Guest blog by Theresa Manning
When we first start a business, we are often excited and can overlook one of the biggest decisions. We rush into naming our business without considering the domain name. It’s not just the housing and property market that’s heating up, online real estate is a prominent place to be, it’s no secret that we all go online, to find new businesses, research and to spend our money.
Not considering the right domain name for your business is one of the biggest mistakes you will make. Here are some reasons why you should not overlook the importance of your online real estate – aka your domain name – and how to make the most of it!
What’s the point of spending money on a domain name?
Well simply, it’s your branding paid for and a large part of your marketing budget saved. If you sell shoes the best domain name you could own is shoes.com.au. This domain name shoes.com.au is what the domain name industry calls a premium generic domain name. It’s descriptive. In the offline world, it’s equivalent to having the biggest retail shop, with the most foot traffic in the best location.
While some marketers think Domain Authority is derived only from keywords and links, the reality is that Google likes brands. Google CEO Eric Schmidt once said “Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool. Brand affinity is clearly hard-wired. It is so fundamental to human existence that it’s not going away.”
Because it will cost you a significant more amount of money. Companies literally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars telling and educating the consumer what they do and try to get you to remember their name. Where instead you could spend a few thousand dollars on the right domain name and get the same result. Generic, “category killer” domain names, have an instant brand recall.
Consider the following example: Changing the domain name from Beep.com.au to CarLoans.com.au.
The same company, the only thing that changed was the domain name – the uplift in every metric was phenomenal. From the number of website visitors to the number of leads, to new sales, everything went up.
So why did that lead to a huge increase in sales? Quite simply, it was the perception of the customer when it came to the business. Moving forward, Co-Founder Shaun McGowan a digital strategist who “builds top-level real estate and online brands” has a new venture providing small business loans to small businesses. Coming into the game a little later, the main domain names were unavailable to be registered. However, he could secure the domain names “lend.com.au” and “unsecuredbusinessloans.com.au”. Lend is extremely relevant, the word “lend” is descriptive of what they do. Therefore, they do not need to spend huge marketing dollars to tell people what Lend or ‘Unsecured Business Loans’ does.
How to Choose a Domain Name
- Choose an Appropriate Extension
Pick a .com.au extension. In most cases, .com.au is the best choice for Australian businesses. This is because .au part signifies that the website is registered in Australia and subject to the high standards set out by the regulatory authority Auda.org.au. This not only looks professional but creates a level of consumer confidence that other extensions cannot emulate.
- What about Top Level Domains?
Firstly, you might ask what is a Top Level Domain (TLD). Put simply a TLD identifies something about the website from the address; for example, Coffee.Club is you guessed it! A coffee club website. What effect does this have on branding and marketing? Interestingly Coffee.club went on to rank No#1 on Google for the keyword Coffee Club. Coincidence? Secondly, it opens the door to new possibilities that might have been previously unavailable. And finally, having exact match branding is a great way to communicate to your customers what you represent.
- Choose your Brand
Ashley Friedlein, CEO and Co-founder of Econsultancy, said, “Brand is the sum total of how someone perceives a particular organization.” You can only have a lasting influence on how people perceive you if they actually remember you. Your domain name could be your own business name or relating to what your business does. For example, RealEstate.Sydney or SydneyWideRealEstate.com.au, a more specific name could actually get you a higher spot on Google’s search pages.
One of your marketing goals should be to build a distinct brand that stands out from your competitors. Start by choosing a unique and distinctive domain name, if the domain name is already registered but is not in use, reach out to the registrant and try to negotiate purchasing it.
Above all keep reading the local marketing press to find out what is happening with domain names as there are some moves on the horizon