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!

The difference between domain registration & hosting

Domain registration and website hosting services are a necessary component of your website design process.

Once your new website has been launched, the bulk of the costs associated with a new website design are over.Social-Media-Marketing-Set-Up-Cheat-Sheet

However, there are two fees that you must continue to pay in order to keep your new website live and accessible on the internet.

They are domain registration/renewal and website/email hosting.

Before we get into the difference between the two, let’s start off with some definitions.

What is a Domain?

This is also called your url and is the name you registered that usually starts with www. and ends with .com or .ca .

Some companies have more than one domain name registered so as to have ownership over specific niches as well as their company name.

What is Domain registration?

The purchase of your domain name is also called domain registration and can be done through providers, or domain registrars like godaddy.com or webnames.ca and are generally for the period of one year.

This means each year you must renew your domain name each year in order for you to maintain ownership. This is typically a nominal fee of under $40 per year.

What is Website and email hosting? 

Simply put, website and email hosting is essentially renting server space online for your website files to live.

In addition to the actual space, a host will provide band with, or data transfer services.

For example:

Your website files are stored on a server and whenever someone types in your website address, these files are sent to that user’s computer over the internet, using bandwidth.

The same goes for email associated with your domain name.

When someone emails you at yourname@yourcompany.com files are sent over the internet to that user’s computer.

The service that sends those files is your website and email hosting service.

It requires a lot of hardware and expertise to provide reliable web hosting services.

A good web host will actively update their servers to guard against spam, viruses and hacks. These are just some of the things happening behind the scenes at your website hosting provider, but they are very important ones.

You must continue your website and email hosting services for your website and emails to remain functional.

We are an authorized reseller for rackspace email and website hosting, and as such can guarantee 99% uptime.

ProTip: We recommend that your website and email hosting provider be the same as your web design provider. 

3 reasons why to source your web hosting and web development services from the same company:

1. If your website goes down or breaks, it’s just one call to one company. This saves you time and headaches when you just need it fixed.

2. Your website design may require very specific server configuration in order for it to function. Not all web hosting companies offer support of all technologies which will cause delays in your web design project, and may result in additional fees.

3. You don’t know what you don’t know about website hosting.

Your website developer will have the technical expertise and experience to recommend a hosting company with a solid reputation combined with great support and an infrastructure big enough to not disappear into the night.

Most of the time you’ll rely on your web developer to communicate with the web host on your behalf, so it’s important to consider your web developer’s recommendations for a web host, as they have a vested interest in keeping your web design online, functional and virus free.



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.


Featured Project: Fine Line Industries Website Overhaul

“One of my greatest pleasures is replacing an embarrassing, ineffective website with a website that not only looks great but functions well and provides a tangible contribution to my client’s success.” Laurel Lindsay,

web-design-beforeIt was my pleasure to work with Darrel Sneath to redesign his incredibly outdated site (shown on the left ) and provide him with a web design that he can be proud of.

Web Design sure has come a long way since the 90’s. Beyond building an attractive online brochure, we strive to create an online asset which performs several important tasks for our clients.

Typically the most important role a website plays is as a hardworking member of the sales team, however the degree to which it does so depends on if our client wants to grow or maintain the volume of business they’re doing.

In the case of the web design we recently launched for Darrel Sneath of Fine Line Industries, his reputation for quality has his small shop at capacity almost all the time.

So, instead of sending a steady stream of qualified leads from the internet, we took a more conservative approach to Darrel’s online strategy development.

First, for brick and mortar businesses that don’t want to massively increase their sales, a new web design primarily acts as legitimizing factor. This kind of site really delivers by providing the who, what, and why of the business, as well as its products and services, in an informative and professionally presented manner.

The second job of Fine Line’s website is to act as passive part of the sales team; a place where past projects, client testimonials, and all manner of proof of expertise and performance can be found.

The third job of a web design, if resources are optimized, is to function also as a customer service tool.

With this particular web design project, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to design and develop a site that does all three.

As such, his old web design (pictured below) was doing more harm than good to Darrel’s reputation.

Being so committed to his client’s success often creates a paradox for businesses in the image industry.

Darrel was simply too busy to take on the task of redeveloping his website, and months and years passed before he received the email from his brother Del at Carbon Steel Buildings announcing Del’s new website. (www.carbonsteelbuildings.com)

Darrel ensured he did his due diligence before deciding to work with The New Media Group, contacting several firms before he chose us.

We worked very closely with Darrel to ensure the web design accurately reflected the excellence in quality workmanship he’s known for.

The end result is a web design that is easy to read, and has a highly impactful look and feel. This site also does an incredible job of showcasing Darrel’s work. Lastly, but not least, the staff and clients of Fine Line Industries can save time and headaches emailing large design files, instead uploading them through the client login section.

Darrel got the best value from the experience knowing he was going to get a great final product. “I had high expectations and they were met”

Darrel said he would definitely recommend The New Media Group for anyone looking for help getting their web design to accurately reflect their business.









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.


10 Domain Name Registration Do’s and Don’ts

Successful Internet marketing or website design begins with a few not so sexy details that need to be taken care of first.

domain-name-registration-calgaryOne of these details is domain name registration.

The process is an extremely important, yet often overlooked part of marketing your business online. If you’re new to dealing with it, here is some basic information you should know, including 10 important do’s and don’ts.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is a website address, for example, www.thenewmediagroup.ca.

It’s not a website itself – it’s just the actual name which comes after the “www.” part.

It is essentially the internet equivalent of your business name and you need one in order to have a professional online presence, period.

What is domain name registration?

Domain name registration is the process of purchasing and registering your website address.

You can search for what domains are available through websites called domain registrars.

There are plenty of registrars out there, and like buying anything you want to be careful who you pick.

I personally recommend Godaddy.com because they’ve always provided me with good service.

How does domain name registration work?

You search to see if your domain is available and then you purchase it for a period of time. You will need to pay this fee yearly to stay registered.

They are inexpensive, usually about $20 or so a year.

5 Domain name registration DON’Ts

  1. Don’t pick a name that is an acronym of your business name. No one will remember it
  2. Don’t pick a name that is longer than 15 or so characters
  3. Don’t pick a name with dashes
  4. Don’t pick a .org or .net, unless you’re a not for profit
  5. Don’t let your website designer handle your domain name registration for you unless it states in your contract you own the property rights to everything they do on your behalf.

5 Domain Name Registration DO’S

  1. Do pick a name that’s easy to remember – think in terms of benefits or keywords – we own BESTCALGARYWEBDESIGN.COM for example
  2. Do pick a .com or .ca
  3. When you’re in the process of domain registration, do click the Auto-renew option. This ensures you’ll be automatically billed each year, and won’t risk losing your domain
  4. When you’re in the process of registration, do make sure the email address you input is one you will be able to access in the long term as, you’ll need to access it if you need to make any changes to your website hosting provider
  5. If a web design company is handling your registration for you, do be sure they put you as the Registrant and Administrative contact- this ensures if anything goes wrong with that relationship you can get access to change providers.

Domain name registration privacy

If you don’t choose the privacy option, the billing address your credit card company has on file will be made available to anyone searching to find out who owns your domain.

If you want this information kept private, select the privacy option.

Domain name registration in Canada

When you register a .ca, it’s mandatory to create a CIRA username and password. You’ll get the request via email.

Be sure to keep this information on file. You’ll need it if you want to make changes to your domain name registration.

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.