A common problem on the Internet occurs when businesses and organizations have one name and then their domain name is another. Sometimes these are very different names or ones that are vaguely related. News Flash: It’s 2010! Your prospects and clients are seeing your website, email address, and domain name offline more now than ever!A domain name is so practical to remember since it’s both a way to identify your company and a way to get into contact with you. Clients and prospects are going to see your domain name as being synonymous with your company name for all intents and purposes. Having differing company and domain names can confuse potential clients, especially if they’re learning about your company for the first time.
There are many situations that can occur Online where customers only see your domain name and not your company name. Because of this, the customer may refer to your company by the domain name and not by the actual company name. If the names differ, it can cause confusion. Some of these situations are as follows:
- PPC search ads – When setting up AdWords, the domain name is a required field. However, there is NO field for your company name. The only information that is given about your company in the ad is the domain name, not the company name. This isn’t the case with just AdWords, but also in Yahoo and Bing. There are ways around this, however. You could put your company name in the title of the ad or in the body, but with the limited space that can be better used to get potential customers to want to try your product or service, this is not really possible.Unless all you’re looking for is brand exposure, forcing your company name into ads won’t be too successful.
- Web directories – There are many places on the Interner that list websites for free or for a small fee. These places are known as web directories and they often do not show your company name, just your domain name.
- Email – When you send someone an email from company email address, your domain name will be prominently shown.
- The Real World – If you put your domain name on any physical material to be distributed and/or used for advertising purposes such as brochures, billboards, cards, and the likes, it can look bad and cause confusion.
- I’m sure you can think of a few more mediums where the conflict between your domain name and company name can cause confusion in your customer base.
There are many marketing, advertising, and sales companies making this mistake and they should know better. This can happen when there is an older, established company that wants to break into the interactive world, but they did not grab the domain name that reflects their company name when it was available.
A good example of this problem is if your company name is something like Joe Smith’s Heating & Cooling, but your domain name is SmithHVAC.com. Because of the difference in the company name versus the domain name, your prospects, leads and existing clients may think your company name is Smith HVAC. The problem is only magnified when your site’s logo/id says something different than your company name.
At GlowHat, we often run into this problem in the course of helping our clients develop strategies and market their sites on the Internet. We have helped many clients in both making them aware of how this problem can be a detriment to their marketing efforts and in fixing this problem. By fixing this problem, we have helped many clients minimize this major branding problem.
- 1. The Internet continues to grow and as it does, it becomes a larger part of our daily lives. Mobile and social networks are growing rapidly and have become a large part of mainstream lifestyles. Many people no longer look in phone books or read newspapers for information. Instead, these people are going Online. A domain name is both a “phone number”, a business name, and a brand all wrapped up into one nice and neat package. At one time, having a website was something that was just a little extra bonus that a business provided. Now, websites are nearly a requirement for a successful business.
There are many reasons that a mismatch in domain name and company name can occur:
- 1. When an older, more established company decides to make the move to the online world, the domain name that matches their company name may be taken.
- 2. A new company or start up that falls in love with company name finds that the desired domain name is not available. Because of this, they may be forced to settle for a less than ideal domain name.
- 3. A company might have the idea domain name, but not renew it in time and thus lose their domain name. Because of this, they may be forced to obtain a domain name that doesn’t match.
There are many solutions to this:
- By choosing your domain name and company name simultaneously, the chances of having a conflict in names are reduced to zero. While this may sound easy, it can be fairly difficult to come up with a good sounding name that is available. At GlowHat, we have our own proprietary tools that we use to help clients find a domain name that fits their needs. By doing an extensive search through thousands upon thousands of domain names, we can find a short, easy to remember domain name with a good sound that is a good match for your business. In our search for the perfect domain name, we also look for any trademark or service mark conflicts that could cause an issue with any potential domain names and company names we find for you.
- Re-Branding – If you’re a small company that either has very few clients or is not well known, this can be a great time to re-brand. We can use the aforementioned process to also help you secure a great domain name. Re-branding is great for companies who wish to have a catchier name and a great website to go along with the new name. At GlowHat, we can do this!
- Expired domains -When we search for domains, we also look into domains that have recently expired or are about to expire so we can snatch them up for you the second they become available. We leverage a few partner services to do this for us and we use more than one method to ensure that we grab the name before others do.
- Existing domains – If you have a great domain name in mind but it’s taken, we will negotiate with those who own the domain name. There are many people who purchase domain names and never use them and leave them parked. Our job is to assist you in getting the best possible price for the best possible domain.
If you have noticed prospects and leads getting confused about your company name and domain name discrepancy? Are you a new business owner who wants to make sure there are no problems between the business name and domain name? Let us know! We would love to hear about your experiences. We will let you know how we can help!