Living with a .co domain name

written by Web designers London on January 14, 2014 in Web design with one Comment

domain name

I wanted to make a post of my frustrations from building a business using the domain webdesignerslondon.co I registered this domain in June of 2011.

The reason I decided on this domain name was for the simple fact of the keywords to which was one of the main keywords I was aiming for to generate business in the main search engines.

I wrote a post here regarding choosing the right keywords which may help you choosing your keywords.

So I bought the name webdesignerslondon.co as all similar alternatives where already taken for the .com’s and .co.uk’s. As with every good web designer I built myself a good looking site on the WordPress platform ensuring it was future proof and works across all media devices.

I spent a lot of time and effort ensuring it was SEO friendly and built my way up to the top of the rankings. which my post Running a successful freelance web design business gives some great advice in doing so.

It took over a year to start ranking well for the key phrases “web design London” and “web designers London” Which I am happy for the enquires I have received.

Now on to my frustrations….

Well I guess it boils down to the fact that 98% of people out there have no idea of the existence of the domain .co

A common example of my frustrations regarding having a .co domain name is; a client has found my website through Google and has called me directly to acquire a quote for my services. I ask for certain information to be sent to me via email and give my info@webdesignerslondon.co email address. A few days later I receive a concerned phone call enquiring; when am I planning to respond to his/her enquiry? Strait away I know that this person has spent the past few days emailing info@webdesignerslondon.co.uk

Now my first reaction is frustration that this client who wants to work with myself cannot follow the simple instructions as an email address. A rage feels my head that he/she has taken it upon themselves to add extra digits to the contact details I gave??? …. Ok breath…..

I understand that the person has assumed I have given out my email address wrong and has chosen to correct it for me on the assumption that there is no such domain as .co

This predicament has happened so often I am in no doubt that buying the .co domain was a wrong move on my behalf. So where am I left and what to do?

Firstly I look at what I have; a two and a half year old domain with a PageRank of 4. I have a good flow of organic traffic each month with blog posts that are settled and picking good traffic in search engines.
So where to go from here? Well in this time I have managed to acquire a few domain names that I feel will sort out my domain frustration, they are: webdesignslondon.com and websolutionslondon.com, of course I could start over again, while leaving my present site to fade away into the obscurity of the search engine grave yard.

My concerns here would be duplicating all my previous blog posts to the new site and risk being penalised through duplicate content.

I understand of the 301 redirect of a domain to a new one but this is the route I would like to avoid.

My conclusion being; before you do anything….THINK! On my behalf I was tipped over in my decision in to buying a .co domain name after seeing the major web hosting companies advertising to “Get you .co domain name” and presumed the .co would be as recognisable as the .com’s and .co.uk but sadly this has not happened.

I think all people in the web related business can easily get in this mindset of a narrow field of vision when it comes to what we know and the lack of knowledge everyone else does not know, after all those are our clients, the ones who pays us for or service because they don’t know how too.

I feel a lesson has been learned here.