!
It seems that increasingly firms are using short acronyms for their web identities – even Facebook has recently acquired FB.com. In fact, it is now revealed that Facebook paid a cool $8.5 million dollars to acquire the domain FB.com – which by comparison makes the prices of 4-letter domains small change! See Farm Bureau finds wealthy friend in Facebook
Some names are difficult to truncate without going for the straightforward four letter acronym option thus companies such as “The Country’s Best Yogurt” use “TCBY.com” and “Forest Products Research Laboratory” have “FPRL.com” and “AAKD.com” the “Arthur Ashe Kids Day” and “TAKF.com” for the “Take A Kid Fishing” Foundation etc etc etc etc…..
And how much simpler and easier is it to type in “FBPC.com” than the unwieldy and lengthy FatBlackPussyCat.com ! And what a fabulous choice of name is “Angry Bald Guy Productions” using “ABGP.com”!
“Tennessee Valley Electric Cooperative” now uses “TVEC.com” (instead of the longer and clumsier “TennesseeValleyEC.com” ) and “Herzog Railroad Services Inc” choose to use “HRSI.com”. “Game Trading Technologies Inc” have since acquired “GTTI.com” (a vast improvement over their “gametradingtechnologies.com” domain name) and “ThinkDirect Marketing Group” choose “TDMG.com”, and “Canadian Lender Solutions Ltd” choose “CLSL.com” etc etc etc…. See also some more 4 letter domain name acronyms
Prestige, ease of recall, branding, less prone to typos
The main reasons that 4 letter domain names are so desirable is that they appear more prestigious, are easy to remember, are great for branding,are less prone to spelling errors as is the case with much longer domains (especially true if the full company name is complicated to spell) and requiring less keystrokes (important on mobile handheld devices with small buttons) and of course great for offline marketing. Mobile devices are becoming ever more popular and more and more people are surfing the web on their mobile phones than from conventional PCs.
Voice recognition technology has now come of age, and will be used to power many of the next generation browsers. Dictating 4 separate letters .cominto a voice recognition device is easier and less prone to error than a longer more complicated name.
As mobile usage grows you may be glad you have that 4-letter domain name in the future.
People can now phone your domain name – it’s called Domain Dialing
The latest technology (such as SITER.com) now allows people to make a phone call to a domain name
To make a telephone call with your iPhone (or other smartphone) you simply dial the domain name instead of a telephone number. Some smartphones have a default “.com” button making it only necessary for you to tap in the domain name itself followed by the .com button saving you those extra keystrokes.
What is easier to remember – a short domain name or a lengthy unmemorable telephone number comprising of up to 15 digits (if you include international dial codes)?
Instead of struggling through pages and pages of content searching for a phone number, using the free Siter.com mobile app smartphone users can simply “dial” a domain name . The Siter program searches a database of more than 26 million assigned phone numbers worldwide and suggests a number (or numbers) to call based on that company’s domain name. Users wishing to contact their local Target store, for example, have only to type Target.com into the Siter program for a list of the best phone numbers based on proximity to their current location.
See Don’t Know the Phone Number? Dial the Domain! The advantages of the SITER service are obvious because whereas numbers have no intrinsic meaning, domain names may have a meaning and may therefore be more easily recovered by the memory. In which case the shorter less complicated the domain name the better!
Why .com is the preferred suffix
As “.COM” is the most widely recognized domain name suffix worldwide, then the preferred suffix should be .COM if you currently conduct business internationally, or intend to conduct business internationally in the future.
It gives a more prestigious impression than less widely used domain suffixes such as .ORG, .NET, .US, .BIZ , .INFO etc. Similarly many people are unfamiliar with country codes and usage of a two part suffix such as COM.MX .COM.CN COM.HK etc… and less easily understood. This is even more relevant with some country codes like CO.IN – not COM.IN and CO.UK – not COM.UK !! There are also other suffixes – .AERO, .ASIA, .COOP, .EU, .TRAVEL, .PRO, .MOBI , .TV, .CAT, .TRAVEL, .JOBS, .PRO, .TEL and more recently .XXX etc etc etc and the proliferation of more of these lesser-known “boutique” suffices simply reinforces the power and value of the .COM brand. You need to ask yourself when was the last time you saw a web-address with one of these suffices – if you haven’t then it is unlikely any of your potential customers will have.