Tag Archives: Online

Why Your Domain Name is Critical to Online Success

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names…Chinese Proverb

How do you choose a good domain name? Why should you fuss and bother so much over the agonizing process? Is it really that important to “get it right?”  Every day I hear business owners pondering this question. Over and over the mantra is “I need a good domain name but all the good ones are taken!”

Choosing a domain name that captures your business brand, is optimized for local search, and is scalable for your growing and rapidly changing business needs can seem overwhelming. Does it have to be that difficult a process for such an important task? NO! As a matter of fact, it is a lot easier than you think if you follow a few common sense tricks and traits and implement a little creativity in the process.

Basically, selecting a domain name requires employing the following critera:

·         Must be easy to spell in order to avoid confusion

·         Easy to pronounce/read

·         Free from .info or .biz TLD’s that are difficult to remember

·         Uses no hypens, underlines or dots between words and letters

·         Short so it is easy to remember

·         Does not have words that end with one letter that is also the first letter of the next word (ie: firsttimeecommerce.com)

·         Is easily brandable

If you have any friends who are really good at games like Scrabble or Boggle or are champion crossword puzzle solvers, it can be a useful exercise to have them help you with the naming conventions for your site.  Keep in mind, when you create your domain name for your website you are creating the one thing that has the single most long-term impact on your eventual site traffic. Choose well! Whatever name you choose will reside not only on the web but on your business cards, letterhead, invoices, and any other PR material you decide to generate. It must be easy to give verbally over the phone and in conversation so make sure it is easy to spell and say intelligibly. Select a domain name that makes sense and is easy to remember.

In the days of strictly brick and mortar businesses naming your company relied heavily on originality. You had to make sure your business’ name was nothing like your competitor’s so your business stood apart. It is not that much different today! Now you want to make sure your domain name communicates who and what you are all about, is ‘brandable,’ and works as a solid email address too. That way you are marketing even when you send out emails.

According to Ries and Trout in their books, “Positioning: The Battle of Your Mind” and “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing,” domain name selection is a form of positioning. It is often the first point of contact that consumers have with you and your marketing messages. It is subliminally critical, according to Ries, to make a positive first contact with your target audience. Your name must convey specific information that is categorized from the consumer perspective.  For example, when people look for car repair shops do they look under the word “auto” or “automotive”? Do they look for a “dental” or “dentist”? Think like a consumer and how they will search for your business and how will they remember your name again and again when you select your domain name.

How do you make your name easily located, remembered, and differentiated from the hundreds of thousands of others on the Internet? Differentiation is important but the real goal is to attract the greatest number of potential customers to your site. By incorporating the right balance of keywords, geo-targeting, and branding you can potentially dominate your market with just a little effort.  

Keywords are the trigger words that the local search engines use in combination with a few other SEO tricks to assign your site a “position” in web directory listings. Keywords are similar to categories in that they are the words and phrases used by consumers who are seeking information on the Internet. Geo-targeting is a physical location associated with your business. The search engines know where you are located and through the consumer’s IP address he/she is using to search a directory on the internet the internet knows where they are located geographically.  Many searches on Google will generate a search result that has a map with local listings followed by “normal” search engine listings related to the search phrases used. The businesses that show in the map list all have geographical relevance to the search. These things all become linked to the naming conventions you employ when creating your domain name. For example, if you have a The Pizza Palace in Seattle and you sell gourmet pizzas you should seriously consider selecting a domain name that incorporates keywords, geo-target and branding elements: GourmetPizzaPalaceSeattle.com or Seattlegourmetpizzapalace.com

The name is somewhat alliterative (Pizza Palace) so it is easy to remember, has a geo-target (Seattle), and keywords (Seattle, gourmet pizza, pizza). It is also not too long and easy to read. It is critical to try and strike a balance when trying to incorporate all three of these elements in selecting a domain name. As long as it is catchy and easy to remember and strikes that balance you can’t help but have a winner on your hands. The right domain name is worth its weight in gold.

Now hurry out there and buy your domain name before someone else does!

License Plate Number Search – How To Do A License Plate Lookup Online

In order to conduct a license plate number search or license plate lookup online you need what is called a reverse lookup directory. This is a database which contains license plate numbers for millions of drivers. It works like a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or MSN except that with a reverse lookup directory, you find records by entering license plate numbers.

Looking up license plate numbers online is very easy and quick. You first need to have a license plate number. Then go to a reverse lookup directory and enter the license number in the search box provided and click on the search button. If a match is found, the system will then display the records so that you can see the information that you’re looking for. The information returned usually includes the name of the registered vehicle owner and their address.

When looking for a website to conduct a license plate lookup, you may need to consider some of the following:

– How much do they charge? Do they charge per search fees or do they require you to join as a member before you can access the records database?

– Is the database kept up to date?

– Do they provide customer support?

– How big is their database? Does it cover every driver or only a fraction of them?

– How do they compare with other providers?

Membership-based lookup directories tend to be much cheaper than the large online private investigation services. For example, some larger private investigation services charge as much as $89 per search while some membership-based lookup services online charge a small one-time fee for unlimited searches. Membership-based lookup services give you access to the same resources and databases that are used by professional private investigators. Looking up a license plate online is one of the fastest ways to find out the registered owner of a vehicle.

Gone are the days when you had to hire a private investigator to find out the owner of a license plate number. These days you can do it online in minutes. Most people are not aware of this because online license plate number search is quite a recent development. The really good thing about looking up license plate numbers online is that it’s far much cheaper than hiring a private investigator. It also means that you can do it online wherever there’s an internet connection.

5 Steps To Building An Online Business Directory

Starting an online business directory can be pretty easy, but if you have no clue of where and how to start then by reading this article it will help you to get started.

Step One:

The first thing you need to know about starting a business directory online is what is your target market going to be, in other words what kind of businesses do you eventually want to include in your new business directory.

If you already have a current business online or offline then you will already know your target market, and you can move forward to step two in this article.

However, if you have no idea what your target market will be, then you will need to do some research, I would recommend starting a business directory about something popular and which is going to earn you an income down the road or. That will gradually help grow your current business.

Here are some very popular and profitable niches for an online business directory you could start.

1: RealEstate Directory

2: Travel Directory

3: Online Dating Directory

4: Automotive Directory

5: Fashion Directory

There are so many more and to find them just go to eBay.com or Amazon.com and see what is popular on those sites, or you could go to Google and do a search for keyword terms like “Hot Niches” or “Popular Niches” or “Popular Business” get the idea..

Then after you have decided on the niche for your new business directory, you will need to either buy or register your domain name.

Step Two:

Buying or registering the right domain name for your new online business directory will be the most important thing, so you need to make sure you get this correct from the start.

A good domain name should be no longer than two to three words, and it should contain the name of the niche and the word directory in it and should always be a .com if you can help it other wise you should go for the .net domain if the .com for the domain you want is already taken and is not for sale.

Therefore, for example if I was going to start a new business directory about the niche real estate the ideal domain name would be RealEstateDirectory.com or RealEstateDirectory.net but all good domain names like this have already been taken, but they may be up for sale so just visit the website and see.

If you find the domain name is not for sale then you could also try adding a dash between the two words.. Like this RealEstate-Directory.com or RealEstate-Directory.net and see if they have been taken or not, and if they are taken see if they are for sale.

If you have to go with a three word domain name you could enter something like your town or city name in front of the domain so it could be.. Like this NewYorkRealEstateDirectory.com or NewYorkRealEstateDirectory.net and see if it has been taken.

A great free online resource I have found to help brain storm a new domain name and see if they have been taken or not is RegistrarStats.com, give them a try.

Once you have found the domain name for your new online business directory it is time to register it, I recommend Godaddy.com for this as they are the cheapest and offer the best services.

Step Three:

Now that you have got your domain name for your new online business directory it is time to find a hosting company, and I have tried many and the best I have found is SeoHosting.com which is owned by HostGator.com, and they have been around for a very long time and they have thousands of happy customers.

Step Four:

Now that you have got your hosting account for your new online business directory it is time to build the directory.

Now you could do this a number of different ways but it all comes down to the amount of money you wish to spend.

If money is not an option for you, then I would recommend hiring a PHP coder from a website like RentaCoder.com or ScriptLance.com or eLance.com and get them to build a custom solution for you, this way you will make your new business directory stand out from all the other cookie cutter directories that are online these days using an off the shelf PHP directory script.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with these types of scripts, and we use one our self for our own Link Directory, but we have gone a step further and have had a custom template created for our directory which has turned out to be a very good investment.

The directory script we use and recommend if you are on a very limited starting budget is PhpLinkDirectory.com.

Step Five:

Now we come to the final step and which is promoting your new business directory, this can be done with or without spending money.

I will list five free options and five paid options below you can start to help get the word out about your directory.

Free Options:

1: Join online forums and discussion groups related to your new business directory and make a post inviting business owners to list their website/business in your directory for free or at a discounted rate.

2: This one is related to 1: make sure you add a Sig line linking to your directory in all the posts you make in the forums you have joined.

3: Submit your business directory to other free link directories online, just do a search in Google for the key word Link Directory.

4: Link to your business directory from your other websites that you already own or run this way the search engines will find your directory and index it.

5: Send out and email to friends or customers and ask them to link back to your business directory and in exchange link back to their website from your directory if it is relevant.

Paid Options:

1: Start a Google AdWords campaign to instantly start driving traffic to your business directory, but be careful because if you do not know what you are doing with AdWords you could end up spending a lot of money without any results.

2: Buy some paid links from other websites or directories that are similar to your own business directory.

3: Submit your business directory to the Yahoo directory at a cost of $299 per year. Being listed in the yahoo directory will make your directory more creditable in the eyes of the search engines and your visitors.

4: Buy some advertising in offline news papers if your directory targets businesses in your local area.

5: Buy banner ads on other websites that relate to your business directory and try and to negotiate for a 6-12 month period because your can greatly reduce you’re over all banner advertising costs.