To celebrate April Fools Day we have compiled a short list of the lies you hear most often about domain names.
“My business is doing ok, the domain name doesn’t matter.”
While it is absolutely true that a domain name alone won’t make your business, it surely can help. If it wasn’t the case, then why would pretty much all successful companies switch to their exact brand match, .com domain names as soon as they got their concept proved? Why are we not still on TheFacebook.com, Instagr.am? Twttr.com? TeslaMotors.com? You have one perfect domain name, the one that matches exactly your brand, that is easy to spell and you know you won’t have to shout it or spell it 3 times over the phone, the one that people will remember when seeing it printed or hearing it on the radio. The one that will make word of mouth easy to spread. Your perfect domain name isn’t a silver bullet or a golden ticket for success. But it will sure help. On top of making all your marketing efforts more effective, it also builds trust with customers, business partners and investors. So fooling yourself you don’t want it is like saying « I don’t want that prime location, I am ok with the little shop over there, in that area far away from everything, where it takes me 3 minutes to explain to each client how to get to me and there is pretty much zero chance they will just end up on my doorstep unless I spend gazillion in advertising that location ». Yeah, right.
“Premium domain names are very expensive, I can’t afford that.”
That seems true until you actually think about it. Billboard ads start at $1,500 for a month. That’s $18,000 for an year. You can’t measure the effectiveness of those, you are left with nothing as soon as you stop paying and if we are honest — you still need a good domain name to get people walking or driving past that billboard to remember where to find you. Newspaper ads? Similar effect with the price starting at $50,000 depending on the placement, size of the ad and duration. Let’s not go into TV spots where the price starts at over $100,000 for 30 seconds and again — on all those, results are hard to measure and you *still* need a good domain name to direct people towards. More modern advertising methods? Sure. Snapchat different types of ads vary between $50,000 — $750,000 per day (you read that right). Facebook ads? Average of $1.86 CPC (cost per click). 100 visitors per day = $5,580 per month. You get the picture. The cost of a premium domain? It can be anything between $5,000-$10,000 up to millions. Once you own it, the renewal fees are usually under $10/year. You can track and measure each click to your site, the activity of users on it, you can build up your customer database, interact with new and existing clients and nobody can take that away from you, no algorithm change, no tech giant falling. As The Father of Modern Marketing, Dr. Philip Kotler said “Companies pay too much attention to the cost of doing something. They should worry more about the cost of not doing it.” Do your math and think smart, don’t get easily impressed by big numbers.
“It’s too late to change, everyone knows our domain is this.”
Henry Ford said, « If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. ». That is not to say your audience doesn’t know what they want, they sure do. But it is oh, so easy to get accustomed to something, even if it is not perfect and so hard to think outside the box. But as a business owner, this is your job and this is what will make you stand out and get ahead of your competition. You have to constantly innovate. If your domain name is limiting in any way, you should be changing this. UberCabs.com do well…cabs. Uber.com do food, freight, health, work, and *CAN* do whatever they want with that name. Don’t put yourself in a box. Everyone knows your domain already? Ask your staff — do they have to explain, spell, repeat it often? Do they lose emails (if the answer is yes, they are likely going to the exact brand match .com version of your domains, you will be surprised at the huge number of those)? Run a test with ads and see how many people remember your domain name 30 minutes after seeing an advert with it. That is your money, your marketing budget in the bin for every single person who doesn’t. It’s never too late to change for the best version of your domain name.
“Domain brokers and owners are evil squatters.”
Well, that’s just extreme and unfair. There are regulations in the domain industry just like with any other, and domain squatting is actually illegal. According to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, Cybersquatting is registering, trafficking in, or using an Internet domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. So unless you own a trademark with that brand name you can’t blame someone for squatting. If someone has registered a good domain before you, they have the full right to sell it, why not? You don’t go up to owners of top-end property in NY shouting at them, calling them names, asking them to give you that luxury office because it is great and they are not using it the way you would, do you? So why do you think that is okay with domain owners? As with anything in life, there are exceptions. But domain brokers and owners are generally professional business people who are happy to negotiate and reach agreements that benefit everyone. And yes, it is a business, just like any other and you get what you pay for.
“I only need one domain name.”
Did you know Apple have over 19,000 domain names? How? They own pretty much all the variations you can think of spelling Apple, they own names that are related to products they have, they own names that are relevant to specific advertising campaigns…you can tell how they got to own that many. And of course, the next logical question — why? Here are just some of the reasons. To protect their brand. To make life easier for their customers — if they keep spelling something wrong, just make sure it leads them to the right site anyway, why lose that traffic? To make marketing campaigns more effective and fun. To not overload their main site with information for a particular product and make it easy to discover it for their clients. To accommodate their global clientele by offering them their domain name in the relevant country-specific extension. You can see how they got to that many! Now sure, you are not Apple but don’t we all aim to be, hey! Protect your brand and make it as easy as possible for your audience to reach you. If your brand consists of two words, rest assured, people will swap their place, so get both versions of the domain name. If you have a number (not advisable), would people write 5 or five? Get both. Coca-cola.Com or CocaCola.com? Whichever you type you will get to the right site. You may be small but to get big, you have to think big.
I hope this will be of use to you in the process of getting your perfect domain name. If you have any questions, need any help or just want to chat with someone about the process, book a free consultation on MarkUpgrade. We are always happy to hear from you.
Written by Tatiana
Originally published at MarkUpgrade.com.