The right domain name can change the game for your business. Sedo presents tips, tricks, and insight for developing a domain strategy that works for your company.
Few people would dispute the power of a good domain. But when it comes to domains, the companies that succeed know that finding the right domain is more than a one-and-done task. Indeed, a proper domain strategy requires research, investment, tracking, and refinement to ensure a business' domain portfolio is optimized to drive traffic, convert leads, and improve SEO.
Indeed, domains boost companies' online marketing efforts in several key ways, said Jeremiah Johnston, COO of Sedo, during a sponsored workshop at ad:tech New York. These boosts are seen in the areas of SEO, reputation and branding, and direct navigation traffic.
As Johnston notes, having multiple domains that encompass your brand and its products is a sure-fire way to boost your SEO. "Domains that have a term that matches the search term will have a higher organic ranking," he said.
In time, many companies find that their investment in multiple useful domains save them money in paid search expenses -- money that can be reinvested in additional domains or other marketing. Consider, for example, a company that acquired the domains Bobblehead.com and Bobbleheads.com. Within eight months of the domain purchase, the company was turning a profit, with 13,500 additional monthly visitors/ leads coming to the site.
Reputation and branding
Companies can also use domains to establish their brands' market authority and leadership, noted co-presenter Jeff Kupietzky, president and CEO of Oversee.net. This is precisely what Barnes & Noble accomplished when it purchased Books.com, a descriptive, product-oriented domain that helped establish the company as a leader in its industry.
After all, a domain is more than an address. It's a brand. And smart companies are investing in those brands.
Of course, high-level domains on the order of Books.com can bring large price tags with them, Kupietzky noted. For companies with smaller budgets, locally focused domains can prove to be a cost-effective way to drive traffic.
One additional tip from Kupietzky: Register your domains early in the campaign development process. Don't take the chance that someone else will snatch up a coveted domain because you waited.
Direct navigation traffic
Finally, domains themselves can be leveraged to drive traffic to landing pages or main websites. According to co-presenter Bob Mountain, VP of business development for NameMedia Inc., one in six searches is a direct navigation search, in which the person types the URL directly into the address bar. And such searches, he noted, convert twice as well as normal traffic from search engines.
Consider, for example, ChineseTeachers.com. A company purchased the domain for a minimal cost, and now, 62 percent of its traffic comes to the site from direct navigation searches. Larger brands like Citi have also found it quite lucrative to own domains such as Mortgage.com, which is commonly reached via direct navigation.
Also, Mountain added, consider registering the domain for any taglines you roll out in advertising campaigns. For example, you can bet that Nike was wise to register JustDoIt.com before its iconic campaign took off. And remember, Mountain said: If you don't register it, someone else will.
Above all, Johnston concluded, be thoughtful about your domain strategy and, when in doubt, tap into the resources of a domain broker who can guide you through this important and highly strategic process.
Lori Luechtefeld is editor of iMedia Connection.
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