Why Local Domains?
A Common Scenario
Let’s start at the beginning. Ralph Doakes is an accountant who lives in Athens, Georgia. Mr. Doakes recently graduated from college with an accounting degree and wants to start his own accounting practice. Mr. Doakes is in the process of finding some available office space in Athens, Georgia for his brick-and-mortar business and he’s also thinking about creating a name for his business.
Once he determines the name for his business, Mr. Doakes will hire a webmaster to build a website. Mr. Doakes really doesn’t know too much about creating websites but he does know that before a website can be built and published online, a domain name must be purchased. Essentially, this domain name will be the unique online address for Mr. Doakes’ website.
Like a lot of his accounting friends and associates, Mr. Doakes is thinking about using his last name for his business name. So, he decides on “Doakes Accountants” as his business name and as the name of his website and decides to register “DoakesAccountants.com” as his domain name.
If You Build It Will They Come?
In essence Mr. Doakes has followed the famous baseball-related saying from the “Field of Dreams” movie: “If you build it, they will come.” While this may be the case for building baseball fields and baseball stadiums, it is not a truism for building an online website presence.
In fact, in the internet marketing community the following scenario is more accurate: a gigantic store located in the middle of a desert that has the best products and the lowest prices in the industry means nothing if no one know that this store exists. In other words, in the online world, a business needs “eyeballs” on their website if this business is to succeed.
In the internet world, these eyeballs are called “traffic.” The point here is this. If Ralph Doakes registers DoakesAccountants.com as his domain name and has a webmaster build a website named “Doakes Accountants,” how will people find out about this website? Stated another way, how will Mr. Doakes get human eyeballs on his website so that he can build his client base and start making some money?
Mr. Doakes does some research and finds out that there are basically two ways to generate website traffic: 1) Paid advertisements on platforms such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Facebook Ads and 2) Organic search results on search engines such as Google and Microsoft Bing.
The Organic Search Path
If Mr. Doakes decides to go the organic search results route, how likely is it for people to find “DoakesAccountants.com” on page one in the Google or Bing search results for the following keyword phrases?
- Athens accountants
- accountants in Athens
- Athens accounting
- accounting in Athens
- Athens accounting services
- Local accountants in Athens
- Local accounting in Athens
- The best accountants in Athens
A Different Scenario
Let’s change this scenario slightly. In this new scenario, Mr. Doakes decides to name his business and website “Athens Accountants” and he also decides to purchase AthensAccountants.com for his domain name. By doing this, Mr. Doakes, perhaps unwittingly, has purchased a “local domain name” and has entered the world of “local search.”
Local Google Searches
It may be a surprise to most people but 46% of all searches on Google are for local information such as local products and services. Think about this for a moment. There are approximately 3.5 billion searches done on Google every day and approximately 1.6 billion of these searches are for local information (Safari Digital, 2020).
Local Searches Convert
Recently, I was reading an online article by WebFX entitled Local SEO Statistics: 35+ Stats to Prove You Need a Local SEO Strategy and discovered another statistic that’s also quite amazing: 80% of the local searches that arrive at a vendor’s blog or website will result in a conversion (WebFX). Talk about an incentive for large and small business owners to master local search!
When you combine the above two local search statistics, it seems to make a lot of sense for business owners, especially those who are new, to register or buy a local domain name upon which to build a business website. Why? To state the obvious: if you don’t have a website, how can you begin to reap the benefits that local search provides?
Returning back to Mr. Doakes, if he were to decide to go the organic search results route, how likely would it be for people to find “AthensAccountants.com” on page one in the Google or Bing search results for the above listed keyword phrases?
Let’s look specifically at the two websites mentioned above, namely “Doakes Accountants” and “Athens Accountants.” Let’s say that these two websites have received the same amount of search engine optimization.
Some Basic SEO
Before we go any further, some of the readers must be asking the following question: What is search engine optimization (SEO)? Search engine optimization is the process of intentionally improving various aspects of a website in order to increase its visibility and ranking when people search for products or services related to the website in search engines such as Google and Bing. The idea here is that the better visibility and the higher the web pages rank in the search engine results, the more likely people will be attracted to the website. And the more people who visit the website, the more products and services will likely be sold.
Which is the Winning Website?
So, we have two websites. One has a local domain name while the other doesn’t. One of these websites, however, ranks on page one of the local search results for all or most of the above keyword phrases while the other website languishes on pages 6 through 10 in the search results for the same keyword phrases. Question: which website is the “winner.” Quite obviously, the answer is the Athens Accountants website.
Keep in mind that the main goal of the search engines is giving searchers the absolutely best results for their search terms. Having said this, the main reason why “Athens Accountants” showed far better search results than “Doakes Accountants” is because “Athens Accountants” contains exactly the same or very similar words to the keyword phrases listed above.
Now, what if Mr. Doakes also decides to hire a highly qualified webmaster in Athens, Georgia to build an elaborate, $5,000 website with the following name” “Doakes Accountants”? Here’s the secret “twist” to this entire scenario. Mr. Doakes could build his elaborate website AND also purchase AthensAccountants.com from Quality Domains USA.
After making this purchase, Mr. Doakes would need to tell his webmaster to build a very simple and basic “lead generation” website upon this new domain name and perform some basic search engine optimization on this website. When AthensAccountants.com ranks on page one for all or most of the above listed keyword phrases on the major search engines, Mr. Doakes should instruct his webmaster to do a 301 redirect on this lead generation site so that it points to Mr. Doakes’ main website, namely, “Doakes Accountants.”
Now when people in Athens, Georgia type in any of the above listed or similar keyword phrases, they will clearly see AthensAccountants.com at or near the top of the local search results. Once these individuals click on the link to AthensAccountants.com, the search engines will redirect them to Mr. Doakes’ “main” website where they can do the following:
- Fill out the “Contact Us” form and make an appointment to see Mr. Doakes
- Call the customer support phone number that’s listed on the website
- Start an online “chat” session
- Walk into Mr. Doakes’ brick and mortar store and make an appointment
- Email customer support for more information.
The likely result: a substantial increase in customer/client contacts, leads, inquiries, appointments, and ultimately, a substantial increase in revenue.
The Bottom Line
Purchasing a local domain name is ideal for new small business owners who don’t have a website and also for established business owners who have an existing, but an ineffective or nonproductive website that could benefit from a lead gen website that’s built upon a local domain name. In both cases, building a website on a quality local domain name, will, with some basic SEO, likely lead to a noticeable increase in client/customer inquiries, leads, contacts, and quite possibly to a significant increase in revenue.
Digital, Safari. (2020, February 10). 16 Local SEO Statistics That Matter in 2022. Retrieved 3 August 2022, from the Safari Digital website: https://www.safaridigital.com.au/blog/local-seo-statistics/ (link is external).
WebFX (no date). Local SEO Statistics: 35+ Stats to Prove You Need a Local SEO Strategy. Retrieved 19 August 2022, from the WebFX website: https://www.webfx.com/local-seo/statistics/ (link is external).
Last updated: September 17, 2022.
End of Why Local Domains