You may be aware that over 90% of Britons will use a search engine first and foremost to research new products and services. If you didn't know that you do now and you should understand what a HUGE marketing opportunity you have available to you and one that, if you're not doing at all or not doing well, you WILL be losing out on business to your competition - something I am sure really don't want to happen!!
So, I am writing about the importance of the domain name, the "www.'s".
A domain name is your business' address on the internet and is obviously synonymous with your website.
It's how people can visit 'you' to see your message and offering. It's the first rung of the digital brand ladder and should be the area that all your other activities ultimately 'point' to. Your domain name is just as important to your business as your own name is to you.
Ultimately, your domain name defines your business' space on the Internet and will usually be the first point of contact that potential customers will often have, whether it be as email or the website itself, it acts as your company's digital home.
A unique domain name, coupled together with your website, is the SINGLE most important marketing tool that you and your business have available to you and gives a greater perception of professionalism and identity as it tells people that you care how your company is perceived.
A business that is not using a domain name, or not using one 'properly' is just sending out the wrong message. If your business, for example, is sending email using a branded email system such as hotmail or btinternet.com
I always tell clients that, in whatever aspect of their digital presence they look at, to make sure that they put themselves in the shoes of their customers and prospective customers - in this case, ask yourself how you perceive a business using the free email addresses? If you can see and agree that these types of of email send the wrong message, why would you still want to use one especially when you know that domains are cheap to 'buy' (a .co.uk, you should not be paying more that £10 for a 2 year registration, .com's are a little more expensive).
Another aspect of domain names that you should be aware of, and investigate' is brand protection.
Think about registering alternative domain names such as mispells, ones that are spelt slightly differently to the actual name or even using hyphenation.
After spending all that time, effort and money in getting visitors to your site, you don't want your competition to benefit from that traffic by owning a domain that is a misspell of one that should be yours!
If you've already got your own domain, or if you're thinking of getting one, its a great idea to make sure that it scans well as its all to easy to be added to the following tragic list:
Whorepresents.com is a website for agents of celebrities and athletes in the US, clearly there's probably another level of representation that they didn't think about!
Expertsexchange.com is a site about technical computer experts and their helpful forum. This one is no longer active, but no less amusing!
Penisland.net is a site that sells pens apparently!
And finally, my favourite - Powergenitalia.com is Italys electricity company.Whatever it is they have, I want some!
Clearly, as amusing as these examples are, they are being remembered for all the wrong reasons and are trotted out time after time by people like me writing a post like this.
Jamie Forster at Motely.co.uk created a new website for my business which certainly did what he set out to do, which was create a more professional and appealing business tool. Jamie was a pleasure to work with and has always been on hand to make any amendments required in a timely manner. I would highly recommend Motely.co.uk for anyone wishing to have a new website created.Deb Harding from Harding Homes UK