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Master of Your Domain

Recently, I ran into some challenges with a prospective client and domain registration.  The experience reemphasizes the importance of vigilance with one’s domain name.  You always need to make sure you know exactly what is going with your domain.  When it comes to domain names there are some issues everyone should take into consideration.  First and most important is ownership.  Do you own your domain?  Other factors include branding and search engine optimization.

Who Owns The Domain?
Make sure your domain name is registered in your name or your company’s name.  One perspective client invested thousands of dollars into a domain they didn’t even own.  It was registered to the web site developer building their site. This can create a number of headaches, especially if you’re the one who should own the domain. 

Branding and Identity
In regards to branding and identity, your domain name is the leading edge of your online marketing efforts.  Users are going to have an affinity for the domain you have been marketing. If you are going to change your domain name keep the old domain up and running. There have been instances when companies have deactivated their old domains prematurely.  People who tried to find their web site through search engines were met with an error page.  If you’re registering a new domain name use a redirect to send the traffic from your old domain to your new domain.

Search Engine Optimization
Make sure that your web site stays visible to search engines. Frequently it is a time-consuming and uphill battle to get a proper search engine listing.  Some search engines give credence to the age of your domain.  Over the years you would have built up links to your web site.  Make sure all that hard work doesn’t go to waste.  Also give consideration to any links that have been built up over time.  Sometimes it's easier to buy an existing domain than it is to start a new one.

Whatever you decide, make sure you think through the process.

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