There’s a saying in the digital marketing industry that a website is the face of a business. It’s hard to argue against that notion in today’s competitive internet landscape. Just as the name of your plumbing company is important to business success, so is the name of your website. Website names are known on the internet as domain names. They are the address you type into a web browser to navigate to a specific page. Domains point browsers to IP addresses, which is how they know which page to navigate to. While you see letters in your address bar, your browser is actually just reading numbers. There are three main components to a domain name:
- Second Level Domain: The meat of your website address ( www.example.com)
- Subdomain: The beginning of your website address (www.example.com
- Top Level Domain: The suffix of your website address (www.example.com)
Your plumbing company can purchase domain names on various websites such as GoDaddy, NameCheap, IPage and Hostgator. Availability plays a big role in which name your company ends up choosing. If your business has a common name, its very likely that the exact wording is already registered by another user, in which case you cannot purchase it. Your first thought might be to purchase the same name with a different suffix (.net, .org, etc.) but you will later learn why that is not your best option.
Traits of a Plumbing Company Domain Name
Domain names should only contain keywords if they are part of your brand name. If your brand name consists of (Location/Company/Industry), you might have multiple keywords in your domain address, but domains should not be selected for the purpose of stealing traffic. Exact match domains are often chosen by spam sites who try to trick search engines into ranking them higher. Words like cheap, discount, and free are often used in these domains. EMDs are not going to increase your SEO, but they will make you a target for scrutiny. Instead of going for EMDs, focus on the following characteristics:
- Branded: Familiar customers should know it’s your company based on the domain address
- Descriptive: Your brand name ideally denotes “plumbing” or a similar word, so that unfamiliar customers know your service type
- Short: Keeping a domain name both short and descriptive is challenging, but names too long are hard to remember
- Simple: Your domain name should be easy to spell, in order to avoid confusion and a possible loss of traffic
Hopefully by now you understand the difference between EMDs and branded domain names. Remember, internet marketing is about sustainability. This domain address will be with you for a long time and is considered an asset to your company. Think of your domain like a property investment; you can only attract customers with a well-presented exterior. Keep in mind that your website will be printed on each one of your marketing materials, from business cards, to social media profiles, even sometimes on your truck wrap. That should give you a bit more incentive to choose a name that will withstand the test of time.
Is .com the Best Option for Plumbing Companies?
At Plumbing Webmasters, contractors sometimes ask us, do we need a .com domain name? While you don’t actually need one, it makes your life a lot easier to have one. The .com domain extension has so many advantages over other variations, that marketing your content without one, can become very problematic. We previously explained that .com, .net, and .org are known as top level domains. Among the TLDs, .com’s are by far the most popular. Among the advantages of .com domain extensions are:
- Familiarity: People expect your brand name to be a .com, so if it isn’t, you risk missing out on customers
- Reputation: The .com domain extension holds a strong reputation for trustworthiness, as opposed to; .net, .info, and others
- SEO: Users tend to gravitate towards .com domain extensions, putting websites that possess them at a decided advantage
While .com is not the only trusted domain extension, it is the best option for plumbing companies. Other extensions that are perceived as credible include; .gov and .edu., but those two are only available to verifiable government and educational institutions. In the early stages of the internet, people often mistakenly trusted .org extension websites to be from verified organizations, but we’ve since learned that no verification is required to purchase a .org domain, and they are now often perceived to represent low quality, and spam-heavy websites. For that reason alone, plumbing companies should avoid using them.