Part I: For Startups & Entrepreneurs
Every entrepreneur and startup knows the importance of appearing experienced and professional… Whether approaching a potential investor or reaching out to clients, when your company is just starting up, you try to present its image in the most meticulous fashion. Each contact can make or break the new business, and sometimes that weighs heavily on the minds of the founders and hard working elbow-greasers…
The perfect logo shows your mission, brand & goal, while your website layout & graphics invite your clients to interact. But more central than your logo or your layout, is your business name and domain name itself. As a domain broker, we often work with startups who have a list of domains, in order of preference, that they would like to acquire in order to brand their business.
We see some valuable lessons on both sides of this process which we would like to share with other startups & domain investors. For Startups & Entrepreneurs: Plan out your domain name as carefully as you plan out other aspects including logo and layout. In every inbox and every handshake (i.e. business card), your domain name succinctly summarizes your entire business. It’s understandable that your startup may be on a shoestring budget, but this isn’t the place to skimp.
If you want your startup to be taken seriously as an industry player, you need to sound like one. Any entrepreneur is all too familiar with the cringe of sounding peripheral or unstable. Investing in a premium domain gives instant weight to your startup. We’re brokering top tier domains like EO.com, Internet.org and H2o.com – these are examples of how a domain gives instant credibility, making that vital impression as a solid company. A pure play generic domain name like this instills trust immediately to both consumers and investors.
Clients and investors need to be able to remember your domain name so they can shop there, come back & tell others. Do you remember the first time you heard of Amazon.com? You might have thought it was a funny, weird name, but you didn’t forget it! As domain brokers, we often partner with startups to help with their naming and domain name search. The domains we are currently brokering range from small and medium size budget brands like Heal.me and Hemisphere.com or Excitement.com, to larger budget domain names including Adventure.com and Cut.com. Regardless of your budget, you can find a powerful domain name that will make your company stand out.
SEO & SEM:
If your domain name contains keywords that will help in your search engine ranking, then your long-term paid search/traffic budget can be significantly reduced. Especially with a new startup on a tight budget, one initial investment in a domain may be far easier to manage than a higher ongoing SEO/SEM budget. We all know how the wallet grows thinner and thinner with various startup costs… Look at the BabySupplies.com & BabySupply.com domain package we are currently brokering– it’s succinct, cuts out the competition by cornering 2 domains in one, and takes care of your keywords too.
Not only do these domains offer an instant brand for a business in that vertical, but they invoke the exact match keywords in the domain name which will give your business a competitive advantage in the search engines. If your domain name itself brands the startup well enough, some SEO/SEM costs will be cut simply because people can remember you- that’s the entire purpose of branding, right! A strong and expressive brand, maybe even a domain with a call to action, like BuyTickets.com, can significantly increase your Click Through Rate (CTR) as well; someone would argue it also increases your on site conversions due to the trust factor mentioned earlier. In summary, premium domains are the way to go for startups, even with a tight budget. Remember, do it right the first time. Partner with a domain broker to get some feedback and let them participate in your naming exercise and domain name search, just as you partner with an accountant to make solid financial choices there, or with a PR specialist for your image.
With a domain broker like Media Options, you can expect realistic feedback about your domain acquisition timeframe and domain ideas. You will also get the best bang for your buck with an experienced broker negotiating the acquisition for you. We have helped a lot of companies find their brand and buy their domain name. And along the way, we thoroughly enjoy the adventure of searching for that perfect domain name- especially with startups in the early stages of their journey.