When your business outgrows its domain name…

Reading Time | 5 Minutes

Is it really possible that a company, regardless of the size, could outgrow their domain name or digital presence?

Hmm… That is the question that entered my mind.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared quite a few encounters with companies that are using geo keyword or keyword geo domains.

Today is no different, as the company I’ll discuss is using a geo keyword domain.

And the story goes like this…

I encountered a truck at a traffic light on my way into the office one morning a few weeks back.  I first saw the truck and then it’s advertisement wrapping the truck in it’s entirety. One of the two words being advertised on the truck made sense.

After all, we have pretty hot summers here in Texas where we can go 40+ days into 100 degree weather, and swimming pools are a must. So, the word “pools” made sense to have in the domain name, but it was the first word that made me raise my eyebrow.

The word that came before “pools” in the domain name that wrapped the truck was “California”. That’s right, CaliforniaPools.com being advertised in Texas out of all places. As I normally do, I snapped a shot of the truck (see below).

California Swimming Pools

The back story of CaliforniaPools.com…

This California-based swimming pool company that has been around for nearly 65 years and uses a domain name that I classify to be a “state + keyword” name: CaliforniaPools.com.

The company was started in California in 1952 by a high school physics teacher, Wayne Steimle, that a vision and dream for his backyard to be an oasis of summer fun. Little did he realize, his personal project would soon lead him, his families and others down the path to financial freedom.

Personally, I think it’s interesting that the original owner named his company California Pool Co. This was long before the internet, and shows he was quite a visionary to anticipate the future a bit — even it if was an accident.

Nevertheless, California Pool Co. has installed a whooping 60,000 plus and counting pools over the years.

But back to my original question and more…

There at the light was a truck promoting CaliforniaPools.com in Texas. It should make you scratch your head a bit as it did me.

Upon arriving home and inspecting their website to find out their origin is California indeed, I couldn’t shake wondering how many companies are in existence and find themselves in the same boat as CaliforniaPools.com. The following questions emerged:

  • What do you do when your company outgrows its domain name?
  • Should more “state + keyword” domain names be purchased, if possible?
  • If so, should the domain names be forwarded or redirected to the primary digital presence, or should microsites be developed for each one?
  • Should the company change it’s name?

There so many questions to answer, yet so much history at stake. It really makes one wonder what the most beneficial path to a profitable future is for such companies that grow beyond their digital presence.

I’m not certain what the answer is, but maybe one option to consider for such companies is to upgrade to a more broad domain name, also known as a premium domain name.

As it pertains to CaliforniaPools.com, I’m thinking one of the following domains would be a great candidate for a domain name upgrade (most likely not available and for quite some time):

  • Pools.com
  • SwimmingPools.com
  • ResidentialPools.com
  • CommercialPools.com
  • HousePools.com
  • HomePools.com
  • IndoorPools.com
  • OutsidePools.com
  • InsidePools.com
  • OutdoorPools.com
  • IngroundPools.com
  • AmericanPools.com
  • UsPools.com
  • USAPools.com

The suggested names above allow for a more broad approach when it comes to branding. You could venture into every major city throughout the United States successfully using the domain names previously mentioned.

In fact, it is likely that there are many more phrases to add to the list although none come to mind as I type.

Nevertheless, best guess says that the domain names above are the exact terms that classify 80% of customers as qualified targeted traffic. These are the terms potential customers use.

I’m certain that each of the domain names listed above probably receives a substantial amount of type-ins in a given day. Again, I said type-ins, meaning search engines and other search marketing services and tactics are bypassed.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to forego paid search marketing services.

In addition, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that your company could very well reduce or lower its marketing and advertising spend upgrading to those domains.

Don’t believe me? Then type each of the domain names into a web browser and see if they’re currently operated by a pool company.

Why not invest your annual marketing and advertising spend into a premium domain?

Finally, I know most would argue the point with me about all the marketing dollars it would take to rebrand the company. I knew it was coming.

My take on it is that your company will keep spending more and more to keep a brand visible that can’t stand on it’s own, year after year.  Why? Because the brand outgrew the location and its domain name.

Sure, location pages could be added and optimized using the existing domain, or additional geo keyword domains could be purchase. Either will work, but both are going to cost you in time and money.

And what happens if those geo keyword domains are already own by the competition?  Then what?

Long story short, simply take all the cost in time and money for both aforementioned options, in addition to your current marketing and advertising annual spend, and wisely invest in one premium domain name that dwarfs all other options.

If you can’t buy a premium domain name, then rent or lease to own.  I’m certain your invest will be a drop in the bucket compared to the exposure, credibility and revenue to be received by your company long term from such a wise invest.  View the companies that have made such an invest…

Take them or leave them, but those are my thoughts on what a business ought to do should it outgrow its domain name.

What are your thoughts?

Alvin Brown
Alvin is a serial entrepreneur and digital strategist with an avid love for domain name consulting. As the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of DNAdverts.com, his assignment is to ensure business and personal brands don't suffer the consequences of common domain name pitfalls.

As a domain investor and business consultant, Alvin actively participates in daily domain auctions. Outside of auctions, he passionately shares his views, opinions, and vision for how businesses should and should not use domain names to generate greater customer growth and revenue.