“Me” is not what it appears to be in the world of domain names. The .me domain name was originally intended as a replacement to the dot yu designation for Yugoslavia. In fact, the licensing for dot me is registered to Montenegro. While many countries have their own extensions to designate sites that are focused on in border concerns and primary written in that country’s native language, an extension like “me” was just asking to evolve into something much more, and it has. Dot me has now become the signifier for personal sites and blog sites. It is proving to be an excellent marketing strategy for the independent voice.
Is there an advantage to registering a .me domain name? Yes, very much so. There is the obvious advantage if you are a business in the former area of Yugoslavia or selling items to countries in that area of the world that you are clearly identified as such. But there is more of an advantage if you are an independent blogger or commentator who is seeking to increase your influence and presence on the Internet.
You don’t have to be in Montenegro to use the dot me extension to increase your search engine optimization (SEO). By marketing this kind of address, you are placing yourself into a niche category that will result in higher search returns. If you can increase your name recognition and associate it with a solid connection to high key words, then you have created a good lead to your website.
One of the best aspects of using dot me is it lets you leave behind the overexposure of advertising and commerce that is beginning to wear out the average Internet user. Dot me identifies your site as having content and not ads. The rising trend of social proof is demanding that more and more people with something to sell make the effort to form relationships beyond their product in order to gain customers.
Oddly enough, the Internet for all its instant gratification marketing potential is going backwards towards a marketing model based on word of mouth. The more people perceive you as being authentic and engaged, the more they will promote you and recommend you to the people they know online. This kind of relationship forms loyalty that lasts for years.
Branding is the key goal of a .me domain name. It is a part of the concept of social proof. Your book or your DVD or your product is not as important as you. As more people develop a loyalty to you and what you represent, the more they will be willing to buy or promote your individual items. This is a completely new way of thinking about marketing for Internet entrepreneurs because it is lateral and not vertical. Rather than build a website around a product, you are building a website around you, your integrity and often, your lifestyle. This is harder to do with a dot com because they have become so associated with sales and entertainment. A dot me site stands apart and attracts attention.
A .me domain name will also enhance your ability to market for much the same reason that it lets you tap into the social proof trend. Many people miss networking opportunities because they respond to a personal encounter by offering a connection to a website that is promoting a product or service to anyone who drops by.
A dot me site allows you to respond to a personal encounter with an equally personal link, or at least that is how it will be received. Again, the essence of social proof is that it comes down to one person meeting another person because they have a shared interest, goal or desire. The road goes both ways with social proof. Dot me addresses are like the personal cell phone number written by hand on the back of a mass produced business card.
They carry the aura of the personal touch that is essential to building loyalty. They also let you develop a companion site to your business site. Think of the difference it could make to how your company interacts with people if instead of staff pages on the main site, you linked out to separate dot me sites for each team member? Just the increased SEO from the link-backs makes it worth considering.