Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Domain Names and Such

Today, I am busy deciding where to purchase my first domain name. Also, I am investing thought in what to call it. This is because, although I love having a blog, I feel that it is important for me to put up my first site already.

I found an interesting article about domain names and would like to share it with you:

How My Internet Business Improved When I Got My Own Domain Name
by Donovan Baldwin

Many people seeking to start internet business often ask themselves, "Why should I get my own domain name when there are plenty of free web hosting services around?" Or they might say, "I have joined an affiliate program, and they provided me a great looking website. What do I need my own domain name for?"
I'm not going to knock free hosting, because that's how I got started in internet marketing. The sites I created with free hosting services made money for me, and many are several years old and still making money for me. However, there are several benefits that I learned about when I got my own domain names.

1. The sites were neater and less distracting. A free hosting service will normally support its operations, at least in part, by putting banners on a site or by having popups, or both. Not only does this detract from the general appearance of the site, but it may cause visitors to your website to leave quickly and it may disguise your internet business in the sea of advertising which surrounds it. When I got my own domain name, all the clutter disappeared and my internet business became the only focus of the site.

2. I was able to improve the visibility of my internet business to the internet surfer when I got my own domain name. This actually improves visibility in more than one way.
First, I was able to pick domain names that reflected the thrust or intent of my internet business. For example, if a surfer is looking for travel agencies in New York City, the URL’s newyorkcitytravelagency.xxx or nycitytravel.xxx are more likely to catch the eye than iwouldreallyliketogetyourtravelbusiness.xxx.
Second, many successful internet businesses have used a ploy of catching the surfer's eye with a funny or slightly unusual name that sticks even though it doesn't exactly express the message. Don't believe me? How about PayPal.com, eBay.com, Google.com, or even NoDiet4Me.com?

3. I was able to improve my search engine visibility, ranking, and results when I got my own domain name. Not only was having a domain name that reflected my internet business area of interest valuable insofar as the human surfer's eye was concerned, but it could improve my search engine ranking as well. This is invaluable, because a properly selected domain name can both reflect the interest of the human while better meeting the requirements of the search engine.
Just for an example, if my internet business is selling free web hosting, having the domain webhosting.xxx may be good, but freewebhosting.xxx is going to be even better. If someone is seeking free web hosting, freewebhosting.xxx is probably going to catch their eye because it is exactly what they are looking for. Also, if they search for "free web hosting", there is a chance that if I have done a good job of optimizing my website, the search engine they use will add my domain name into the factors it considers while fulfilling the request and will show my domain name first.

4. I was better able to market affiliate programs when I got my own domain name. When I started out in internet marketing all I knew how to do was join affiliate programs. If you have ever seen the links provided by many of these affiliate programs, you probably were appalled and wondered how anyone could ever use one of THOSE links to attract attention. They are full of question marks and strange codes, and they tend to be excessively long and often don't say anything about the business that is being promoted.
Once I got my own domain names, I was able to redirect visitors to the affiliate site while using a perfectly sensible sounding, and looking, domain name. I was able to put recognizable and rational sounding domain names on business cards, which would have been impossible with the affiliate link. I was also able to design information sites under my own domain name which carried links to the affiliate site.

NOTE: Many affiliate links have other problems than just being ugly or unwieldy. If you have an affiliate link that looks like bobsbarbecue.xxx/?affiliate=joan or bobsbarbecue.xxx/afid=1234, some search engines will only recognize the root domain, that is, bobsbarbecue.xxx, and ignore everything else.

Many affiliate pages don't actually have anything of interest to a search engine, such as titles, Meta tags, or content. This gets into another area, website design and search engine optimization, and that's outside the scope of this article. However, having your own domain, even a free one, can allow you to more effectively promote the affiliate program you have joined.
Finally, most affiliate pages look exactly alike, so you have no way to stand out from the crowd even if the page is fantastically designed and optimized to the max. However, if I get my own domain name, I can either redirect to the affiliate page, but use my own title and meta tags (and even content), or I can create a page of my own which leads visitors to the affiliate page through anchor text and other linking or lead building techniques. (Which are ALSO subjects of interest in their own right).

5. Once I got my own domain name, I was able to begin branding myself and some of my internet business sites and interests. Since I write articles like this all the time which carry links to various internet businesses with which I am involved, I have been able to create a brand name of sorts and have been able to interlink these sites, interests, and articles, thus creating a more visible internet image.

Donovan Baldwin is a Dallas area writer and network marketing professional. A graduate of the University Of West Florida (1973) with a BA in accounting, he is a member of Mensa and has held several managerial positions. After retiring from the U. S. Army in 1995, he became interested in internet marketing and developed various online businesses. He has been writing poetry, articles, and essays for over 40 years, and now frequently publishes articles on his own websites and for use by other webmasters. Learn one way to get your own domain name.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Donovan_Baldwin

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