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When it comes to financial advisor marketing, a very important decision is choosing your Domain Name.

Typically people can go directly to your advisor website by typing in your domain name. You can think of the domain name as your "Address" on the internet. It is likely what you will want to market to your potential visitors.

Here is an example of a domain name:

www.advisorwebsites.com

  • "www" - This is the host. it indicates that the website is on the World Wide Web.
  • "AdvisorWebsites" - your actual domain name.
  • ".com" - this is referred as to the Top Level Domain (TLD). Common TLD include .com, .biz, .org, .net, .info. Geographic versions are also available and may include .us, .ca,  .co.uk, . eu etc...

Putting together all components gives you your website address. The components are separated by periods.

Choosing your domain name

  • Brainstorm - jot down your top 5 desired names that you can think of.
  • Short and Easy- typically, the shorter your domain name the better. Remember, your visitors may have to type this in their browser. We see have seen advisors do the following in order to shorten the domain name:
    • You can use initials to shorten long lames. (i.e. instead of using www.wilkinsonsmithmichaelsfinanicial.com you can go with www.wsmfinancial.com)
    • We have seen the word Financial Services abbreviated. (i.e instead of using www.simpsonfinancialservicesincorporated.com you can go with www.simpsonfs.com)
  • Tricky Spellings - be careful of tricky spellings.
  • Easy to remember - the easier the better. You may want to be careful on how much you use initials and abbreviations.
  • Your name Vs. Company Name - Typically most advisors will either choose their personal name(i.e. www.firstlast.com) or a company name(i.e. www.smithfinancial.com).  TIP: Your advisor website can have more than one domain name if you wish. Typing either domain name will take your visitors to your website but you will have to choose a primary one.

Choosing your Top Level Domain

  • What the heck is it? -this is referred as to the Top Level Domain (TLD). Common TLD include .com, .biz, .org, .net, .info. Geographic versions are also available and may include .us, .ca,  .co.uk, . eu etc...
  • Options and observations - these can vary from individual to individual.
    • many feel that the ".com" TLD is preferred. We typically recommend getting the ".com" version of the domain name if available.
    • other popular TLD's include ".net", ".biz", ".info", ".org"
    • the Geographic TLD can also be a very good option. i.e. ".us"(USA), ".ca"(Canada), ".co.uk" (United Kingdom) etc... depending where your business is based. Note: you may need to be a resident in the country in order to be able to register the geographic TLD.
    • we are  seeing an increase in ".mobi" domain name registration (mobile devices)
    • Remember you can have more than 1 domain name pointed to your website.

Check Domain name availability

Once you have chosen a couple of options, you will need to check to see if your desired domain name is available and has not been registered by anyone else. To see if  a domain name is available you can use our domain checker tool found at:

What if the domain name I want is taken?

If your personal or company name is very common or a popular one, it may be taken and you will not be able to register it. A this point you have a few options.

  • Try a different TLD (i.e. .com version is taken, you can try the .biz, .us etc...)
  • Try Adding a hyphen (although not an ideal solution, it is more likely to be available)
  • Contact the domain name owner to see if you could buy the domain name from them. Note, this is more often than not a very long and painful process. You should proceed with an alternate version of the domain name in the meantime.
  • You can wait for the domain name to expire and try to purchase it then. Again the likely hood of actually getting the domain name may not be in your favor. Most businesses are not willing to let their domain names go.

Other tips

  • Length of time - Typically you want to Register your domain name for as long as you can. this way you will not have to administer as much and this is beneficial when it comes to Search Engine Optimization.
  • Choose a reliable supplier - its important to use a reliable company to purchase your domain name. Domain names are sometimes very painful to transfer and starting off with a great provider can save you a lot of headaches. Some website providers (like www.AdvisorWebsites.com) will take care of this for you.
  • You can use and market you advisor website it in any case: CAPITAL, lower, or MiXeD.

Topics: Advisor Domain Name, Financial advisor marketing, Financial planning web design, How-To, promote your financial website, Marketing