Picking the Perfect Domain Name in 2015 and Beyond

Picking the Perfect Domain Name

When you set out to launch a new website, settling on a fantastic domain name is easily one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make. At the end of the day, a domain name is so much more than an easy way to find your site. In many ways, it can determine whether or not your site is successful. Use the following tips to select the best domain name possible.

Pick a Name with Staying Power

Domain name fads tend to wax and wane over the years. For instance, it seems like every other site that comes out nowadays dislikes vowels and has to have the letter “R” on the end. Tumblr, Flickr and Pixlr are some of the most egregious examples. Ignore the popular trends and find a domain name that hasn’t been claimed yet without becoming a soon-to-be-dated cliche.

Avoid Confusing Spelling Choices

The worst domain names are the ones that don’t feature a clear delineation between their constituent words. Repeating letters should be avoided at all costs. For instance, something along the lines of “SmartStartup.com” or “RusticCooking.com” looks terrible and can lead to errors when visitors try to type it into their browser bars. Pick a domain name that’s intuitive and won’t lead to spelling errors on the part of would-be fans.

Use at Least One Dictionary Keyword

While the intricacies of SEO are always changing, the focus on major and minor keywords does not. Your domain name should feature at least one moderately specific keyword related to the focus of your site that can be used to direct searchers to your content. Try to get specific but not too specific. For instance, a site about horseback riding should at least feature the word “horse” in the URL.

Make Site & Domain Names Identical

Some sites have domain names that don’t quite jive with their brand name. While that’s acceptable in some cases, it’s best if your domain name and site name are as close as possible. A business called “A1 Stucco Roofs” should use a domain name like “A1StuccoRoofs.com” for its primary website. This helps to eliminate confusion on the part of potential clients and solidifies the brand.

Use an Extension That’s Logical

Lastly, your choice of extension can have a big impact on the success of your site. A customized TLD is easy to get but not always warranted or wise. Most people want to see a “.com” or some other fairly common extension on a reputable site. A “.me” extension is fine for social media sites. Only use uncommon extensions if it makes sense in the context of your domain name.

Finding a Home for Your Domain Name

Once you’ve nailed down a great domain name, the next step is to find a domain registrar to buy from. A good start would be Register.com, one of the outfits online that also boasts superlative customer service. Losing the perfect domain name because you’ve opted for a lousy domain registrar is tragic and ultimately preventable if you exercise sound judgement

How to Become Video Savvy in 2015

 

Online video content is nothing new. User-generated videos featuring sassy cats and the next big pop star have been part of Internet culture since YouTube burst on the scene on Valentine’s Day, 2005.

The amount of video that people are consuming, however, is in the midst of a growth explosion, thanks in big part Video Savvyto the amount of video that people are watching on mobile devices. Sixty-seven percent of global video consumers prefer to watch movies, TV shows and music videos on mobile devices, and 80 percent watch a mobile video at least once every few days.

So what can your small business do to capture the video-watching market, but do it efficiently and on a budget? Take a look at a few simple suggestions:

Create your own videos. This can be an intimidating step for small business owners who may not feel tech-savvy or camera-ready. The truth is that video content does not need to be perfect to garner an audience. Think about the topics that you know best and what may be interesting or useful to your customers. From there, plan video content using your Webcam, smartphone or other recording device and upload it to a popular site like YouTube then share the link. You can do profiles of employees, tutorials, or even fun music videos that are relevant to your brand. Think outside the typical video constraints, and you could come up with some pretty creative material.

Share other videos. Any engagement with your social media accounts is positive, even if that engagement is not directly related to your own content. A Facebook fan, for example, is more likely to see your content if he or she has recently interacted with you by liking or commenting on one of your posts. If you see a video post that you think fits your target audience, click the “share” button on Facebook or retweet it on Twitter. You can even pin video content on Pinterest, or upload videos to Instagram.

Watch other videos. Particularly the video content of your competitors. This is especially important if you are in an industry that does not necessarily lend itself naturally to video content. Glean some creative ideas by seeing what seems to be working for other companies that have the same target audience as you. You can also watch popular video content on any topic or from any industry to inform your own material. Of course you never want to copy or plagiarize the material of someone else, but getting inspiration from others is a smart move.

What is your favorite kind of video content to consume online?

What Black Friday Can Teach You About Running a Small Business

Black Friday_Nov14Love it or hate it, Black Friday is a popular shopping day for many consumers. The 24 hours following Thanksgiving have a palpable energy in the retail world. Black Friday got its name because it is the day that retailers drive revenues out of the red and into the black. Traditionally, it’s considered the biggest sales day of the year.

As a small business owner, it is natural to sit back and watch this energy unfold with awe and admiration. You would also love to get your customers in your store so that they can spend their entire holiday budget (even if it means waking up at the wee hours of the morning). You would also love bring your revenues from red to black.

Although the attention is on large retail chains, there are a few lessons your small business can learn from all the madness.

Black Friday Deals

Like Thanksgiving, Black Friday falls on the same day each year—the day after Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday shopping season. It’s the time when consumers spend, spend, spend. To encourage all that spending to happen in-store, businesses offer Black Friday deals.

The well-timed sales and marketing campaigns are not an accident.

As a small business, your company can do the same. Get to know your audience and determine when they will buy. For example, if you market to businesses, target your audience at the end of the fiscal year when companies plan their annual spending.

Top Picks of the Season

Before Black Friday rolls around, you’ll hear buzz about the most anticipated and top selling gifts of the season. These top picks are analyzed and offered to entice customers into the store so that they can get their hands on the hottest new items.

People want an “in.” By creating your own top lists and articles outlining the most popular items that you sell, you create demand. You inspire people to want to purchase before you sell out.

Doorbuster Madness

Most retailers offer Black Friday deals. So how do they attract their customers to their store before all of the money has been spent at a competitor? With doorbuster sales.

If you’re in business, you have competition. To lure customers to your store over your competitor’s, you need an irresistible offer.

Retailers work hard to create loyal customers. They think of the lifetime value of a buyer, instead of the value of a single transaction. Although they might not make a large profit on the first sale, they begin the process of creating loyal customers for the long run.

When customer loyalty – and trust – is built over time, it takes quite an enticing offer to lure them away. Your goal is to put that offer on the table to lure them in, and then keep them by delivering doorbuster wow factor all year round.

Customer Service is Paramount

Throughout all of the hustle and bustle this time of year, the best way retailers create loyal, long-term customers is with exceptional customer service. Your customers have a lot going on already. By offering exceptional customer service during a hectic, stressful shopping season, you win.

To provide the best customer service, trying using an easy data analysis tool. DataHero integrates with companies like Zendesk to turn your customer service efforts into sales and Shopify to process those sales. With data analysis in DataHero, you can easily recognize trends, analyze customer needs, and move from the red into the black—no matter the size of your company.

Irresistible Black Friday-esque deals may bring the business in, but customer service is what brings them back. If your company’s customer service stands out from the competitors, you could find your business in the black all year round.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.