Securing the right domain name is critical to ultimate business success
23 January 2015
Posted by: Author: Wayne Diamond
Author: Wayne Diamond (Entrepreneur Magazine)
"Location, location, location”. It’s the
make or break decision.
Whatever business you’re in, being close to
customers and convenient to business partners and suppliers is essential. That
bricks-and-mortar wisdom is equally true in the world of online commerce.
Having the right domain name and the right support for your online presence has
emerged as a real driver of success.
Some figures put the scale of the
opportunity into perspective: US e-commerce is predicted to reach $440 billion
by 2017, showing a compound annual growth of 13.8 per cent. While the Internet
economy is in its infancy in South Africa and Africa, it is growing strongly:
research by World Wide Worx showed that consumers, small and medium businesses
and government were already purchasing products and services worth R59 billion
on the web three years ago.
So how to secure the best and most
profitable Internet real estate to make sure your business can ride the
It’s all in the name
The first decision is what domain to use.
One of the exciting developments is the launch of new Internet domain names, so
it’s definitely no longer a choice of .com or .co.za. The proposed dotAfrica
(.africa) geoTLD (geographic Top Level Domain) is one option that’s set to come
online soon, but what about the ZAdotCities domains of .joburg, .capetown or
.durban? Domain names within these additional geoTLDs are already available to
be snapped up by the public.
While .com remains a good choice for truly
international businesses, choosing a domain name with some local flavour is
probably going to work well for many companies.
The greater range of domain names also
makes it more possible that you will be able to choose the right name for your
business. When it comes to the more established domains, like .com or .co.za,
chances are higher that the name you want has already been taken.
When it comes to that all-important name,
received wisdom used to be that short was best, but the trend nowadays seems to
have reversed—even phrases are now used. The key is to choose a name that is
easily recognisable, that will stick in peoples’ minds and that describes the
Perhaps a good example is the domain used
by the writer of this article: www.domains.co.za is both a brand name and a
name that perfectly describes the nature of the business. At just seven characters
in length, "domains” is also an easy to spell, easy to remember word – keeping
names under ten characters is guaranteed to help audience recall.
Something people will remember easily is
Some companies use specific names for
individual campaigns, but always make sure the business as a whole has its own
Experience has shown that it’s probably
worthwhile to register similar domain names to the one you choose, just to keep
competitors from taking them in an effort to sow confusion.
My final advice: it’s always a good idea to
use an ISPA (Internet Service Providers’ Association of SA) member to help you
register the chosen address of your start-up. That way you’ll be sure that all
the formalities are correct, and that the company you’re dealing with abides by
ISPA’s code of conduct.
Finally, as there are already almost 950
000 .co.za domains registered, it’s a good idea to surf to www.domains.co.za
and perform searches to see if the domain you would like is indeed available.
article first appeared on entrepreneurmag.co.za.