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How putting the right domain name strategy in place enhances your marketing efforts?
By Kristina Mišić access_time 10 min read

When it comes to branding and marketing, especially for a startup business, many people neglect the importance of choosing a good domain name for their website. Most business owners focus so much energy on their product and/or service, not recognizing that success isn’t just from what the business offers, but also from the ability to allow your customers to find you, to reach to you — and finally to buy from you. If you are a business owner, you probably are asking yourself why anyone would want to spend a huge amount of money — hundreds of thousands of dollars for a domainWell, there is a very logical reason for that. A premium domain will move your business to the next level and getting the right one for your website doesn’t cost much when you consider all the benefits that it brings to branding your business.

At a time when every dollar counts, a premium domain is the best way to put your marketing dollars to work for you.

Sometimes founders know it’s a problem that they don’t have the .com of their name, but delusion strikes a step later in the belief that they’ll be able to buy it despite having no evidence it’s for sale. Don’t believe a domain is for sale unless the owner has already told you an asking price.

Paul Graham

Let’s imagine that your desired domain name costs US$30,000. And let’s just look at some of the marketing costs that a business has to pay in order to be visible on the market. Let’s do math together.

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Many companies have no problem investing thousands into billboard ads, magazine ads, newspaper ads, television commercials, and radio ads. That‘s fine, but there is one big problem with all of that. Advertising in newspapers and other publications, on TV, or via online adverts are great ways of marketing your business but they have one big flaw: once you stop paying for the advert, you’ll lose traffic. A great domain will help with retention. Since the user can’t click on a billboard ad, for example, you’re relying on them remembering your domain next time they’re at a computer. I’m gonna save you time and money — it’s not going to happen.

Depending on where the billboard is located and how frequent passerby traffic the area is one of the major determining factors of the cost of a billboard. If you spend US$1,500 — US$30,000 monthly (US$18,000 — US$360,000 annually) on a large billboard (according to Blueline Media’s Billboard ad costs), you really have no way to know how many people saw the billboard. Not to mention that you have no idea how many of those people purchased a product in your store or how many people have decided to choose your service instead of going to competitors.

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How your business can truly define the return on investment for a billboard? Do the math, think on it.

So, yes, using billboard advertising to increase brand recognition is cool but does that promise? The right domain name can save you thousands (even millions) in marketing costs.

Do you think your company or business can afford newspaper advertising? Think once, think twice, think again.

The New York Times: To appear on the Times’ front page, though, marketers must commit to a certain frequency, such as front-page ads every Tuesday for six months; the total cost of running frequent page-one ads would likely top $1 million (the cost of one full-color ad on the front page).

Wall Street Journal Advertising Costs: Afull-page black and white ad in the Wall Street Journal National Edition will run you $277,200.00.

Washington Post Newspaper Advertising Costs: A full-run, full-page black-and-white ad in the Washington Post can cost as much as $100,000, based on rates available on the newspaper’s Web site.

Newspaper Advertising Costs for the Los Angeles Times: Buying a newspaper ad in the Los Angeles Times will run you about $96,549.00 for a full-page ad (this rate is a general rate for a one-day ad.)

The average cost of a newspaper ad depends on the place of the ad (Main Newspaper, city page newspaper, supplementary page), circulation size (Half page, Full page, Quarter Page) and the color, frequency, and day of the week your ad is published. (read more: Understanding Advertising Rate Cards).

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How Much Does Television Advertising Really Cost?

National television spots are the most expensive advertising campaigns you can run. You can spend as little as $35,000 to upward of $2 million for a 30-second spot. Depending on the length of the ad, who produces the ad, the markets in which it airs — as well as how many times it has been aired — all decide how much television advertising costs. FOX, for example, charged an average of $200,000 for 30 seconds of primetime air, reports Adweek. The highest cost placements for Super Bowl Ads can go for upwards of $4 million. CBS, on the other hand, charged almost $114,000 on average, while ABC charged roughly $98,000, for a 30-second spot.

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Now the question is what do you own after the 30 day period for the traditional media sources above? Nothing.

TV advertising can prove costly which is why many startups concentrate more on the favorable online marketing sector. This is all not to say that you should not invest in those forms of advertising — if you have the cash to spend sure, do! But make the difference between something you have to pour money into forever to get some results and something that you invest in once and it pays back for as long as you have it

The improved traffic, customer trust, and retention, authority against competitors, higher discoverability, even the act of buying a good domain is a PR stunt in itself (see: MintDropboxSumo domain stories).

You may not be buying a domain name to sell it. But if you were to ever consider selling your domain name in the future, a .com extension is most likely to fetch you the best price. Keep this in mind: Domain names are the most interesting digital assets out there. And you know how the game of monopoly works? You either pay or be paid based on the premium value of the land you own. The same thing happens with the domain you want to sell, you can use it for whatever you want because it’s still an asset you can get your money back on. The argument about why domains command so much value simply breeds from a lack of understanding about the value of the underlying asset.

You may not be buying a domain name to sell it. But if you were to ever consider selling your domain name in the future, a .com extension is most likely to fetch you the best price.

How Domain Name and Domain Extension Affects SEO?

Your domain name should be based on your brand. If we are looking at just the domain name alone, it is undeniable that you want people to recognize your brand, your business, or what your website is all about. An SEO-optimized domain name is one that tells people what the website is about, the products/services it offers, etc. Another great reason to include your brand name into your domain is the fact that much of your website traffic is going to come from navigational search. In order to make the most off of your SEO efforts, you should always aim at choosing a popular TLD such as .com.

Also, with a strong .com domain, you won’t have any issues with credibility or trust like would be the case with other extensions (think: biz and .info that are often favored by spammers). In other words, choosing the wrong domain extension associates you with low-ranking websites and people will be more skeptical about clicking on your website. Without a doubt, this could negatively impact your SEO.

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So what happens the next year? You get to spend it all again.

Now it seems that US$ 30,000 is not such a high price compared to other costs, right? We must agree, if getting the right top-level domain name contributes to your business success, it’s a small price to pay. Not to mention that the US$30,000 cost is a one-time expense. The domain itself creates an instant online brand that continues to define your online business for as long as you have it.

When it comes to traffic, top-level domain lets users know you’re the real deal.

This traffic principally comes from direct type-in or referral traffic. Type-in traffic basically means that someone who is searching for a product decides to bypass the search engine by typing the keyword of the product they want directly into their browser instead to search the name through the search engine. The result is a huge amount of high-quality organic traffic which carries high conversation rates. The more keyword-rich your domain name the more likely it is that you’ll rank high in the search results.

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A premium domain is a one-time investment and will generate results forever.

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Alan Dunn, Twitter 

It does not matter if you have a bad domain name that’s not brandable or you’ve already managed to grab the perfect one for your business, your brand still has to be advertised. It’s easy to look at the asking prices of many premium domains and be scared away. However, if you take a deeper look you will begin to understand why great domains command such high prices. A great domain enhances your marketing overall strategy, helps you achieve SEO success, and provides credibility for your customers and investors.

We hope the above information will help you in making informed decisions about your brand. How much risk are you prepared to take with your brand? Get in touch, we are always happy to chat.

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