As part of the series on non dot com domains, Leila Johnson of Data-Scribe tells about the use of the dot Biz TLD and the reason for the choice. Additionally she tells about overcoming some of the challenges she’s faced with the TLD.
Mike: Can you give me a little information about yourself (background) and your business?
Leila: For the past 7 years, I have co-owned and managed Data-Scribe(r), a full-service, virtual Web and communications firm based in New Mexico. My background is in technical writing and training, yet I’ve always been a techie at heart. Currently, I handle business communications and operations along with some technical work for client projects. We cater primarily to nonprofit organizations and architectural/engineering/construction firms.
Mike: Tell me about your reasons for choosing a dot biz name over other TLDs. I realize the primary reason is typically that the dot com name was taken. Did you look at others such as net, org, info, us, etc?
Leila: When we purchased our domain name, datascribe.biz, we were only aware of .com, .biz, .net, and .org for TLDs. The .com was taken and we didn’t feel like .org would give us the right connotation because people may have thought we were a nonprofit. That left us with .biz and .net. We felt like .net was a TLD that many informal groups selected for their domains. So, we decided on .biz. It sounded like “Data-Scribe, the business”.
Mike: How import has the domain name been to your business?
Leila: It has turned out to be very important. When we check our stats, we consistently find that one of the top 5 keywords that people use to find us is “datascribe”. We consciously made the choice not to hyphenate our domain name even though our company name is hyphenated. We thought that this would make it easier to remember. Many of our clients come to us by referral from another client, which explains why they might be typing in our name to find us. Early on we had a hard time getting our e-mails through to clients and prospects because the .biz domain seemed to be “labelled” as a spam domain. We had to be careful with the content of our messages to ensure they didn’t trigger any filters. We’ve also compensated for this by having .com names for some of our other company brands (e.g. socialmissionwebhost.com, spiritdriving.com).
Mike: How do you go about promoting and marketing the site?
Leila: Our Internet marketing efforts have paid off. We work hard at on-page SEO for our main site and sister sites. We have a lot of historical blog posts and resources that are well-indexed. Also, we promote ourselves via articles, blog posts, social media, and listings on other sites.
Mike: Do you know if you rank well with the search engines for any particular terms?
Leila: We rank well with many terms that relate to our specific services. Some of the general terms include: civicrm database, crm for small nonprofits, personalized web services.
Mike: What has been the best part about running a company online?
Leila: There’s always a new way to promote yourself online. That can be an advantage and a disadvantage depending on how you look at it. 🙂 We enjoy reaching people in different ways. It’s been a great way for a little company in New Mexico to have a worldwide presence.
Mike: What advice do you have for other businesses seeking domain names for their online presence?
Leila: I would suggest that they think ahead to how people might find them in the future. Are they planning on promoting a unique company name, a specific product or service they offer, their location, or something else? That should be their primary domain name. They can always select other related domain names that link to their primary name and have supporting content.