Leveling the Online- Marketing Playing Field

By Tom Barrett

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AUGUST 2005 - Many people use Internet search engines the same way they use the Yellow Pages: They gravitate toward the most prominent ads, often simply to whatever they see first. Search engines weigh many factors in determining how results are presented; the most important is whether a domain name matches a search keyword. Unfortunately, memorable and relevant dot-com web addresses that include such keywords are nearly exhausted. Those still available are composed of awkward strings, random letters, and numbers that make it difficult to rise to the top of search engine results. Purchasing a memorable URL—a string with a keyword representing the subject business—is often too costly.

The “.pro” domain was established in 2004 to create online marketing opportunities for licensed professionals such as accountants, lawyers, physicians, dentists, financial advisors, and health-care providers—businesspeople who have limited Internet promotion options due to the lack of available .com addresses. It was created by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an international nonprofit responsible for Internet domain name management.

CPAs can choose from two types of .pro domains: generic, such as taxes.pro, and industry-specific, in the form of anyname.cpa.pro.

Tom Barrett is president of EnCirca, Inc. (www.encirca.com), an ICANN-accredited domain registrar.




















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