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5 Tips How To Buy A Domain Name For Your RV Dealership

How do you buy a domain name for your RV dealership? Merely just purchasing any domain name just because it’s available could really hurt you down the road. So take a minute and read through our 5 tips on how to buy a domain name.

  1. Registration Overview:
    • Before I go into details on purchasing a domain name, let me first explain some background info that will aid you in your purchase. First and foremost, a domain name is basically a lease of a specified domain name from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (aka ICANN). So the misconception that you are literally “Buying” a domain and it’s yours forever is not true. You are merely renting the rights to a particular domain name for a pre-paid period of time. You can register a domain name for one, two, three, five or ten years. Pricing for registering a domain name varies on the length of registration as well as the domain extension type (.com, .net, .org etc.).
  2. How To Select A Domain Name:
    • Now that we’ve gone into some of the background information on what a domain name is, let us move forward with how you should select a domain name for your RV dealership. There are a couple ways you can go in selecting a domain name.
      • Company Name: For the most part, just using your company name as your domain is the logical way to go however it’s not the only way. As you will soon find out, it may be really hard to reserve your company name as it may already be owned by somebody else. What’s more is if you have a company name that’s hard to remember or hard to spell, it may be hard for your customers to find your business. If you can reserve your company name, I would recommend doing that because it’s the best avenue for branding down the road. That is if it’s not supercalifragilisticexpialidocious long! Keep it short; you don’t want your customer’s fingers to fall off just trying to type in your domain name. That’s where a popular keyword phrase comes in…
      • Popular Keyword Phrase: Another way to reserve a great domain name for your dealership is to reserve a domain with your city or state in the name. For example, “DallasRvDealers.com”, or “GeorgiaRVDealer.com”. These are great domain names that are easy for customers to remember and could also really help you out as far as SEO goes. So don’t limit your selection of domain names just to your company name.
      • General Top Level Domain Names (gTLD): Due to the limited availability of .com and .net domain names, the ICANN has just started the process of releasing over 2,400 domain extensions in late 2013. This will greatly open up the availability of getting a domain name that best fits your RV dealership. Here are a couple extensions that will be released later in 2014: .forsale, .dealer, .buy, .deals, .camp – Godaddy has a great layout for viewing the new gTLD, click here to view the latest gTLD extensions.
  3. Where To Register A Domain Name:
    • In order to see what domain names are available, you have to use a Domain Registrar. There are dozens of domain registrars that you can use to reserve your domain name, but here are two of my favorites:
    • GoDaddy.com: Godaddy is one of the oldest domain registrars and it’s currently where I have all of my domain names registered. I really like the user interface in Godaddy and I haven’t had an issue with customer service.
    • Network Solutions: Network solutions was the first ever domain registrar to partner with ICANN. I’ve used Network Solutions quite a bit while managing customer domain names and I really like their services as well.
    • You really can’t go wrong with either of these major registrars. I would recommend one of these two because they are the most reputable as well as the fact that you can almost always find a coupon code to help reduce your domain registration costs. All you have to do is go to Google and search “Godaddy coupon Code” or “Network Solutions Coupon Code” and you will see tons of sites that list coupon codes that may or may not work. Not that domain names are very expensive, they typically cost around $13.00 for a .com, $10.00 for a .net etc.
  4. Buying A Pre-Owned Domain Name (Or At A Auction):
    • I have RV dealers ask me all the time: “What happens if the domain name that I want is already taken? Can I buy it?”. Sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t. If you want a domain name that matches your dealership’s name in the .com extension and it is being used by another company, then you probably can’t reserve that one. But sometimes the domain is not being used, but is registered to somebody who merely wants to make some money from owning the domain and will be willing to sell it to you. If the domain is un-used and is for sale, if you visit the domain name you want to buy there will usually be a banner at the top saying “This domain is for sale, click here!” There are two major companies who handle selling domains that are already registered and they are GoDaddy Auctions and Sedo. If you go this route, Godaddy and Sedo will walk you through the process of the transaction and hold your money in escro as security for both parties until the transaction is complete. This is one of the best ways to go in order to avoid fraudulent domain owners.
    • This brings us to another question…
  5. How much is a domain name worth?
    • Domain Tools Who IsThere are quite a few factors in deciding the value of a domain name. There are two factors in deciding if it is worth it: The domain name itself and the age of the domain. Meaning, when it was first registered. You can find out when a domain name was registered by going to domainTools.com. Enter the domain name in the form field at the top where it says “Whois Lookup” and click enter. Domain Tools does a great job of providing all the information associated with the domain: Where it’s registered, Who it’s registered with, when it was registered etc. If a domain name is over five years old, it means that it has some history and thus has more value. Why? Think of it the way Google looks at it: One of the deciding factors in where Google Ranks a RV Dealership for SEO is the domain age. If all things are equal between two domain names, but one domain was registered six months ago and the other was registered six years ago, the older domain will rank higher. Google looks at domain age as a representation of a company being in business. The company that’s been in business for six years is more stable / reputable than the business that just started six months ago. Thus the domain that is older has more value for purchasing.
    • With all of this said, and depending on your budget, what is it worth to you to own the pre-owned domain name? If the branding of your company name is very important then it would be worth it to invest in the domain name that matches your company name. As an example, I’ve purchased a domain name for over $2,000 because it perfectly represented the branding of my company and the marketing direction that I wanted to go. The long term value of branding that it brought was well worth the short term investment.
    • Is it worth it to purchase a .net instead of a .com? It depends. If the .com is being used by another company, then I would say no. Because you will always be competing with this company for your own traffic and branding identity online. If the domain is not being used and you don’t want to buy it, then I would say to purchase the .net if it is available. There is nothing wrong with owning the .net for SEO or any other reason. The only downfall is that customers that know your company will have to remember it. But even then, it’s just a simple reminder to your current customers that you company is a .net. So it’s really no big deal.

As you can see there is quite a few factors that go into How To Domain Name For Your RV Dealership. Keep in mind that almost all of the domain name registrars (like Godaddy, Network Solutions etc) all have additional services that they want you to sign up for. I would highly recommend against all of the add-on services that they try to sell you. There is one add-on that you may want to have, private registration. Private registration will remove your company contact information from the public view so that nobody can see who ownes the domain name. This comes in pretty handy to minimize spam emails as your email will be one of the contact fields removed. Private registration varies in price, but is around $8-$10 per year depending on where you register your domain. I don’t have any of my domain names registered privately because I don’t think the extra cost is worth it. I use Gmail for business and they do a really good job of removing spam emails.

 Of course, registering a domain name is the first step in your RV Web Services, website hosting is the next step. And we’ll be covering that in our next blog, so stay tuned!

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