Using your name to create a personal domain and homepage.
In the wide world of apps, social media, and online profiles people may ask what’s the purpose of a personal domain name? Over the years, I’ve created profiles on just about every popular social media site including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, Medium, 500px, Pinterest, Nextdoor, Quora, WordPress, Yelp, Adobe, About.me, Flavors.me, Clarity.fm….. the list goes on.
In addition to this, I write and work with partners, media companies or events that post my profile here and there. If you’re active online, do a Google search for your name and you’ll see many of these profiles appear. Many are out of date, put up quickly, or lack complete information.
With all this information out there, why even go through the trouble of registering a personal domain that matches your name, for example, bradbeckstrom.com. Well, I learned this the hard way, twice. Years ago, I registered a domain in my name, probably because somebody told me it was a good idea and I run a domain and hosting reseller as part of my digital marketing business, ApolloBravo.
I needed something to point my personal domain name to so I set up an account with flavors.me. Don’t bother visiting Flavors because they’ve closed down. Originally I thought it was a great idea to be able to set up a quick digital business card with links to all of my other sites and relevant affiliations. LinkedIn was built to serve this purpose but lacks a lot of creative flexibility and the ability to host your LinkedIn page under your exact match domain name.
Initially flavors.me worked fine and because I owned the domain name, it came up first in search results when you typed in Brad Beckstrom. Then flavors.me, a free service at the time, decided to close up shop. That number one ranking for my name vanished. I then temporarily forwarded my domain name at another site called about.me/bradbeckstrom. Unfortunately, the Google page ranking did not recover, primarily because if you do not pay about.me a monthly fee, they will only redirect your domain name to your profile page on the about.me site. No thanks. Shortcuts and easy solutions often don’t work. Forwarded domains don’t rank in search results.
How to set it up right the first time
Once you register your domain name, you can set up a free landing page with the company you registered your domain with. (You just need to ask) If not, you can head on over to WordPress.com create a free account and then work with your domain registrar to properly point your domain at your new page. If you host other pages, like a company page or blog, you may be able to quickly add a one-page site to your existing web server. That’s what I did.
So, I have finally gotten around to putting up a single page site with all of my information that should eventually be climbing back up in the Google rankings for searches on my name. This is primarily due to the fact that Google likes recently updated pages with domains that were registered quite a while ago and are an exact match to your name.
This sounds like a bit of a hassle why do it?
- Regardless of what you do for a living, having a personalized domain name that you host gives you full control over what appears on that page.
- Do you write, blog or have creative pursuits that don’t quite fit well on al LinkedIn page or social media page?
- It stakes out your own piece of real estate on the web. If you share a name with a lot of people, it’s better to own it online than have some wack job with a lot of crazy ideas occupying that space.
- If you run a business, many people may remember meeting you and search for your name rather than the name of your business. This makes it much easier to find you.
- Think of it as a digital business card. You can link to a QR code and quickly add connections when people scan your card or badge.
- If you have a byline on papers or articles you write, you can create a live link from your name so people can follow you in other places like twitter or medium.
- Include it as an email signature so people can find you other places online.
What if my name’s not available? You can try adding your middle initial. There are many other domain name extensions available .net, .us, .me. You can try a quick search here. I got over 20 options all matching my full name spelling exactly.
I’m sure many people have registered their names as a domain but simply haven’t done much with it. If you need some ideas, there are a few sites below, many cool examples are out there.
Type any name you are familiar with followed by .com and you’ll see some interesting results. Once your personal landing page or website is set up you can put the link at the bottom of your personal emails, create a QR code that points to it, and put it on a T-shirt. This is apparently very popular in Asia. Now go out there and claim your name on the web, and have a permanent answer to the question “where can we find you?”
Are you the master of your domain? “ Jerry Seinfeld”