What to do about your domain TLD (short for top level domain) suffix.
I am often asked what kind of domain to get, and if it is important to purchase all of the available options for your chosen domain name or URL. There is often the feeling that it is important to have a spread to prevent competitors from taking your business. Thus, I could have catwingz.com, catwingz.net, catwingz.us, catwingz.biz, catwingz.co…
I spoke with Kent Lewis, a successful owner of two local businesses specializing in search optimization. His answer was to just get one and focus on promoting it. While there are businesses that do reserve all of the options and have them all redirect to one, his feeling was that unless you have a really major brand like Coca Cola, it just doesn’t give a good return on investment. Another source I queried felt that if your business is going to have an international presence choosing to have a spread would be advisable. In this case the top choices would be .com, .net, .biz and .mobi.
It’s really a matter of what you do to promote your site that is going to make the biggest difference. .Com is the oldest and always the best, but as names get taken and people get increasingly imaginative with their naming the other suffixes have gained acceptance. If you find that .com is taken for the name you have your heart set on, here are some guidelines and suggestions, some of which might be different enough to be memorable.
First, keep in mind that every country has it’s own suffix. The United States is .us, Canada is.ca… a perfectly respectable choice for a business, especially if you are going to have an international presence.
.co was created as an overflow option for .com.
.biz is for US business sites.
.info was originally for information sites, but businesses have been using it as well.
.mobi is specifically for mobile websites, smart if your business will be making use of mobile marketing.
.net was originally created for companies like internet service providers, but it is widely used as a substitute for .com.
.org was originally created for non profits, but it too has been overrun by businesses.
.pro is for professionals like accountants, lawyers and physicians.
.store is for retail business sites.
.tv is for domains that will be emphasizing video, but it is best to have a more mainstream option as well.
The one to avoid unless you really want to go there is .xxx for adult entertainment.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas to work with.
To your business success!
Where does your tribe socialize? Every business is concerned with their target market and getting to know them really well. This knowledge makes it easier to focus marketing dollars, as well as in making decisions about what products and services to offer.
Enter social networking. Is your tribe hanging out on Facebook? Perhaps they are more professional and more likely to prefer Linked In. What about Google+ or Pinterest? If they are up on the latest trends and conveniences they might be more likely to be on Twitter—unless your crowd refuses to get a SmartPhone.
The point is, especially if you are short on time and resources, rather than stressing about getting your business page up on Facebook because everyone else is doing it, first take a long look at whether that is where your people are. It is possible that local networking groups or specific industry-oriented forums might provide a more direct point of contact. Consider doing a survey of your current favorite clients. Wouldn’t it be great to have more just like them?
Start with one social networking site and get that one figured out so that you are comfortable with it as a part of your routine. Then pick a second one and work your way through your list of priorities one at a time. Remember that the objective is to interact with your tribe on a regular basis. If you are too busy to do this you should reconsider your strategy.
To your business success!
Have you ever signed up for something online and then immediately received a follow-up email? Welcome to the world of autoresponders. They enrich the user experience by making the web more interactive and, in the case of a small business, they help to reassure those who opt in for your products or services that there’s someone on the other end of that button they clicked.
Many online services offer autoresponders—Constant Contact, MailChimp and InfusionSoft are examples. The basic process is for someone to fill out a form on your website, offering something like a free CD, a teleseminar or a newsletter signup. After they click “submit” an email acknowledging them appears in their inbox. There is usually a short message thanking them for signing up, along with an explanation of what comes next—the shipment of a package, another confirmation email, the details of when a webinar will be held… But that’s just what the site visitor sees.
On the back end, the real beauty of a service with an autoresponder is that each person who fills out the form gets added to a database holding all of your contacts. This is also referred to as your list. This eliminates added steps like manually adding them to your Contact list in your email client because it is all done automatically, saving your time over and over again. Once their name is in your database it is possible to send other messages, or even initiate a bulk mailing, all with the objective of nurturing your contact list for the future. Pretty cool, huh?
To your business success!