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How to Choose a Winning Domain Name

Posted by on in Branding, Domain Names | 0 comments

 

WHY Take the Time to Choose a Good Domain Name?

Choosing a domain name. It’s on a long list of important steps a person must take in order to ensure their long-term success online. If you are like most people, you are probably thinking that it’s not that big of a deal. “It’s just a name – an address on the Internet that people will visit. If you are thinking this way, you have just shot yourself in the foot of your branding success. From an online marketing and branding strategy perspective, it is one of the single-most important initial steps you need to make in the long-term success of your online presence.

How to choose a good domain name is not necessarily difficult; however, as most important things in life, it does take some foresight and patience to find the best name for what you do or want to be known for. Most successful business owners rely on a branding and marketing professional/company. This is because they understand the importance of seeking out wise counsel to gain an understanding of the big picture for their strategic marketing plan. They realize it is foolish to make a quick decision on anything in business without seeking out wise counsel in areas that they don’t have expertise in. If you are not well-accomplished in the principles of 21st century brand development and marketing, it is foolish to go it alone when it comes to marketing (which ultimately translates into sales revenues).

HOW to Choose a Good Domain Name

Domain names are central to building your overall personal or business brand. Your domain name should reflect who you are. If you have an established brand, we suggest that you immediately reserve a domain name that is identical to your company name. If you are an individual, reserve your personal name if at all possible. Ideally, you want to be able to build your website around your company’s core purposes and not its name, BUT having a name that reflects the nature of your business can be a valuable tool in helping you generate traffic to your website.

Like many business owners who want to establish an online presence for their business, most do not have the insight and understanding of everything that goes into choosing a good domain name. Having a domain name that stands out for what you do is part of the equation, but being attentive to the long term brand potential is equally important. Let me give you an example. Let’s say you are a construction business. If your company name is Built Right, Inc., your primary domain name should most definitely be BuiltRight.com; however, this name does not really tell someone what you do.

While the name Built Right has a nice ring to it, a company domain name like “BestConstructionCompany.com” which has what the company does as a part of the name has a greater potential to capture Internet traffic. This is because people who are looking for a ‘construction company’ or a builder would most likely type in “construction company” into a search engine browser like Google or Bing.  Since most search engines worldwide look at the name of a domain as a first rule of whether the site is relevant or not to the search, having a name that has ‘construction company’ in the name is a big plus.

If you are open to considering a slightly different and somewhat unorthodox approach to gaining exposure on the Internet without having to pay big bucks to do it, consider the following ideas the next time you are thinking about buying some domain names:

1) A word of caution as my number one step! Be careful where you search for your domains when doing research. This is especially important if you do not plan to make a buying decision right away. There are some domain registrars (will not mention names here) who skim search queries from their domain search pages and if the domain someone is checking on has potential, they will purchase it through a dummy company or third party who works for the registrar, and then turn around and put it up for sale to the highest bidder it there is an interest in the domain by more than one party. This trend is growing as domains become more and more scarce – especially top tier domain designations like that of “.COM”. This is our domain search tool and where we buy all of our domains.

2) Write out a list of short questions that start with ‘how to’ and ‘where to’  that relate to your business. If you are in the pet industry, you might have a question like, “how to research pedigrees’ or ‘where to find non toxic pet shampoos’ or ‘how to trim a cats claws’ or ‘where to find a cat casserole recipe’ (just kidding). These questions that you have come up with may very well be the very questions that an average Internet user might type into a search engine who has the need of finding this information, i.e. www.howtoresearchpedigrees.com (how to research pedigrees) or www.wheretofindnontoxicpetshampoos.com (where to find non toxic pet shampoos).

3) Now the fun begins. Type these questions that you have come up with into your favorite search engines (Google included) and see what domains pop up with those keyword (key phrases) you have just come up with.  The first thing to do is to check and see how many instances the phrases are referenced. That gives you an idea of how often others write about it where their pages have been ranked on the Internet. Next, you want to visit your Google keywords tool and do a search for that phrase to see how many people search for that in an average month – mainly the current month. This will give you some idea of the amount of traffic potential for the phrases you have chosen.

4) If you like the numbers you see in page references as well as average monthly searches for the phrases you have chosen, take the time to do a domain search for those phrases. Here is why. One of the very first rules in the Google ranking process is the relevance of a domain name to the actual search inquiry done by someone searching for that phrase, i.e. ‘where to find a cat casserole recipe’ (no, not really… please don’t be searching for this). If that key phrase is available, you are on to something that could bring several thousand people to your website if you apply even a few of the other general rules that search engines use to rank pages.

5) Once you have purchased the domain, the rest is pretty straight forward. You want to host it with a company you feel offers the best product for the money to promote your website and start writing regular content for your website. One big precaution when it comes to hosting is to watch out for those cheap “UNlimited” sorts of accounts until you have read the fine print. They are NOT unlimited, and you could very easily have your site either suspended for too much use or have your credit card charged a penalty for abusive use of the system. Yes, this really happens.

Most of us have heard the old adage, “It’s all in the name…,” and when it comes to choosing the right descriptive domain names that will give you faster page rankings and drive more traffic to your website, this strategy just outlined may be just what you need to get paying customers to your Website.

As always, we would be grateful to you if you would leave a comment. If you would, please also take a moment and share this article with those you think could benefit from it through your favorite social media network! Hit that LIKE button below too for Facebook if you are a Facebook user! We will be grateful if you would. Thanks!

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Writing Effective Content

Posted by on in Branding, SEO | 0 comments

 

Writing effective content that engages the reader is almost second nature for skilled copywriters; and, they are paid very well for their craft.  These wordsmiths are passionate about using the written language to evoke thoughts, ideas, emotions, and action for the reader.  To the talented writers of the world like these, writing effective content is a fine art; but for the vast majority of the rest of the human race, writing effective content is more like an abstract art.

There is good news and bad news when it comes to writing effective content. First the bad news. The bad news is that the highly paid copywriting positions where a single sales letter can yield as much as $50,000 for a gifted copywriter are few and far between, and reserved only for the best of the best in the copywriting industry. The GOOD news is that gaining the skill sets necessary in writing effective content is a lot easier than you might imagine.

For those who want to build this necessary skill set into their lives, if you are willing to do a little planning and utilize some easily learned writing techniques,  writing effective content can become almost second nature for even a novice writer. Whether you are new to writing, working as a copywriter for others, or you are a seasoned writer of content for your own website, this short tutorial provides some important planning questions to ask before you begin to write. While each of the questions are a topic in and of themselves, if you will address these questions prior to beginning your writing, you will find them to be a great help for improving your writing skills.

ALONG WITH GREAT CONTENT, YOU WILL NEED SOME GREAT MARKETING TOOLS. WE RECOMMEND THESE FREE MARKETING TOOLS!

When it comes to online marketing and seeking to get high page rankings, the better written the article, the higher the page rankings with search engines. The higher the page rankings with search engines, the more traffic that you will get to the website that you are writing for. The more traffic that you get to our website, the greater the opportunity you have to connect with your visitors and build a long term relationship with them.

The following is an article planning check list for effective Web-based articles that will help get you noticed on the World Wide Web. Used in conjunction with easy to read and understand content, these writing techniques will help to catapult your article – and thus the Website – into top page rankings.

In order to better plan and write effective content, ask yourself these questions before you begin writing any content:

  1. People are looking for good contentWhat is the audience that I want to write this article for?
  2. Is this a subject that I thoroughly understand or will I need to compile research for the article before I will write it?
  3. If this is not a subject that I thoroughly understand, what sources will I use to compile the content of the article?
  4. What will be the main point that I will be conveying to my audience?
  5. What will be the emotional trigger or triggers that I will use to grab their attention?
  6. What will be the call to action trigger?
  7. Will the article be indexed by search engines, and if so, what will the keywords or key phrases be that I want to build my article around?
  8. Will the subject of the article be able to be broken up into multiple parts, allowing me to write this article as a series instead of a stand alone article?
  9. What will be the main points and supporting facts or insights that I will use to draw my conclusion and present my call to action?
  10. Who do I know that knows more than I do on this subject that would allow me to quote him or her in the article to add a third party expert opinion or insight to build the validity of my article’s thesis (central truth)?
  11. If I intent to use quotes or reprint portions of someone else’s article, how will obtain permission to use those excerpts and give credit to the writer if there is a need to?
  12. Will this article promote my personal and/or business brand and further my online marketing efforts to establish myself or my business in the industry or market that I am choosing to focus my attention on?
  13. Will my article bolster or dilute the ‘know, like and trust’ factor of my brand to those I am building rapport with?
  14. Will this content be generic enough to syndicate should I want to earn royalty income from my article in the future?
  15. Does your article/content meet the rules of optimization as required by the search engines that you wish to be ranked competitively with, i.e. Bing and Google.

As you can see, there is a little more that goes into the writing effective content than just words. If you will take the time to work through these questions as you work to learn how to plan and write effective content, you will find that your writing skills will improve quickly and that the website your content will be posted on will begin to get a substantial amount of traffic that you did not think possible.

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Copy Cat Domains Spell Legal Trouble for Copy Cats

Posted by on in Branding, Marketing | 2 comments

 

Choosing copy cat domains spell legal trouble for copy cats who want to try and cash in off of other successful websites. You would think that it is relatively rare, but it happens quite often.  By definition, copy cat domains are domain names that have been intentionally chosen to emulate existing domain names that are part of established brands of someone else.

In many cases, legal troubles can begin immediately if the name is discovered to be in use by the primary domain name holder that a copy cat domain is emulating, or as soon as the websites for copy cat domains are indexed by search engines. Depending on the strength of the existing company or website brand, this could mean serious legal (and financial) trouble for the individual who attempts to use a copy cat domain for personal gain.

As an example, one obvious copy cat domain that would be headed for legal troubles for the copy cat would be ‘cocacoladrink.com’ or cocacola.org (instead of the owner’s domain of cocacola.com). Another would be ‘gooigle.com’ or ‘gookgle.com’ or maybe ‘gooogle.com.’  In fact, back in 2005 there were several copy cat names that google sued the owners names like these, and won in court – but not after the copy cat domain holders had to spend lots of bucks in legal fees.

If you are going to choose a domain name, make it original!

Yes, it would be great to think that you could get lots of traffic as a result of having a name that was very close to the actual brand name of an established brand, but using a copy cat domain name like this would definitely bring legal troubles to the life of the copycat.

I was speaking with a young web designer who I have worked with in the past – he actually worked for me for three years – who has been moving towards starting his own business. He is a bright and skilled individual with a great deal of potential as a programmer. He had designed his website and just recently reserved a domain name for it. He was very excited to tell me about it. Part of his excitement was that the domain name he chose really fit the image and persona of his business.
Unfortunately, the domain name he chose was identical to a domain name already in use. The only difference in the domain was that he had reserved it in his home country so there was a “.ph” (for Philippines) at the end of it. When I say identical, that is exactly what I mean. The domain name he chose was already in use and trademarked through the US Patent & Trademark Office. He even used the “.com” extension in his domain name – in essence, making it a copy cat domain. I won’t use the name out of respect for him (in hopes that he will come to his senses), so I will use “example” as the trademarked name, i.e. “example.com.ph”.

In his thinking – very foolish thinking – his choice was innocuous and not at all malicious. He just liked the name, figured since the owner of the name was in the United States that he could get away with using it, and truly felt that the real domain owners would not care or ever find out since their company was located in America and his in Philippines. Unfortunately for him, if he ever hopes to build a brand for his company using the name he chose, he will face some very expensive legal expenses as the owner of the trademarked name will most certainly sue him.

There is another undermining issue in using the copy cat domain that he chose. His business is for web development, and his ideal target market will be foreign clients (American and European customers). Most business owners would immediately be wary when they typed in the actual dot com URL without the “.ph” extension and found that there was a company in the U.S. that owns that name; or at very least, if they mistakenly typed in the name with a “.com” only, they would not come to his Website.

His justification was simply that his ‘little tiny business’ way over in the Philippines would not be in any danger of being caught using the company’s name that he had taken for his own dot com domain. This young programmer’s decision to move forward with a domain name selection that he knew was already a Brand that was being built by an established business entity was simply the result of ignorance and inexperience on his part.

I do not know anyone with any business experience that would knowingly take on a name that is already being Branded by another company and think that such a decision would not come back to haunt him (or her). Believe it or not, this guy really thinks (well as of my writing this blog) that he can build a company brand on the Internet using the same name as an already establish business entity in another country, and that he will be perfectly fine.

After about 15 minutes of attempting to shine some light on his foolishness, I decided that it was not worth an argument with him to convince him otherwise. Should he have even the least bit of success and secure even a few customers in the United States, it will be inevitable that the domain name name’s rightful owner will become aware of his illegal use of their trade name.

Ultimately, a law suit will be filed against this young entrepreneur for trademark infringement and deceptive business practice. I have known of instances where individuals were charged with fraud when potential clients of the rightful owner to the domain name were inadvertantly redirected to the ‘knock off’ business website that mirrored the tradename of the legal ower to it.  Unfortunately for this would-be success story of a young entrepreneur, he will most likely end up paying the attorney fees, Court costs, and possibly even civil and punitive damages to the rightful owner of the name; and all because he did not have the good sense to understand the moral shortcomings of using a trademarked name.

The moral to this story is that as you seek to secure the domain name that you want to build your personal and/or business brand with, make it something all your own, and remember that a name when built into a recognizable brand, can be worth as much as any business that it can make doing business under that name. If you have a good business idea, and you really want to build your company’s Brand around this idea or service, choose a name that is NOT already in use, especially in the very same industry. Take the time to research and find out if the name (especially if it is a catchy one) is not already in use and trademarked.

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Google Plus One Makes bid for Social Media Star Status

Posted by on in Branding, News to Know | 0 comments

 

The importance of getting what you have to say or offer to the world and how effectively you do it will determine your level of success and how fast you will get to that success.  This is especially true when it comes to Internet and Mobile marketing.  Learning to use technology to your advantage in a technology-driven world is no longer an option, but a requirement if you want to build your personal or business brand.  One company that is continually helping legitimate online marketers to do this is Google.

Google is a company that continually steps up with a determination to raise the standard of communication and the distribution of content. The launch of Google Plus One, their purchase of Motorola for their wireless technology secrets, and their introduction of the Android smart phone is just another feather in their cap as they seek to revolutionize how we communicate and do business.  One thing is for sure.  Google has always been known for raising the standard for the potential of social media and the power of their search engine to bring Internet, Internet search, and mobile technology to users in a flow of never ending and some really slick improvements in their product  and service offerings.

I believe (rather predict) that those who will be the success stories of the 21st century will be the ones that learn to utilize these and other social networking and communication tools. The more you communicate quality information to others, the greater the possibility you have to build your personal or business brand in a credible and profitable way; and Google is helping to make that more possible.

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