Monday, January 26, 2009

How do I choose a domain name? Should I go with www.whrp-prp.com or www.what-the-heck.com?

It is important to realize that a domain name is more than just a piece of property on the World Wide Web. It can build equity just like a house and it can become a powerful marketing tool that will drive traffic to your site… just like a well enjoyed home cooked meal can drive traffic to your bed, you just have to know how. Like in a lot of thing and David Ogilvy, one of the most prominent advertiser of all time, would agree “Simplicity still holds the truth, like the truth of a simple kiss.”

A well chosen domain name will help you with your SEO

First of all, chose a domain for your company AND for your product and have them both pointing to your website.

The spelling of your domain for your business should be as close as possible from your real company name. Don’t make the mistake of adding useless things to your domain such as “inc” or “ass” or else. Keep it pure, keep it simple. If your business is called “Joe the Plummer”, name it as such; http://www.joetheplummer.com. It will be much more memorable that way and please, PLEASE, stay away from acronyms that nobody can remember. Only concentrate on what’s memorable. Why? Just imagine the picture: you are in a networking event, you don’t have a business card on you nor a napkin and the guy in front of you is in a position to buy something from you. You can either tell him: “Please visit us online at http://www.dbblassoc.com”, just hoping that he’ll remember or you could say something like: “A great way to remember me is http://www.joetheplummer.com/.

Also, you should have another domain, named after your product that is pointing to your site. Be aware that a lot of people tend to remember the products before the company that makes it. Not convinced? Try to tell me right off the bat who’s the company behind Maxwell House Coffee… I rest my case.

If you are a small business owner, you should also buy your own name for the same reasons as those described above. A lot of entrepreneurs will push their name and reputations to sell a product.Having multiple domains pointing on the same website will help you with your ranking a bit but DON’T overdo it as it may produce the opposite effect and you may lose points on Google and Yahoo.

Make your domain a call to action

One of the most effective things you can do is making your domain name a call the action. Almost everybody that knows a bit about marketing knows what a call to action is and means. If you don’t, read bellow.

The whole idea behind a call to action is to get the potential customer to act. now! With traditional channels of communication such as TV, print Ads, billboard, Radio etc. a call to action would sound a little like: “Call Now. Toll Free. 24 Hours a Day. Mail this coupon today in the postage-paid envelope. Fax your response card.”

Just make sure to avoid passive phrases like: “You know how to reach us. Call when you're ready to order.”

Give your customers the perks of responding immediately. They'll be most likely to grab their wallets. If you take the same example as above where you attend a networking event and you are out of business cards. You'll be most likely to see that prospect converting into a client if you say something like: “A great way to remember me is: http://www.actnow.com/.”

Build your domain name out of popular searchesHuh….? Just know that most search engines will rank a site higher if it's named after what people are searching for. That’s cool SEO right there but wait a minute…. How do I do that?

There a very cool FREE keyword suggestion tool available through WordTracker. Go to http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com type a word or a combination of words related to your business such as “Flat Screen”. WordTracker will list the 100 most popular searches containing the words “Flat” and “Screen”. Today for instance, 538 people searched for “flat Screen tv”, 52 for “best flat screen tv” and 23 for “cheap flat screen tv”. You probably figured out that today, 23 POTENTIAL BUYERS!!! were looking for cheap flat screen TV and ironically http://www.cheapflatscreentv.com was still available this morning when I checked… I'm just saying. And if the search is too long, consider the use of dashes so it becomes easier to read.

My Point

Domain names are most probably among the most underestimated and cheapest marketing tools available that can truly make a difference in building your business. Make sure to choose the right one using the strategies above and if you already have a domain and didn’t think about that back then, consider a redirecting domains strategy.