/ Ask the experts: Everything about domain strategy

Dec 01

/ nic.at News - 01.12.2020 10:51
Ask the experts: Everything about domain strategy

Anyone who wants to have long-term success on the Internet should think carefully about their domain strategy. This not only leads to higher, organic (i.e. naturally generated) traffic and ensures a good position for the website in the search engine results, but also contributes to brand awareness. We recently called for questions on this topic on social media, which we will now answer in this article.



1. What is a domain strategy?
A good domain strategy is primarily concerned with the domain name itself: In addition to your own company or product name, you can choose between generic terms from everyday life or invented artificial words. It is important that the domain name is acoustically (e.g. on the phone) easy to understand and as easy to remember as possible .A little tip: Have you already tried the nic.at domain finder?

Once the appropriate domain name has been found, the next step is to consider whether other domains might be relevant. Often, the registration of additional domain names and variants - for example with hyphens or umlauts - ensures that customers find you more easily, and that these alternatives are not snatched away by the competition. Slogans of brands or products or individual campaigns are also worth registering in many cases. Depending on which markets you want to address, it is also advisable to register a domain under other top-level domain extensions such as .de (country-specific ccTLDs) or .store or .org (generic TLDs). 

It is also crucial how much time and money you can - and want to - invest in building your online presence (e.g. in different languages, product landing pages, ...). If the appropriate resources are available, there is nothing to prevent individualization in terms of target groups, markets, product groups or individual campaigns.

In summary, this means: With the right domain strategy you can create measurable effects on your online presence with little effort. One that remains in the memory, is found more easily, and creates many paths that lead the user to the target.

2. What influence does a domain have on the search engine ranking?
A well-chosen domain (i.e. domain name and domain ending) influences, among other things, the position of the website in the so-called "Search Engine Result Pages" (SERPs), i.e. the results when searching using search engines: For this very reason it is important to choose the appropriate ending (top-level domain). It is not the main criterion, but one factor among many that influence the search result. Because search engines evaluate regionality as an important parameter and know exactly how well established and reliable a country code such as .at is: This ending is therefore particularly suitable for an Austrian company, because Google & Co primarily allocate country-specific top-level domains (ccTLDs) to the respective country. As a result, .at-domains are better listed in Austrian search results - but also when a user searches abroad for Austria-specific topics.

3. Do hyphens in a domain make sense?
Compound words and slogans are easier to read with a hyphen - and very popular with users. This is because a domain name in which the individual words are clearly recognizable is visually more quickly grasped. Users are now accustomed to this and often enter the hyphen intuitively in their searches.

4. What about umlauts in the domain?
For historical reasons, many users are still used to "rewriting" umlauts. For younger generations, however, the use of umlauts in the URL bar is mostly taken for granted. Our tip: Simply register both variants and make sure that you will be found by "young & old"!

5. At what stage of the company formation should I deal with my domain strategy?
In general: You should secure your internet presence before taking any other steps! No matter whether a business idea, campaign or new product: Without a domain all this is half the story. Therefore register the domain name right after you have the idea and only then print business cards, brochures, advertising material etc. Otherwise: Be creative! Alternatives can be singular/multiple, alternative spellings, synonyms, additions with prefixes or numbers, but also hyphen domains and umlauts. There are also many options under the domain extensions .co.at or .or.at! Some domains can also be purchased through a merchant or  from the owner for a fee. It may be worth asking - registrars or providers know how to do this.

By the way: There is also an explanation video about domain strategy.