Whether you own an existing business or have an idea for a startup, you need a strong online presence. Usually, the first thing your potential customer will do when searching out your product or service is to conduct a web search, and if your website is relatively easy to find and navigate, you’ll greatly increase your chances of a sale.
With the majority of shopping happening on the internet, the dynamic of marketing has changed significantly, and one of the most effective and lasting methods of reaching potential customers is through a well-developed and maintained website. From a marketing standpoint, you can create a lasting brand image with the right domain name.
Benefits of a strong domain name
Deciding and registering a domain name should not be done in haste. It is a valuable marketing and search tool that should successfully lead customers to your site. Careful deliberation and research should be applied, as it might be the most important decision you make when carving out your slice of the online market.
A strong domain name:
- Adds professional credibility to your business and separates you from the millions of get-rich-quick-scheme websites out there.
- Provides visibility for your brand. Much like a storefront window, a good domain will create awareness and attract customers.
- Establishes your business as tech-savvy and forward-thinking. Whether you actually sell products online or not, it is crucial to your reputation to claim your territory online.
- Creates mobility for your internet presence. If you decide to change web hosting services, relocate to a different country, or shift to using your own in-house server, your domain name stays with you, allowing you to continue to build your brand without having to start all over.
- Increases your search engine ranking. As you build your business and develop your website with quality content, your domain name will become more and more recognizable in search engines like Google, which draws more customers in your direction.
- Will provide your brand with marketability around the world, or you can choose to focus specifically in a local region.
- As opposed to traditional marketing—as long as you keep current with the low annual fees—your domain name will not expire.
Length of domain name
It is always better to have a domain name that is short and easy to remember. Ideally, the length should be between 6-10 letters, with 8 being the sweet spot. Simple, concise, and typeable should be the rule over longer, more descriptive names.
The longer the domain, the more opportunity there is for a misspelling when typing. Also, when combining words in a domain, beware of letters that don’t normally link together or are confusing, like expertsexchange.com for the site Experts Exchange. Not ideal.
Avoid using hyphens and numbers as they can complicate and frustrate users. Always remember: simple is best.
Keywords are words related to the product or service used in a domain name. For instance, best-vacuum-cleaners.com. This is also known as an Exact Match Domain (EMD).
Although most people assume using keywords or EMDs will drive traffic to their website, Google has changed their algorithm in the past few years to downplay the strict use of keywords and now rewards sites with a strong sense of branding instead. It is Google’s way of weeding out the “noise.”
However, using keywords in a domain isn’t always bad. From a marketing standpoint, you know exactly what they sell at best-vacuum-cleaners.com, but beware that you could be looked upon as a spam. This could negatively affect your Google ranking.
You are much better off creating a strong brand image and backing it up with useful and original web content to foster a trusted online presence.