Branding Your Domain

August 2018

When I meet with someone for the first time to talk about branding, the first thing I ask is: “Do you have your domain?” 

Yes, domain addresses are typically nominal priority when you’re considering your brand. But owning your domain is one of the most crucial pieces. Domains are relatively cheap (or so they claim). Some of the most popular websites like GoDaddy, Instant Domain Search, and Namecheap offer website domains beginning at .99 cents. I challenge my clients to go online and do a quick domain search under their name or business name. Long behold, that name is usually taken at a first search. The original Sam Smith was able to grab that domain before you had considered to buy it. Searching for divorceattorney.com? How many variations of divorce attorney websites can there? If your domain name is taken, the costs can be astronomical. If you’re even considering making an offer, make sure your wallet is prepared.

Why are domains so important for branding?

To be known as an expert in your field, you should be known by generating brand awareness. Starting with your domain, you should be known by either your name or your niche that you’re an expert in. For example, if Samantha Jacobs wants to be known as the go-to gluten free Boston baker for wedding cakes, she may consider any of the following domains:

Consider what keywords people will be searching for to find your website. What do you want to be known for? Consider the industry, service/product you are providing, location, and target audience. In Samantha's case, she'll want to be known for any of the combination of keywords below: 

These keywords become more valuable every time a person searches for them. Your domain comes into play in your Google ranking or where you appear in the Google search results. If you use keywords that are specific to your expertise or niche, you'll be attracting a more targeted audience. Keywords are crucial for search engine optimization (SEO). The more relevant you are to people's searches, the more of interest your website will be. Although keywords are important, don't go crazy with keywords in your domain. Keywords will appear in the content of your website but make sure that your domain is creative, clear, concise, and authenthic.

I bought my domain. Now what?

Congratulations! Buying a domain is the first step in nailing down your brand. Unfortunately, your domain will take some maintenance to upkeep. Here are the top things you need to keep in mind to maintain your domain:

If you haven't bought your domain, do it now! During our initial meeting, it will likely be the first question that I ask. Domains (especially yours) may be hard to come by. Do a quick search and make sure you own that domain! It will serve as the groundwork for all of your branding initiatives.

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