How To Choose The Best Ever Domains, Part 1

Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 by Julia O'Reilly

Don't believe it if anyone tells you all the best domains are gone.  Not true!  It just takes a bit of creative thinking, and some good tools. 

Here are a few guidelines to follow.

Part 2 in our next post will have some resources to make it even easier.

Domain Name Guidelines, Part 1

Make It Unique

You don't want anyone to confuse your site with another popular website!  Create your own unique branding.

Choose Dot-Com Available Domains

If you're at all serious about building a successful website and/or online business over the long-term, you'll want to consider

  1. Type-in traffic
  2. Branding or name recognition

While directing traffic to a .net or .org is fine, owning the .com is critical.  There is still a huge majority of internet travelers who believe that .com is the only business or 'real' extension.  So cover your bases, then go for breadth.

Make it Easy to Type

When was the last time you had a good time typing in URL's?  Keep the path to your website's front door easy to type.

Make it Easy to Remember 

Keep As Short As Possible

Be As Descriptive As Possible

Work with the words until your domain says as exactly as possible what you do or what you offer.

Review your website's main mission, and look for how your potential domain names will support your mission.

Try using color-words or rhythmic sounds to enhance memory 

Kickstarter.com and IndieGoGo are good examples.  These 2 crowd-funding sites have a similar yet distinctively different mission.  Kickstarter is completely descriptive of exactly what the site does. 

Indiegogo is also descriptive for those who will associate "independent projects, films, recorded music" with "indie".  Add the "GoGo" for rhythm and appeal, and voila!  An easy-to-remember domain.

Beware of Copyright Infringement

Visit the U.S. Copyright Office site.  Run at least a minimal search to ensure that you are not in violation of a copyrighted domain.  There are also attorneys who specialize in copyright search, depending on your budget and the extent of your business's reach.

Don't Use Hyphens and Numbers

No one will remember where the hyphens go or which numbers are in your address.  Avoid using them altogether. 

Don't Follow Fads and Trends

Unless you plan on being in business 6 months or less, avoid the temptation of the trendy.  It won't be the trend someday too soon, and you'll still be stuck with it.

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7 Factors To Make Your Website A Marketing Marvel

Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Julia O'Reilly
Don't Be A Beautiful Wallflower Website

A wallflower website is all form and no function and doesn’t serve a purpose.

Creating a beautiful and non-functional website is a common mistake that small business owners make when hiring an inexperienced designer who has no marketing expertise, or when signing up for a 'free' website.

If you have no mission statement, specific goals or follow-up workflows associated with your content, there is no marketing action!

Make More Than An Online Brochure

In today's web ecosystem, you need to compel visitors to return. The best online marketing strategy these days is to pull your customers, not push your materials.

To compete, your site needs to be filled with interaction.  It needs to be educational, with new content added frequently.

Don't Pay The Kid On Your Block To Put Up Your Website

This is the flip side of the Beautiful Wallflower Website. This site looks homemade; it’s inconsistently designed, amateur and gives visitors a bad first impression.

A messy, poorly designed site leaves a trail of broken links, grammatical errors and embarrassing typos.

Don’t represent your small business as a shoddy, unprofessional company.  Would you want to do business with this person?

Be Organized

In general, you have .5 second (yes, that's one-half of a second) to engage your visitor's interest.  If your site is not cleanly and efficiently organized to guide your visitor or potential customer to what they need right now, they're outta there.  We've all done it.

Don't Be Annoying

Avoid over-using animation, annoying music.  Maybe avoid any music that repeats each time you load a high-use page, or that just keeps on playing.  And playing.  Remember: the music I like might not be the music you like.  And you might be my next customer.

Avoid aggressive pop-ups. Remove anything that causes irritation and does not lead to an action step, or that gets in the way of an action step.

SEO Is Still Important

If your website isn’t search engine friendly, then you’re losing money every second.  And SEO is really easy to employ.  Of course, it's easier if your site has been designed and set up properly to begin with, but no matter how it has been designed, you can likely take some very effective, very easy steps and put best practice in place for yourself. SEO is not rocket science, it's just good practice.  Really.

Learn about titles, meta-tags, keywords, back-links, on and off-page optimization.  It's easier than it seems, and your understanding will pay big dividends.

Convert! Convert! Convert!

Your site will move to the head of the class if you educate, inspire and motivate your visitors.

Convert your visitors to interested sales leads so you have a chance to convert your leads to customers.

If your website isn’t making money for you, then it’s not working.  End of Story

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