A Word on Domain Names
Come on in and make yourself at home. Today we are going to explore some do’s and don’ts when it comes to choosing a decentralized domain name on the blockchain for your real estate business. Let’s go…
People often have a hard time coming up with the right domain name for their business. All of the best ones are taken on the legacy internet, and it can be tough to make sure you get an easy-to-remember one that will work in your area’s market. But don’t settle on second or third best just because there is no perfect option, now there is a future proof alternative, and it’s on the dWeb (AKA as Web3.0 or the decentralized web).
Your web address (or URL) should not only represent who you are as an individual or company, but also what differentiates yourself from others in the realty space.
Are you searching for a domain name? Make sure to get one that is memorable, positive, branded and search engine optimized. This will make it easier for your prospects to remember you, keep top of mind awareness in Google searches as well as staying out of trouble with the authorities.
For those of you who don’t know, a Second Level Domain (SLD) is the part in front of .com.
A Top Level Domain (TLD) is the .com, .net or .org etc.
Now thanks to blockchain technology, you can own your own name as a TLD if you wish.
Legacy v Decentralized Domain Names
The first domain name came into existence in March 1985. Millions of .com’s have been sold since. These legacy domain names are managed by a centralized body called ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
More recently, 2020 to be exact, new domain names are now available that are decentralized and on the blockchain. This allows greater choice in choosing a domain name as well as the added security and ownership that comes with it. They are uncensorable and no single entity can close it down.
Domain names are commonly used to represent an organization’s name on the internet, where users typically type in www.(yourbizdomain.com). This blog post will take a look at some common examples from poor domain names which should be avoided by all realtors when naming their company’s website and how the game changes with the advent of now hosting your site on the blockchain.
To Go or Not To Go With .realtor?
Generally choosing a .realtor top-level domain extension (TLD) is a mistake. These domains are pushed by the National Association of Realtors or the Canadian Real Estate Association and only available to NAR members.
If you need an online presence for your business then it recommend not picking one up because they simply don’t have enough credibility in today’s market.
NAR is also keeping a tight leash on domain names and will only offer ones related to your name as an agent or business.
The future is decentralization, not more centralization!
Shorter is Better
HouseHuntersOfLincolnRealty.com? It’s a lot to write, especially when it becomes your email address!
Some people might find that this domain name is easier to remember (and type in) although it is 27-letter long.
And if you’re like me then HouseHuntersOfLincolnRealty.com can become really tiresome when typing the full thing out every time I want to visit the website. It just isn’t worth it, so stay under twelve characters whenever possible.
No Acronyms and Abbreviations
www.blsm.com is short, but acronyms are not ideal for remembering a website.
Shorter is good? Going with an abbreviation is an easy way to shorten that URL, right! “Brighter Homes dot com” is something most people will figure out. It’s a phrase that communicates something memorable: brighter homes. (BHVCA) isn’t a phrase? it doesn’t mean anything syntactically, so the human mind has more of chance forgetting it or swapping letters around. BHCAV or BCAHV make just as much sense in this case too!
Unfortunately, potential customers won’t likely find any easier time remembering either option.
What about state abbreviations like NY or TX? I’d stay away from those too. They probably aren’t part of your brand unless you’re “Centex” and they are unnecessary. There’s the same confusion as to whether your customer should spell out Texas or leave it at TX which is more convenient for them anyway!
Spell it Out
It’s easy to get tripped up when it comes to spelling words, but unfortunately some of the most commonly misspelled words are also among our favourites.
Words like “experience” and “expect” often give us trouble because they sound so similar yet end with different letters.
These two vowels together make for a tricky situation – if you’re speaking just one word aloud without any punctuation or context clues around them, English speakers may not be able to distinguish which vowel belongs where in speech alone!
No Rad Spellings
If you miss emails from a lender or client it may be because of your business name’s rad spelling. For example with spellings like ‘Houz’.
Sometimes though, we can pass us by if our name has some notoriety; for instance Google (googol).
Beware Homonyms and Homographs
Knight Realty is easy enough to remember, but it can be tough if you want buyers and sellers to know how your company spells its name.
Homophones are words that sound the same “night”. Expect people constantly asking for clarification on correct spelling of Knight instead of Night or Nite.
You might think Evening Realty conjures beautiful images of beach sunsets. However, in your customer’s mind, perhaps “evening” conjures up images of someone trying to smooth out a rough surface or difficult situation. Maybe not what you had in mind.
Numbers are best avoided in domain names. While not ideal, you can include numbers in your domain name if you take an added precaution to register both the spelled-out version of the domain as well as the one with the digits in it and redirect one to the other. But why go through all the hassle?
Your website is your first chance to make a lasting impression on potential clients. If your site is of poor quality or confusing, it will show in how they view you and your company as a whole.
However, if done right, there are many benefits to having an updated website which can do everything from giving directions to showing video tours of homes for sale so that visitors know what kind of place they’re looking at before making contact with someone who’s selling it!
www.perryman-properties.com is now “Perryman Hyphen Properties Dot Com”
Is your favorite domain taken? On the legacy internet, chances are it’s long, long gone.
Adding a hyphen can seem like the easy way out, but don’t take that chance! While there’s no obvious SEO penalty against using a name with a hyphen in it; general consensus among SEO professionals is to avoid them because they interrupt website URL sharing and historically have been used by spammy websites Google doesn’t like.
In addition, you’ll end up explaining the hyphen every time you mention your website name. These little things can drive you crazy!
www.noproblemlisting.com is short, communicates your value, and it’s easy to spell.
However, an easy mistake would be thinking listing is listings (plural)!
If the searcher made this easy mistake, they would end up on a totally different website and you may have lost your lead.
Again, you could purchase the singular and plural versions if both are available, but why go through that and double your expense renewing your domain names every year?
No Keyword Stuffing
SantajoseHomesForSale.com if it existed would probably not rank on the first 10 pages of Google for “San Jose Homes For Sale,” which is searched 5400 times per month. That’s a lot!
But it seems that this URL does not hold much weight in comparison with other websites and domains because its ranking falls short at 100 and something place out of all search results when you type “San Jose Homes For Sale” into Google Search engine.
What may be the reasons why SanJoseHomesForSale.com may be struggling? It could have something to do with content, on and off page SEO (search engine optimization), external links or an absence of DA (domain authority) – all are important factors.
For those of you who are now looking for San Jose Homes For Sale, you will see the #1 ranking site after the ads is Zillow.com. I know what you’re thinking: “Zillow? Isn’t that a brand rather than a search term? You can find listings on my local paper or craigslist!”
The answer to both of these questions would be yes and no respectively; there are more reasons why we believe the Zillow site has become such an important online presence in this industry but it all starts with their powerful website design and functionality which makes viewing homes from across America simple.
Keyword stuffing was an easy way to rank a website a few decades ago but now Google will punish you for using this dated technique. Avoid it at all costs or pay the price.
Avoid Trademark Infringement
You know how you hear horror stories about people who use a trademarked phrase and then get sued for it? It’s not something to take lightly.
Checking for possible issues with your website name can take a little work but you can start here: https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/search.
For example, if you’re thinking of registering the domain Reelter.com and trying to sell real estate-related products on it but don’t want people to think that this is an official site from Real Estate Inc., then beware: deceptive trade practices laws are in place!
Research Your Domain Name
Don’t commit to a name, print business cards, signs or set up any social media pages before doing some research. This is the last thing you want after all your hard work: finding out that someone with the same name as yours committed some heinous crime and comes up #1 in search results when they type it into Google!
There are also lists of business names fails on fun sites like this one if you’re looking for more erh… inspiration.
The thing that might mess you up is if your primary website does not match with your brand. That makes it harder for consumers to find you because they have too much information on their mind, and all of this mental work will take time away from them finding an agent who can help them in the fastest way possible.
The Frank Lorenzo Team has a website branded as “Selling Brooklyn”.
That’s okay if they’re trying to get away from branding with their name, but then why not call their team the “Selling Brooklyn Team”?
There are so many ways you could go about this and still have confidence your brand will resonate well! Still, no matter what business owners do, there’s always going to be some risk involved and compromises to make.
Break All the Rules… Seriously Don’t Violate the Rules
Keep in mind that your state may have naming rules. For example, the State of Texas has a rule stating if you are team (not brokerage) then the word “team” or “group” must be on your name at all times – even online where it is visible to others browsing for housing options.
Have Purpose and Intent
The goal of every website owner is to make their site easy to be found in search results and clear for visitors who land on your pages to find what they’re looking so they convert to clients.
In the real estate world, it’s even more important because buyers need a way to contact you quickly before making an offer on property that may have already be sold by another agent.
Make sure you have a fully responsive website for desktop, tablet and mobile devices with clear Calls to Action (CTA) and easy contact touch points – I.E. clickable email and phone numbers
Don’t confuse your potential clients by owning a website that is for blogging instead of selling property!