INFOGRAPHIC: Business Marketing Starts with a Domain Name

In order to form a registered business entity within the United States, cities and the federal government require a business name, physical address and telephone number. Although a domain name is not required to start a business, some might argue that it should be.

As commerce continues to evolve and customers expect immediate and around-the-clock access to information, products or services, it is easy to see how a website will soon become central to every business’s marketing efforts. And in order for a business to build a website – and its online identity – it needs a domain name.

Late adopters, be warned: 627,200 new employer firms began operations in 2008, according to the Small Business Administration, the organization dedicated to providing support to small businesses in the United States. Competition for good domain names will only get fiercer.

In the following online-business marketing infographic, Mike Blumenthal, local-search expert, points out, “A business name, a phone number and a domain that NEVER change are at the core of a [small or medium business's] online identity. Name, phone and domain; these elements are the glue that allows for both branding, and for the value of that branding to come back to the business. Pick them well and make every effort to retain them forever.”

Web Equity Infographic

Web Equity Infographic by Mike Blumenthal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.blumenthals.com.

A Company’s Domain Name Is Its Brand

When users click on a link or enter a domain name into their browser, they can immediately recognize where their browser is taking them. That recognition becomes part of a business’s brand; as any savvy marketing professional knows, building brand is necessary for business success.

In addition to acting like a sign on a store, a business’s domain name serves two other important branding purposes:

  1. In email communications with potential and existing customers, the name@website.com email address provides consistent and repetitive branding of a business’s domain name.
  2. When links are shared publicly, branded URLs, such as www.website.com/small-biz-presentation, not only provide valuable information through the link, but also generate referral clicks and visitors to the remainder of the website.

Extend the Domain Name Brand to Social Networks

Branding can easily be extended to Linkedin, Google+, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks using usernames that match a business’s domain name. For example, DomainSherpa can be found on Twitter at http://twitter.com/domainsherpa and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/domainsherpa.

The availability of social-network usernames can be researched at namecheck.com. (DomainSherpa used this service when selecting their company name.)

Third-party social networks allow a business to easily communicate with current or potential customers, gain feedback, and a host of other benefits.

Social Media Should Be Secondary, Not Primary

Given the many benefits of social networks, it might be tempting to set up shop exclusively on a social media site or through a third-party retail site. Doing so, however, comes with potential consequences. Although garnering Facebook fans or Twitter followers may provide social proof that a business is well loved, the business is never in complete control of communications with its customers on social networks like these. Fans might not sign into Facebook or Twitter while at work or during a vacation, for instance, and could easily miss marketing messages and updates.

In addition, when relying exclusively on a social network site, a business is ceding valuable advertising power and brand recognition to the domain name that is left of the dot: Facebook or Twitter. While it might not seem like Facebook or Twitter will ever go away, it was not long ago that many millions of users and investors thought the same thing about MySpace.

A Good Domain Name Leads to Marketing Success

Traditionally, a business is established with a name and a telephone number that do not change. A domain name should be considered an equally essential part of conducting business. Although not a required element of registering a business, a domain name allows a business to establish a website, create its online identity and build its overall brand. All of which lead to marketing success.

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6 Responses to “INFOGRAPHIC: Business Marketing Starts with a Domain Name”

  1. Charu Lata says:

    Article is very informative, covering all aspects on why SME should pick up domain name immediately. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Steven Carr says:

    Since most new businesses are small businesses, they are locked into a geographic area. I have found success purchasing City and State specific names for less than $100.00 with very generic subtopics, ie…. HoustonJOBS.com, HoustonRestaurants.com, HoustonInstitute.com, etc….. Small businesses want to brand their own name but need the assistance a generic domain can bring them in the search engine dance to get to the top. I use the Google Adword tool to determine the number of searches on a phrase before purchasing most. With 20,000 or more searches locally a month, I feel I can take the top spot and generate good traffic with easily branded and marketed domain names.

  3. Great work as per usual from DomainSherpa. I could have done like something like that when trying to explain to clients in the past.

  4. I found a great infographic that sums up the importance of a good domain for your business. Check it out:

    http://www.domainpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/DNS101-920px.jpg

  5. BullS says:

    I can’t imagine some business still uses blogspot or wordpress as their website.

    Social media will be dead within 5 yrs- there is a talk about social media fatigue.

    Anyway, the one reading this should be business owners in some small towns.

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