Your domain name can make or break your online business. Before deciding on a domain name, (which is a long-term strategic investment), first consider your online marketing and selling strategy.

 

How do you plan to get traffic to your website?

You can’t decide on a domain name without doing your homework around how it affects your brand and ultimately, your sales…

Here’s why: online traffic that is not paid for (as in advertising), and unlike brick and mortar foot traffic, is brought via a search engine, and what this means is that your website needs to rank well on search engines in order to be visible on search engine results, so that you get the highest volume of traffic possible.

So…if your online marketing strategy is to get as much traffic as possible, as opposed to niche sales, then you might need to have a domain name that helps make this possible, faster.

Now, if you are already branded and unwilling to alter the brand, your domain name needs to match your logo name, or it defeats the purpose and your brand loses trust in the eyes of your visitors.

The big question then becomes: do you need a domain name that is findable, or one that is brandable?

That said, here are how your domain name name impacts your brand and your sales:

#1: Memorability

If your domain name was on a billboard, by the time someone driving past arrived home to jot it down, would they remember it?

Image Credit: KickstartCommerce
Example of a memorable domain name.

The domain name needs to be simple, short and relevant so that people remember it, and can find it if they were to type it into a browser.

When people are trying to recall a www. address, they will often come up with a simplified version. For example, rather than typing in “propertiesmarket.com.au” they’ll remember the domain as “propertymarket.com.au”, or instead of “whisky-bar.net.au” they’ll type in “whiskybar.com.au”…you get the picture…

Always put yourself in your visitor’s shoes and make it easy for them to remember you.

#2: Findabililty

Findability, or discoverability, is meant when a domain name can be found by someone who doesn’t know about your website but is trying to find something via a search engine by using keywords or phrases related to a specific topic. If they were to do this, they should be able to find your website if they are looking for the solutions you provide.

The other element to consider is which extension to choose; today you can choose from domain names with all sorts of extensions (yourbusiness.biz, yourbusiness.org, your business.cc, yourbusiness.ng).

While any of these may make sense to you, you have to remember that potential visitors and customers have been “programmed” – after years of typing .com – to make the assumption that every domain name has .com at the end.

However, if you want to specifically attract local traffic, then you should consider a local extension – if you wanted to attract traffic from Nigeria for instance, you should consider the .ng extension.

In addition, here’s a biggie: if you choose to use an .ng extension, and another company owns the .com version of your domain name, you can expect many of your new and existing customers to end up visiting their website first. Can you afford that?

#3: Advertising

Memorable Domains conducted a study and found that online ads using a generic domain name with an exact match to the product (ElectricBicycles.co.uk) performed dramatically better than identical ads featuring an alternative generic – for example “YourBikes.co.uk” or non-generic (InAHurry.co.uk) domains.

An example of the ElectricBicycles ad

They report that the CTR (Click Through Rate) of ads using the ElectricBicycles.co.uk domain name was 15% and 42% higher than the two alternatives, respectively.

Yet another study for search engine marketing shows that ads with the display URL “DivorceLawyer.com” achieved a 298% higher CTR’s than ads with the display URL “VladimirLaw.com.”

But take note that this study was only based on 34 clicks, which is not really enough data to accurately measure the performance difference.

Summary

In conclusion, before deciding on a domain name, spend time on a marketing strategy, in order to answer this question: should your domain name be discoverable or brandable?

To help make that decision, these are the three ways that the domain name impacts your brand and your sales:

  1. Whether or not people can remember it.
  2. Whether people can find it when using search engines.
  3. How the domain name influences advertising results.

Need more help choosing a domain name? We can help.