Have you ever heard of a company called Apple? You might say, what kind of an idiotic question is that?
Of course, anybody who is anybody has not only heard of Apple but also owns an Apple product – iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.
There are several MP3 players. But an Apple iPod is an Apple iPod. And once you get hooked on to one Apple product, you go on to the next and the next and so on.
You actually buy into a brand. And the constant bombardment of TV Adverts only goes to emphasise the brand image.
If Apple had called themselves WYSIWYG (What-you-see-is-what-you-get) Computers all those years ago, would you buy a WYSIWYG MP3 Player? How about a Touchscreen Application Enriched Phone? Wouldn’t you just throw a brick at me if I tried to sell you one of those?
Fast forward to domain names.
When doing an internet search, it is true that we often search by generic search terms such as “Glasgow Chauffeur” or “Glasgow Web Design” or “Glasgow Indian Restaurant”. And Google Keyword Tool can precisely tell you what people are searching for – Globally, Locally and Monthly.
And if we take the most popular search term – say – Glasgow Indian Restaurant and, provided that the domain name with all these words, without a hyphen, is available, we buy it and put our company’s content onto it, we are guaranteed to get a lot of traffic trawling through our website.
And if the content is clear and calls to action are clear as well, we are guaranteed conversions.
But just because people do a lot of search on Generic Terms, do we give our company a generic name with a geographic tag? It may work well for Glasgow Taxis. But what if Apple had called itself California WYSIWYG Computers? Would that not limit your customer base?
So while Generic Domain Names are terrific to get a lot of traffic, they can cause people to have a skewed image about your company, especially if your company does more than one thing.
For example, if the owner of Glasgow Taxi decided to buy a Bus Company running buses between Glasgow and Edinburgh, then the name Glasgow Taxi cannot be used for such a venture. Otherwise you would have auditors having a heart attack if they found that their client’s employees were regularly commuting between Edinburgh and Glasgow using Glasgow Taxi .
In general, if you were going to stick with one line of business then a Generic Domain name will work wonders for you. And if your customer base is specific to a geographic location, then adding that geographic location to your domain name would get you high volume of targeted traffic.
But once you decide to expand the remit of your business or line of business, a generic domain name can suddenly become a big limitation.
Also, with proper SEO or with Pay-Per-Click SEO, you can still get to Google’s top spot without a generic domain name. For example a simple search on the term “Glasgow 4N” will lead you to see that it is not 4N in Glasgow that comes up at the top. It is some other website – Glasgow Business Network – that does.
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