For aspiring entrepreneurs and novel business owners, thinking about brand identity can be both an exciting and arduous process. Why? Because branding an idea requires more than just basic knowledge of what your business will be about, its core purpose and vision. How you name your business and how you connect that name to your purpose as well as all the various platforms where you will interact with potential customers and build your presence will greatly impact the success of your brand.
Now, while many business owners looking to build brand awareness through consistent content output, establishing strong customer relationships, and making sure that their brand’s name is everywhere – the simple truth is that you also need to get their attention first. To do that, something as simple as your domain name can play a vital role in that process.
Although we now know exactly what Nike or Pepsi are all about, at the time of their inception, it would have been impossible to connect the dots based on the name alone. So, striking the right balance in using your original brand name, keywords from your industry, and search-friendly terms is perhaps the formula for success. Here’s what your domain name does to grow your brand and what you can do to leverage it in the future of your business.
Focus on your users when conceiving your domain
As wonderful and creative as some brand names might be, what are the chances of someone randomly searching for a freshly coined term that your mind concocted in a spur of inspiration? Most likely, zero. Some day, maybe your brand will earn the same leading industry role as those of Nike and Google to earn their own verb (as in, to google something), or to instantly visualize your logo, much like with Nike’s swoosh.
From this starting point of your young business, you have yet to prove yourself and earn such recognition and global awareness. If you’ve invented an original name, make sure to attach it to a keyword that will help people learn what your business is about, such as “sports” or “nutrition”.
Finally, make sure that your users can quickly and easily type out your name. Overly long and confusing names can deter them from visiting your site when they’re on the go.
Ensure greater brand recall
The domain name you choose will help people remember your brand more easily and instantly understand what they can expect from your business. What that often means is that your brand name and thus your domain name need to work together to evoke very specific emotions and images.
It’s common for brands that are all about sustainability to add “green” or “eco” or “bio” to their name and domain name, so that the customers quickly realize the core value of their business. This, in turn, allows your visitors to remember the brand as well as its digital address, and increase the chances of them visiting your site again.
Personalizing your domain
The domain, as you already know, isn’t limited to the name alone. The address that you create for your brand’s digital presence also contains an extension, which is often another piece of the puzzle that business owners tend to neglect. If your brand is linked to you, personally, and if you provide expert services as a professional, then your personal brand can become the crux of your brand identity.
To further create that personalized experience, many professionals will use a reputable .me extension paired with their own name. What this achieves is greater relatability as well as recall. It helps people feel connected to your business, as the name paired with the extension humanizes it. This is especially useful for brands dealing primarily with online interactions, where eliciting emotions and deeper customer connections can be a challenge.
Add to that, this personalized extension can double as a CTA, should you combine action-packed verbs with it, such as click, buy, or ask.
Don’t forget voice search
In addition to the already mentioned traits, such as making your domain easy to type out and remember, you also need to consider visually impaired searchers and make your website more inclusive. Additionally, voice search has become a growing marketing trend that reflects customers’ need for even greater search convenience.
With more people using voice search every day, you need to make your domain name easy to pronounce, as well. Avoid confusing terms that can lead to your customers ending up on completely unrelated sites. That means that numbers and hyphens and symbols in general can be very difficult to incorporate without making it excruciatingly difficult for voice searchers to find your site.
Don’t oversaturate with keywords
Out of sheer desire to become more prominent and easier to find online, many business owners will reach for SEO-friendly terms they know their searchers use regularly. Although this makes sense from your point of view, search engines frown upon keyword oversaturation in any sense, including overuse in domain names.
After all, your domain name cannot compensate for a lack of proper content output and not establishing an SEO strategy. So, instead of harming your ranking by oversaturating your domain with keywords, aim to strike that fine balance. Yes, keywords are desirable when they help customers discover the context of your business. However, using keywords only will instantly earn you penalties from search engines and flag your business as one of “low quality”.
Try to combine your brand name, as original as it may be, with a term that can help your searchers associate your business with your industry. This will add to your brand’s memorability and you’ll still be on favorable terms with search engines.
Your brand’s domain name plays a vital role in your future success. It might not seem so vital while you’re in the early stages of setting the tone for your brand, but your domain name is what people will remember you by, as much as they’ll remember you by your logo, color palette, your tone of voice, and your values. Make sure that your domain is aligned with all the listed details, so that you ensure brand consistency, increased brand recognition and awareness, and position your business better in your industry.
From a long-term perspective, the domain you choose will define your brand as much as your brand defines the domain itself. Make sure to choose right, build a reputable presence, and your domain will serve its purpose to strengthen your brand identity for the long haul.