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Old Jul 8, 2013, 10:34 AM   #26
steiney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrfr View Post
Or they'll think your business has closed down.
Good point. I can see that happening in some cases, specifically ones in which the user has found us through Google versus word of mouth or direct mailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocknblogger View Post
As others have stated I wouldn't use either. You may want to consider using your primary keyword as part of the domain name. So something like yourcompanyrealestate.com or whatever your primary keyword is. Google gives more weight to domain names that have the keyword in them and better yet if the keyword is at the beginning of the name, keywordyourslogan.com. Take a look at the following links. They should help in explaining some of this.

Also check out some of the links towards the bottom of this first page.
http://searchengineland.com/google-r...h-works-150113

This one is very informative.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226884

http://mashable.com/2012/03/09/domain-names-101/

http://www.searchenginejournal.com/5...raphics/63847/

http://community.namecheap.com/blog/...e-infographic/
Awesome. Thank you very much for the links and insight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordio777 View Post
So buy it! It'll presumably be over-priced, but you seem dead-set on using that domain name and it is available. Many posters on here have warned against using a hyphen in your address and opting for a different name which you seem reluctant to do. If it's really that important to keep the name then you owe it to your business to stump up and buy the domain you really need. Anything else is just cutting corners and bad for business.

chrfr makes a great point above - if someone goes to what they think is the correct site and finds the name for sale, they won't think "oh, I've obviously missed out a hyphen somewhere", they'll assume your business went under and you're selling the name on. You said yourself that your customers are not tech-savvy.

Have you done customer reaction research into that business name & into other keywords? How do you actually expect customers to find you? Google / content marketing / word of mouth? Does the domain name you choose even matter?

If you have a valid business model, expect to turn a decent profit and your potential customers absolutely LOVE that business name then having exactly the right domain name can be invaluable. Even if it costs a few thousand bucks, it should pay for itself within your first few months of trading.

If however you just have a personal attachment to that name / phrase then you need to be completely objective and think about this from your customers' point of view. People are VERY lazy online - you need to make every step as easy as possible for them. You think Amazon could hide their "buy" button and shrug it off saying "they'll figure it out"? Their sales would plummet as everyone flocked to a competitor with a site that's easier to use.

This isn't intended to sound harsh or blunt - I'm simply trying to warn you that opting for a hyphenated domain is choosing to turn away business.

Really hope that helps.
I appreciate your help. You make some good points. I don't think we'll be buying the squatted domain, if for no other reason than principal, but I think we'll stay away from both options as it sounds pretty clear cut that either is a bad idea.

--------

New question: What do you guys think about using YourDomain.org for a business? I've seen it done before but don't know how I feel about it. I know .org is traditionally supposed to be for non-profits, etc. The .net TLD is taken also, so .org is the only option left out of the well known TLDs.
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Old Jul 8, 2013, 04:08 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steiney View Post

--------

New question: What do you guys think about using YourDomain.org for a business? I've seen it done before but don't know how I feel about it. I know .org is traditionally supposed to be for non-profits, etc. The .net TLD is taken also, so .org is the only option left out of the well known TLDs.
With .net and .com taken i would only consider a different domain name, period. Otherwise you are fighting an uphill battle that unless you sink a lot of effort (white hat SEO) and money, you will most likely lose.

Also, if you have the means to buy the .com you should not let principal get in your way. It's strictly a business decision and transaction. While I don't like squatters, it is a business model that quite a few people subscribe to.

On the other hand; if you copyright the name and register the name as a business both with the state and federal governments, you'll probably prevail if you need to send out a cease and desist order. But you have to do your research regarding this and you'll probably spend more in fees than just buying the .com domain now.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 05:10 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by steiney View Post
Thanks for the input, however the URL is just a catchy two-word phrase that people will remember and will bring them in to us as clients. The "other" domain owners are just holding the URL and trying to sell it as a "premium domain name" for $3500.
Dot.com is the best URL. Have you offered the owner $2,500? $3,500 for your preferred domain is not really that much. Think of it as your location and you know the three most important things in real estate...location, location, location.

Are .org or .net available? Those would be better than .us. We had the same problem with my last company's name so we added a usa suffix. It became catalpausa.com instead of catalpa.com

I'm also surprised more companies don't register their phone number as their domain, e.g., 7345621234.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 05:30 PM   #29
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I'm also surprised more companies don't register their phone number as their domain, e.g., 7345621234.
Pizza Hut's done that here but that's the only time that I've ever seen it!
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Old Jul 11, 2013, 03:11 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by rocknblogger View Post
Also, if you have the means to buy the .com you should not let principal get in your way. It's strictly a business decision and transaction. While I don't like squatters, it is a business model that quite a few people subscribe to.
I agree completely.

There are squatters and then there are squatters. The person who currently holds the domain may have registered the domain intending to do something with it just like you. But life got in the way...

The fact of the matter is that good domains are now scarce.
$3,500 is not very much for peace-of-mind.

As soon as you start using either your-domain.com, or yourdomain.us, the value of yourdomain.com is not very likely to go down.
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Old Jul 11, 2013, 10:06 AM   #31
steiney
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Originally Posted by cebritt View Post
Dot.com is the best URL. Have you offered the owner $2,500? $3,500 for your preferred domain is not really that much. Think of it as your location and you know the three most important things in real estate...location, location, location.

Are .org or .net available? Those would be better than .us. We had the same problem with my last company's name so we added a usa suffix. It became catalpausa.com instead of catalpa.com

I'm also surprised more companies don't register their phone number as their domain, e.g., 7345621234.
The phone number domain name is an interesting idea, but it doesn't seem memorable to me, and I don't think it would be "socially acceptable" in the real estate industry. I appreciate the suggestion though.

It's funny that you suggested me offering the squatter $2500 because he made me that offer on the phone. He slipped it in there really quickly and I said that's still way out of my price range, and then he sent me a follow up email with the price back at $3500.

I'm curious how much you guys would expect a squatter to come down on the price. Obviously, if he's starting out at $3500, he's not going to come down to the low $100's, but just curious what you guys think.
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Old Jul 11, 2013, 10:53 PM   #32
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my advice:
buy the domainname.com
get to work
make money

dotcom is the beachfront property of the web.
i agree completely with others about visitors to the squatted domain thinking you closed up shop. my very first online company (~1996) was a small .net, i didn't have the $700 to buy the squatted .com, and at least once a week i'd get a cc chargeback because someone placed an order and a couple days later erroneously went to the .com and saw it was squatted, thought i closed up with their money and called their cc to do a chargeback.

occasionally i'd receive a write-up in print media that would foul it up and refer to my website with the .com instead of the .net.
that was the late 90's though, but the concept of their mistake still applies today, whether it be 'word of mouth' traffic, 'trying to remember the domain name' traffic, etc.

it is my opinion that in almost all circumstances, where we are now with the web, and across most every demographic, anything other than domainname.com will just send an amount of free traffic to domainname.com.
you pay for advertising, they get traffic.
as the misdirected traffic rises to a squatted domain, the price will usually go up. as my dotnet ventures soon proved profitable i wished i had bought the dotcom name right from the start. competitors wiser than myself did, or in the better case it was bought by someone in a coincidentally unrelated industry, and i just dealt with the chargebacks and loss of traffic and phone calls asking what the website name was.

from that lesson i've bought squatted dotcoms just because i saw heavy advertising by a competitor on the dotnet or the hyphenated dotcom. nothing better than hitting the ground running.

my experience shows a squatted domain asking $3500 can usually be acquired for $2500, ordinarily i'd offer $2000 maybe $1500 and see what they counter with, but i surely wouldnt let that $2500 offer he made or even $3500 keep me from making money. see if he'll take $2000. the follow up email with the $3500 price may have been a template mail from an inventory management system he uses if he has lots of domains. i wouldn't think he's being snarky since you didnt jump at the $2500. but as soon as he sees someone (you) has the alternative domain name, he's not likely to entertain that $2500 offer anymore, unless he has to make rent.
i currently have about 3500 domains, maybe 75 came from squatters. most of my domains are unhyphenated dotcoms. generally i'll resort to alternatives such as dotnet or hyphens if my only intended source of traffic is an internet search and i'm not concerned with repeat visits.

it took me a while to get past 'the principal' of dealing with squatters. the way i look at it now is that i appreciate the fact that they took the initiative to hold the 'good' domain name for me and keep it out of the hands of my competitors until i was ready to use it. nowadays i pay $1k to $3k regularly for good domains. i stepped up for $20k recently for a squatted domain asking $30k (plus i had to pay a 10% premium to the 'broker'). it's the cost of doing business. it's an investment. be patient, you'll get the money back, and more.
just be glad the squatter who has the name you want is still in the realm of attainability for normal people, and isnt asking $1m or something like that.

i do understand that when just starting out even at half the price buying the domainname.com might simply be out of the question, in which case, i'd recommend the domain-name.com over the domainname.us (even the web super-novice knows what that .com means, no accompanying text required. if i had to use the domainname.us i'd always present it with the www. in front, to help clarify things for the web novice).
as soon as you see that this venture will make money and be around for a long time, and not just be a playtime hobby site, i'd suggest you start saving every penny you can to get the domainname.com domain. doesnt matter if you've invested in print ads for the alternative name, just redirect the traffic. dont worry about a temporary search index hit from moving the domain name, just redirect the traffic properly.

i don't know all the details, but make certain your friend knows you appreciate the opportunity, don't squander it. respect and learn from his experience, wisdom, insight. do not discount what he has learned in business, even if it might predate how business is done on the internet. play your cards right and this could set you up for the rest of your life. i've been right where you are now.
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Old Jul 12, 2013, 02:30 PM   #33
steiney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fgirl View Post
my advice:
buy the domainname.com
get to work
make money
Wow! I didn't want to quote that whole message but thank you very much for all that info and your insights. I really appreciate it. I'm starting to feel like it is probably worth it in the long run to just buy the domain. Your explanation of your reasoning makes complete sense. I'm planning to show this thread to my partner once I've fully "talked out" my thoughts and concerns here.

I really appreciate the last paragraph of your message too. I definitely appreciate the heck out of him and make sure to let him know often. Without him, I wouldn't have a chance at "getting my foot in the door" in our commercial real estate market, and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity he's given me.
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