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Sammy Quraan

Sammy Quraan GM

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Automotive Domains: Edgy like Sushi, but Better for Marketing

Today, it seems like everyone loves eating raw fish slathered in a bright green, hot horseradish. But our taste for sushi didn’t happen overnight. It took Americans a long time to “get” it, and, now that we have, you can find it almost anywhere.

It might be a stretch, but that’s the same example I used recently when talking about my move away from my dot-com domain to a new .Auto domain. Today, these new domains - .auto, .car and .cars – might seem foreign, but, in a couple years, I believe industry specific domains will be the norm, not the exception. Not just in the auto business, but in every business - the Internet is simply becoming too big for it not to be segmented into different industries.

Couple that with the fact that search and smartphones are changing everything we know about digital marketing, it’s easy to see why shorter, more memorable, auto-specific domains make sense. They are harder to forget and much, much more “thumb-friendly” to enter.

In the case of Brilliance Auto, my family’s independent car dealership, we had another “no brainer” reason to adopt a new web address. When we named our dealership, we quickly realized the obvious URL – www.brillianceauto.com - was taken by a Chinese auto company, so we opted for a modified URL by shortening “brilliance” to have just one “l” and ended up with the somewhat confusing www.brilianceauto.com. We knew it wasn’t ideal but felt we had no choice – and our business is not alone when it comes to “making do” with an imperfect dot-com address. It’s hugely common in our overcrowded world wide web.

But it’s a problem that is becoming even more serious as third-party leads continue their decline and search becomes the only way people find our dealership – most often, on their smartphone.

Which is why I was incredibly interested when I started reading articles about the trend towards new domain names – like .xyz (which even Google’s parent company, Alphabet, uses www.abc.xyz), .movie (which was already used in a Super Bowl commercial to advertise the new movie “Gods of Egypt:” www.godsofegypt.movie), .bank, and .rent. We looked to see if there was anything similar for the auto industry and discovered that auto-focused URLs were available. Finally, a solution to our currently misspelt web address that makes complete sense!

We quickly purchased www.brilliance.auto - URL that reflects my dealership’s brand name perfectly!

And I didn’t stop with just a single website. I also explored ways we could expand our marketing reach by obtaining some very specific URLs that communicated the unique buying proposition Brilliance Auto delivers. So, in the near future, we’ll be launching micro sites on URLs like Certified.Car (we pride ourselves on selling “Brilliantly Certified” pre-owned cars) and Safe.Car (because we want consumers to know buying a car with us is safe).

We’re very excited about the possibilities these new domains offer our dealership – and believe they will also have a great impact on our SEO.  I have already migrated my website to www.brilliance.auto, which ranks #1 on Google for terms like “brilliance auto,” “brilliantly certified,” and “brilliance NJ.” I will come back and report on our progress once my new websites have launched.

Until then, it would be great to hear if any others of you have acquired a taste for this brand of sushi!

 

 

Sammy Quraan is the General Manager of Brilliance Auto, which is owned by his wife, Karen Quraan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealer Guy

DOT COM will always dominate, because .cars .auto etc, are all actually extremely expensive at over $2000 each.  And moreover, the search engines do not prefer one over the other, as content is king.  A 10 year registration of a .cars domain is $24,000. 

 

Adam Shiflett

Great article. And I love me some sushi. I agree that the new domains have legs, but it will take some time for adoption. It certainly looks better on an ad, but it might confuse some people the first time they see it. 

@3D VR I agree that the domains are too expensive right now, but those prices will come down. Content is still king, but originality and differentiation makes a good second in command. 

Kristen Tepper

SUSHI <3 I'd eat it 7 times a week if I had the chance. I definitely agree with Adam - it's gonna confuse some people for a bit and the prices will go down... but I gotta be honest, I RARELY type in an actual URL when I need info for a specific business and i've got them in mind. i just pop their name into google. Especially for sites I don't visit daily, and ESPECIALLY on my phone (unless i've got their app)

Facebook.com, yeah i'll type that in but the sushi place down the street or the car dealership? I just stick their name into a google search because most of the time, what i'm looking for: a menu, a review, link directly to inventory, directions - will show up ALL right there on the front page. 

Is this just me or is it my generation or is it majority?

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