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Video 22: Dot What? Choosing a Domain for your Insurance Site

March 1st, 2011Posted by akassover in Domain Names, Videos

Here’s Wikipedia’s list of top-level domains.

Transcript: Hi, it’s Aaron Kassover from AgentMethods.  I want to talk a bit more about domain names and specifically top-level domain names.  Now, if you remember back to my post about “What is a URL?,” you’ll remember that in the domain name, the letters after the dot, like dot-com are what’s called the top-level domain name.  If you look for domain names you probably discovered that dot-com domain names are getting harder and harder to find, especially if they include a combination of insurance-related words.  All the lead generation sites, all the agencies out there with websites have really just snapped those up.  So I want to give you some ideas about different ways to use these top-level domain names and some strategies for finding good domain names for your website.

*As I mentioned before, you’ll probably go out and look for the dot-com name first; dot-com used to be synonymous with a website like you always thought of, Amazon.com and Expedia.com and Google.com; having that dot-com name as being really important.  Now, of course, insurance.com, healthinsurance.com, ehealthinsurance.com, all those names that we think of right away with insurance are taken.  There’s probably a good chance that if your agency has a somewhat familiar name its dot-com is taken, as well. *

Now, the next stop in domain names are things like dot-net and dot-org, which are both available to businesses registered, too.  So you might look for a dot-net or a dot-org domain.  Those are still more available than dot-coms, but often harder to find.  What I found is that the general public, when they think of websites and they hear dot-net, they still think dot-com.  So if you’re Lighthouse Insurance and you get lighthouseinsurance.net, as an example, and you go around saying, “Oh yeah, look for lighthouseinsurance.net,” people are going to type in lighthouseinsurance.com.

My recommendation is, in general, if a domain name or the dot-com is taken, find the dot-net and registering it instead is an okay alternative, but there’s a good chance you’ll be sending a lot of traffic back to the dot-com.  Instead, there are some other domain names that are available, other top-level domain names, and the first ones that come to mind are dot-biz, dot-info, and then the country-specific domain name, dot-us.  These are less common, less familiar than the dot-net or dot-org domain names are.  There’s a lot more choices available still.

Here’s something that’s kind of an extra bonus of having a dot-biz, dot-info, dot-us domain name, which is that people remember the difference.  If you say “Oh, we’re lighthouseinsurance.info,” and if you tell them that, they’ll remember dot-info because it sticks out, so there’s less of a chance for them to type in lighthouseinsurance.com.

I recommend if you can’t get the dot-com domain name you want or you can’t find one you like, to go ahead and just maybe even skip the dot-net and the dot-orgs and instead just come down and look for the dot-biz, dot-info, and dot-us domain names.  There’s a lot more choices available there and you won’t run that risk of sending traffic back to the dot-com domain as likely and you’ll see the traffic that you deserve coming to you.

There are a few other company domain names or country domain names – there are actually quite a few others, but there a few of those that are available to the general public; people who aren’t residents of that country.  You see things like dot-tv or dot-la; those are available as well.  So you have a lot of choices besides dot-com.  A link to a list of all the domain names, top-level domain names, and so you can see what your options are, but I just recommend being a little bit creative skipping dot-net and dot-org.  If you can’t get the dot-com, see what else you can find.  I think you’ll find it works really well.  People are becoming more and more aware of it and it gives you a lot more choices.

That’s what I’ve got for today.  I’ll have more about domain names tomorrow.  Thank you.