You may have wandered around the web for some time, looking for ways you can help your business get a boost in the digital world. Then, probably at one point, you stumbled upon the term domain name marketing.
According to the article that you might have read, domain name marketing is the newest thing. It can help your business and website grow. It’s the next best thing after digital marketing. However, it doesn’t tell you what it is exactly.
You’ve gone back to the search engine, and you’ve tried to search for other articles. You’ve read that domain name marketing is related to domain names and your website.
Yet you’re again frustrated by the lack of information on how you can do it and what it is exactly.
Then you’ve stumbled on this article. Hopefully, this will be the last place you will be in your search, and this will be the definitive guide that will clear up what domain name marketing is, how you can do it, and why you would even bother with it.
Before anything else, the term domain name marketing isn’t widely used as it can be confusing. To clear things up for you, know that domain name marketing can be interpreted in four ways:
If the previous section perfectly described your intent when you reached this article, the meaning of the term you might be looking for is ‘how to use your domain name as a marketing tool.’ Regardless, this article will cover as much as possible as a compact guide to domain name marketing. First, you must learn what a domain name is.
What Is A Domain Name?
You can visualize the internet as a vast town filled with houses. Each house represents a website; the things inside them are web pages. To visit a web page or find the file for it, you need to know where the web page is in this huge town.
Of course, having a massive town as vast as the internet can easily make finding the web page almost impossible. So, domain names easily allow you to locate where the page is. For example, to visit website, you need to know its domain name. You can’t just type the word ‘website’ on your browser.
Domain names are addresses for websites. They’re colloquially known as web addresses, URLs (uniform resource locators), and URIs (uniform resource identifiers).
However, note that those terms are not the same with domain names—or with one another—as they have different definitions and purposes. Nonetheless, knowing the domain name or the address of a website can allow you to access it, similar to learning the address of a house.
Now, here’s an example of a web address: https://www.example.com. A typical web address has two parts: protocol and domain name. In the example, ‘https’ is the protocol, while www.example.com is the domain name.
The text after the domain name is another part that contains other components, which this guide won’t discuss.
You can dissect a domain name into parts as well. Typically, it has three: subdomain, second-level domain, and the top-level domain. In the example, www is the subdomain, example is the second-level domain, and com is the top-level domain (TLD).
Top-level domains are limited and are governed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Some of the most popularly used TLDs are .com, .org, .edu, .net, and .gov. There are different classes of TLD as well. You have:
Before you know what second-level domains and subdomains are, you should initially know how to get a domain name.
You need a domain name to have a searchable and accessible website. Most web hosting companies often provide you with the opportunity to get one, but most of the time, you need to rent it from a domain name registrar.
A domain name registrar is a company or organization that holds domain name servers (DNS) that associate a domain name with a computer or an online resource.
Even if you know a domain name or web address, your browser doesn’t know exactly where to go. So, what your computer or phone does is that it asks DNS what online resource is associated with the domain name where you want to go.
If the DNS didn’t find any record of the domain name, it would return an error to your browser. If it finds a computer or online resource associated with the name, then you’ll be redirected to it.
Knowing that information, it makes sense that you need your domain name and hosting account registered on a domain name registrar. To reiterate, domain names are registered and rented. Once your subscription expires, people won’t be able to access your website anymore.
When registering a domain name, you should pick from the available TLDs. Once you do, the next step is to check if the second-level domain you want for your site is still available.
Suppose you want a website with the address www.supercoolcat.com. When you visit a domain name registrar, you’ll often face a single text box and a drop-down menu containing TLDs.
Because you want .com as your TLD, you’ll choose .com in the drop-down box. Then the next step is to type the second-level domain you want; in the example, you’ll type in supercoolcat.
After entering your second-level domain, the registrar will check if it’s already been taken. If it’s not, it will say that it’s available and you’re free to register it. If it’s taken, it will recommend similar available domain names (e.g., www.supercoolcat2022.com) or present you with an available domain name but with a different TLD—say, www.supercoolcat.net.
At this time, you don’t need to worry about subdomains. Your site will have the default www subdomain once registered, depending on your hosting setting. You can even omit the www subdomain and still access your site in some hosting providers.
Domain names are indirectly excellent marketing tools. For example, you have a pet shop. It would be effortless for many people to find your website if you get the www.petshop.com domain. There’s no need to memorize anything. When they remember that they need to visit a pet shop, all they need to do is put .com after the word ‘petshop,’ and they’ll be redirected to your site.
Another advantage of using your domain name in marketing is that it makes your website and business easily searchable in search engines. Using the same example, if people search using the keywords ‘pet shop,’ it’s highly likely that the website www.petshop.com will appear on the search engine results page (SERP).
Using the same domain name as your top keyword is often referred to as using an exact match domain (EMD) in the digital marketing business.
There are more than 1.17 billion websites on the internet at the moment. Almost every one-word domain name is taken (e.g., www.dog.com, www.cat.com, etc.), and even two- or three-word domain names can be challenging to obtain. This situation makes it difficult to utilize EMD in marketing your domain name.
Because of domain name scarcity and the usefulness of EMDs, domain name parking has become a thing. Domain name parking is a process where you register or ‘own’ a domain name without using it—or park it as you will.
As EMDs are highly valuable, many people realize they can profit from them by buying and selling domains. Currently, the most expensive domain sold is lasvegas.com for a whopping amount of USD$90 million.
By the way, note that there are other reasons and purposes people park domains. One of them is to put ads on it for marketing. When a user lands on a parked domain with ads, the domain owner gets paid advertising revenue from a marketing company or the client who owns the ads.
Although some people passively park domains or try to earn from ads, some would choose to make an actual website and then sell it later. While EMDs are preferable for some companies, some prefer a website domain with an established web presence through various SEO tools.
After all, building a website presence, particularly on search engines through SEO, on the internet can be costly and time-consuming. On average, it takes at least three years before a website can reach the first pages of SERPs. So, to make it easier for some companies and individuals to have a better presence on the web, they often buy a domain name with good SEO rankings.
Typically, you don’t market a domain name for any reason. It’s mostly done exclusively by domain name registrars. Most domain name buyers would often reach out to owners of specific domain names. However, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen or is not profitable. Nonetheless, this article should have given you some insight into domain name marketing.