3 Pro Tips for Choosing your Business Domain Name

internet marketing strategyWhatever your business or industry, choosing the right domain name for your online presence can have a big effect on your future success. While the wealth of options available to you mean there might not be one single best choice for your needs, making a bad decision can certainly hinder your efforts; your internet marketing strategy, your lead capturing, and ultimately your sales.

A good domain name should be unmistakeable and represent accurately what your company is all about, and there are certain ways to help ensure your chosen domain achieves these aims.

Once you’ve settled on what you decide to be the best domain for your business, you can even think about which others might work in your internet marketing strategy too.

Read on to find out how all this can be done.

Ease of use

Crafting the perfect internet marketing strategy, only to have it undermined by an awkward domain name, would be almost criminal in the modern business world. If you want people to remember your domain name and ensure it will always be typed in correctly, it has to be as catchy and simple as possible.

This means anything overly long should be avoided, as are aspects that can be commonly mistyped. These include double ‘L’s or ‘T’s, unnecessary points, dashes, underscores, or numerical figures.

Company initials are good for shortening long company names, easy to remember, and are very difficult to misspell. If your company’s initials are already taken, anything else you choose should be short, sweet and to the point.

Pros and .coms

For companies based in the United States, the .com domain is still the most desirable suffix for those wanting to be seen as an authority figure in their industry. Luckily, here in Canada, the .ca domain is just as recognized, and can actually be of benefit to your company image if you’re looking to serve mainly local customers.

Depending on the nature of your business, the recently released batch of new gTLDs (generic top level domains) can also help you to project the right image from the extension on your domain name. Although .gov has long been used by government sites, .edu by educational facilities and .org often used by non-profits, the options now include such evocative terms as .guru, .consulting, .world, and .ninja, extensions that are regularly played with in the world of the modern internet marketing strategy.

Smart use of any of these can result in a more memorable domain name for your business than .com ever could, meaning a little time and research before deciding on yours is highly recommended.

Domain event

If you are planning different campaigns, either as part of your internet marketing strategy or offline marketing, another tip is to create multiple domain names that include different keywords related to your business. These could be your location, your product or service, the benefit your product or service gives to your customers, or a combination of any of the above.

By registering bestpizzaincalgary.com or imhungrynow.ca, you can use them as a split test to see which yields the better results, both as part of your internet marketing strategy and on print material like flyers or distributed menus.

We’re often asked ‘what’s in a name?’ When it comes to domains, with all the options out there and the pitfalls inherent in choosing a bad one, there’s actually quite a lot. Take the time to make sure you get yours right.

To watch one of our one minute tips on this same subject, follow us on Youtube!

3 Solutions for Adapting to Mobile Web Design

mobile web site design calgaryThese days when you’re looking to improve or overhaul your web design, factoring in how it will look to handheld device users may be a factor to consider.

Mobile devices include smart phones and all manner of tablets.

Mobile device usage on your website

According to w3 schools, mobile device usage still accounts for less than 2% of overall web traffic, however in North America and Web Savvy cities like Calgary, these numbers tend to be much higher.

Check out your Google analytics or web traffic statistics to determine what percentage of your audience is on a handheld device when they land on your site. More importantly though, how are they behaving once they get to your website? Do you have a high bounce rate from handheld device users? Are their page views dramatically less than those on laptop or desktop devices?

If your handheld device audience is clearly turned off by your existing website design, and they’re a large percentage of your website visitors, you may want to consider a mobile web design.

That being said, you have 3 different options, with three different prices to address the needs of mobile device users on your website.

Here are 3 different options of mobile web design:

A mobile friendly website: This essentially means your website isn’t offensive or broken to the user. It ensuring your website is scalable and simply displays as a smaller version of itself on devices such as android, iphone, ipad etc.

Addition of a mobile plugin: A great and cost effective option for WordPress websites is a plugin that, when configured correctly, can display a mobile specific version of the website to your visitors. Essentially appearing as a large menu to start, this provides a quick an easy way for your visitors to get to where they want to go on your website. A mobile web design plugin can be installed in a medium sized WordPress website in roughly 10 hours. So, the cost will vary depending on your web designers rates.

Creation of a specifically mobile web design: For businesses with a large stake in the market of mobile users. An option where we create a whole new web design that is geared specifically to the needs of the user. All non-essential content and navigation is stripped down, providing only the required navigation and content that a user will need.

About as expensive as a standard web design, a specifically mobile web design takes into consideration the reduced screen size, and hurried nature of today’s users.

Often, screens will be basically empty except for a link to call, get directions with Google maps or place their order online/sign up.

The mobile web design user experience

Converting casual browsers to sales is typically easier for the retail business and handheld device user, as often the user is en route to purchase the product or service and needs simply to identify what location is the closest and most appropriate for fulfilling the user’s needs.

In this case, often all that is needed is a large phone number or map.

By considering the visitor usage, the 3 different options and the user experience, you can determine the best mobile web design solution for your unique business.

Learn more about web design services.

 

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges – Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel LindsayLaurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.

 

How to Choose a Website Design Company: Don’t get ripped off!

website-design-calgaryEveryone seems to have a website these days, but what you may not be aware of is that the web design and development industry is still completely unregulated.

What that means to you, the consumer, is that there isn’t a standard set of ethics that website design companies are forced to adhere to. So, you must learn to protect yourself instead of trusting that companies are being governed.

In order to ensure you’re dealing with an ethical web design company, be sure to ask these 10 questions before you commit.

 

1. Who owns the website I am paying for?

Shockingly, a lot of web design companies will license you the website you’re paying for instead of transferring ownership to you. This means if you ever change providers, you can’t take your site with you.

Ask the company to show you specifically in your contract where the website ownership is stated.

 

2. Do I receive a backup of all the files necessary for my website to work?

Make sure you get this on cd, as it enables you to take those files to another web design firm if you would like to.

 

3. Will I receive access to my ftp and hosting control panel?

Just as important as your web design files in terms of changing providers with ease, make sure you get the following:

a) FTP login url, user name, and password

b) Hosting Control panel url, user name, and password

 

4. Who owns my domain name?

Your domain name is www. yourcompanyname.com, it’s best to register this and manage it yourself at a company like godaddy.com but if not, make sure you are shown the documentation that lists you as the “registrant” and “admin” contact.

5. Are any guarantees my website will rank on search engines?

Often times there will be additional charges for this service that aren’t included in the website design and development price. It’s much better to get a full idea of the costs before you sign up.

 

6. Is there a long term contract I will be asked to sign?

Make sure you are comfortable with committing to this company for that period of time. Also ask about their contract cancellation policy.

 

7. Are there monthly or yearly fees? What service will I be receiving for these fees?

Some companies will charge ongoing maintenance fees, which don’t get you anything if you aren’t updating your web design regularly.

 

8. Who will be responsible for creating/providing my website content?

The content of your site is the text, images, links, videos etc that will be going on your website.

This is the number one reason that website development is delayed or halted. Make sure you have the time to create or provide your own content or hire a web design company that will take care of this for you.

 

9. What is the project timeline?

Make sure the website design company’s delivery date will work for you. There are some companies that will take months to get back to you on one small detail.

 

10. Do you have any references?

Just about anyone with a laptop and some coding knowledge can design a website, but are their customers happy with the results?

Make sure to check out online reviews of the company and ask for references from their existing clients.

By asking these 10 questions, you could save yourself hundreds of dollars in redoing your website design and hours of hassle trying to recover what is rightfully yours. If the company is hesitant to answer any of these questions or gives you the runaround, pick up and move on to the next prospective firm. There are so many businesses out there that will be glad to answer these questions for you; dealing with one that won’t is simply a waste of your time and money.

 

 

Don’t get caught with food on your face

Is your online face losing you business?

Do you have figurative food on your face?

Several years ago, just before a sales presentation, I’d indulged in the delight of the pastry treat known as Passion Flaky.

Anyway, I had had neglected to do a quick mirror check before heading into my meeting and I found out later that I literally had food on my face the whole time.

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