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Your website domain is your address on the internet. Because it's the first thing your customers will remember, it’s one of the first things to secure.
The way that domain registration works is a bit like the wild west. Domains can just be 'created'. There is no pre-defined list of them. It is not linked to ASIC. You have to get in first. People can just squat on your domain if they see it's free. They can sell these back to you at exorbitant prices. (Someone tried to sell me a domain related to to pharmacy for $10,000!!! (I choked on my buritto, laughed then politely said goodbye).
You need to use a domain registry service. Something like Net Registry, Melbourne IT, Cheapdomains, GoDaddy or CrazyDomains. Look around and make sure they price and inclusions are right. A Domain registry service will allow you to:
When choosing your domain, you need to start with the end in mind. Your domain must be specific to your business but has to be easy to type. For instance, imagine “Steve Bradman’s Pharmacy” located at Wicketville Plaza, 12 Cricket Street, Wicketville QLD 4151. The pharmacy owner, Steve Bradman, wants to sell down the pharmacy within three years. The Bradman name is an institution in the local community. Steve’s son, Nathan-Gary Bradman is the current manager and wants to take over the business.
With a strong “Bradman” brand, it’s important to keep this in the domain. To differentiate, “Pharmacy” should also be included. Looking ahead, it would be suitable to licence both SteveBradmanPharmacy.com.au as well as BradmanPharmacy.com.au. In light of the upcoming ownership change and the shorter domain – they may resolve to use BradmanPharmacy.com.au as the main site.
The way this then works is once you register your domain name with a registry service, you then input the 'IP address' of where your website is stored/hosted. Humans are good at remembering names, not numbers. Remembering bradmanspharmacy.com.au is easier than remember www.195.445.12.1.com.au
Note that when you choose a domain name, ensure you then use this domain with your emails. Many pharmacies have a domain then continue to use a Gmail account (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). This is confusing to consumers and from a branding perspective looks amateurish. There are also instances of pharmacies using the centre’s email (e.g. email@example.com). This is confusing to consumers who would then be expecting the pharmacy’s website to be wicketvilleplaza.com.au – non-specific to the pharmacy. Many domain registry services offer email hosting, you could also use GSuite, Microsoft Exchange or the like. It comes down to cost. Yes, you can do things on the cheap/free. Before making a decision based on 'free' consider the implications to your brand. Sometimes its worth to pay a small sum, to get a polished result.
We consistently help our clients with how to manage their domain. It can be a confusing part of digital engagement. A strong, clear, memorable domain means better brand awareness and will ultimately drive more consumers to the site and return visits.
30th August 2018
Pharmacy domains explained...avoid the traps
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