When building a business, especially online, one of the biggest challenges is to first attract new customers/traffic and then, to actually retain them and keep them coming back for more. That makes it incredibly important for you to make it as easy as possible for your customers to discover and remember you. And this will take away some of the stress of building a high brand recall, which helps your business flourish in the long run.

Your company name and domain name play a key role in this. It’s extremely important to have a strong, easy to remember (and type in!) and keyword-rich domain name in order to not only drive more traffic and retain more customers but also to build a strong brand that stays etched in the minds of your customers. But how do you get the perfect domain name?

Every time you post your links online, people can see them – but can they actually remember them? Do they remind them of your brand, your business? And that’s especially a problem when you’re sharing unbranded, shortened links: you’re essentially losing a slice of the pie of the customer’s mindshare.

This is why I chose to try something new: I got a new domain name “lilach.online”, and set it up as a default aka custom branded shortlink for all my bit.ly short links on Twitter, like this:

custom shortlink get.online screenshot

So that instead of a bit.ly/xyz type-link, I can always use my name – my brand – instead. And that brings a massive opportunity for more engagement: as per bit.ly’s research, branded short domains can drive up to a 34% increase in click-throughs when compared to unbranded links. And that’s not to mention the huge branding value of custom branded links.

So in this blog post, I’m going to show you how to leverage domain names to build a memorable brand online – and drive better engagement and more traffic to your blog and website.

How to build a stellar online brand with the perfect domain name

What are domain names and custom domains?

What are domain names and custom domains?

A domain name is a unique name that you select and register for your website – the address that helps people find your website.

And because of that, it is imperative to your business’ success that you select the right domain name; after all, it’s the first touchpoint of your brand and (in some cases) it tells users what your site is about and what they can expect to find after tapping on enter.

.COM domains have gained a lot of popularity very quickly and pretty much took over the Internet; but in recent years, a new type of domain has started making waves online, particularly amongst businesses and online publications: custom domains.

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Some examples of domain names include:

  • cars.com (the .COM domain name that everyone knows so well)
  • brilliant.tech (a .TECH domain extension perfect for those in the tech industry)
  • emirates.store (the .STORE domain extension is ideal for ecommerce businesses and merchandise online stores)
  • louder.online (the .ONLINE domain extension (that I chose for my custom url shortener, lilach.online), works for pretty much any type of online business!)

In other words, these domain names on new domain extensions allow you to build an online identity that tells people exactly what your website is about – much more so than any .COM domain can.

Why are domain names so important?

Why are domain names so important?

There are a lot of reasons why domain names are extremely important and why you should definitely give them some serious thought before choosing anything.

  • Build authenticity: people will constantly look up businesses online so having the right domain name together with a functional and responsive website is critical to lending authenticity to your business
  • Brand your business: your domain name is the first brand touchpoint so if you want to build a strong, recognizable brand, then you need to start with your domain name
  • Improve visibility: having a domain name that conveys your product or niche exposes your brand to more audiences as the domain name gets indexed by search engines. As your SEO improves, so does your placement within search engines, which in turn leads to more eyeballs on your website
  • Ensure consistency across the board: this is especially important if you’re active on social media (and if you aren’t active, then you should definitely start now!). Having a domain name either with its own site or one that redirects to the marketplace or social media, insulates the business from losing its brand identity and its audiences if the marketplace of social platform were to crash. Be it a redirect, a website, a mobile site, or even print, a domain name lets users find you no matter where they encounter you
  • Create a great first impression: after all, it’s the first touchpoint with your brand
  • Use for brand positioning: a good domain name will both establish what your brand is and what you have to offer; for example, something like directpay.online – the place to go to pay directly, online
  • Use it as a marketing tool: your domain name can be used as a touchpoint to entice and engage your target audience with your marketing message. For example, with something like healthbeat.online, the name gives you a very good idea of what the website might have to offer

How to choose the right domain name for your business

How to choose the right domain name for your business

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of your domain name, but what exactly makes for a strong domain name? How do you choose the right domain name for your business?

Make sure your domain name is:

  • Keyword-rich: you can’t always do this with “regular” domain names, but you can use custom domains to make your domain names keyword-rich. For example, something like dronesmexico.tech contains all the main keywords people would search for if they were looking for drones in Mexico; furthermore, the .TECH extension tells them clearly that this is a tech business.
  • Short: did you know that between 2 identical websites, Google’s search engine algorithm will choose to show the one with a shorter domain name? Not to mention, a shorter domain name is easier to remember and type in
  • SEO-focused: new domain extensions make it possible to get on-topic backlinks which are great for SEO. For example, it’s more contextual to get a backlink on firehd.store for anchor text ‘Fire HD store’ than it would be to link to the original deep-link to the Fire HD page on Amazon. Over time, this will show Google the relevance of your page for these keywords and your website will start showing up in organic search results for those particular keywords. Plus, as we move into the era of voice search, domain names should be easily understood and searchable by artificial assistants like Alexa and Siri; if you tell them to go to www.bazookkasstorez.com (because you had to use Z’s instead of S’s), they might not be able to help you; but if you ask for something like Bazooka Store, and your domain name is bazooka.store, then your chances of being found grow exponentially
  • Meaningful: a new custom domain extension will add a layer of meaning to the domain name which then helps build a visual story in the mind of the customers, making the domain name more memorable
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Why I chose lilach.ONLINE for my brand

Why I chose lilach.ONLINE for my brand

One of the biggest reasons why .ONLINE was a perfect choice is that it works for pretty much any type of business: whether you’re a start-up, an established band, a restaurant, a B2B business and anything in between, you’re bound to find a relevant .ONLINE domain available for you.

Not to mention, .ONLINE is not only popular (there are currently over 1.25 million .ONLINE domain registered in 170 different countries), but it’s also treated equally to .COM, .ORG and other super popular domain extensions, in its organic search ranking by Google.

Plus, if you’re a start-up struggling to find the domain name you want for .COM, you can instead choose a .ONLINE domain name so that you don’t have to compromise on your brand name and domain name.

5 ways to use a .ONLINE domain for branding your business

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve started using my new domain name, lilach.online, primarily so that I can generate more engagement and clicks/traffic from social media, but also so I don’t lose any branding opportunities every time I use an unbranded shortened link.

Because why have this – bit.ly/2ly1Rek – as a link, when I can instead have something like lilach.online/AR-experiences: a link that tells users exactly what they’re getting if they visit that page, but also a link that uses my name, which in this case is also my brand name.

Basically, every time I share a link online, the actual link is branded with my actual website name.

This not only increases my online visibility, but it also helps me generate more clicks and traffic.

Plus, it’s super easy to set up; once you’ve purchased and registered your domain name with get.online, it takes a couple of minutes to set up your custom domain name with bit.ly and start sharing branded links – literally, a couple of minutes and all of your links will be automatically shortened with your new domain name. Plus, you can easily customize them even further and add more keywords, either in your bit.ly account or even easier, by using the bit.ly browser extension:

bit.ly custom links screenshot

(also worth noting that other shortlink providers also offer this feature – just in case you don’t use bit.ly and prefer a different provider)

And of course, leveraging shortened links is just one way you can use a domain name. There are so many other ways domain names can come in extra handy for building your brand:

Use .ONLINE for  your primary domain

If you’ve ever found yourself in the position to purchase a .COM domain name, then you’ve probably run into this very common problem: your desired domain is simply not available.

So, you start to get creative: you add a number somewhere, you include a hyphen, you change an S to Z and in some extreme cases, you might even pick a completely different domain name that has little to do with your actual brand.

So while it’s quite likely that you have a primary domain name, it’s also very likely that your current domain name doesn’t match with your business name or has some unnecessary characters, numbers or hyphens.

This brings you a great opportunity to make your online identity more meaningful and impactful with .ONLINE.

To give you an example, louder.online is a digital marketing agency whose goal is to help make its clients voices louder in the online. Their primary domain was louderonline.com.au so they decided to switch to something easier to remember and more meaningful for their brand: louder.online.

This domain name matches the business name, is much simpler and it conveys a lot more than just the online address of this particular business.

And if you’re worried about any negative effects on your SEO, don’t be: Google treats new domain names the same way as .COM and .ORG (and other popular domain extensions) in its organic search traffic. So if you’re not pleased with your businesses’ current domain name, you don’t have to be stuck with that domain for life but can in fact quickly and easily switch to the domain name of your choice.

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Promote specific projects

Do you have any new projects coming up, such as a new product launch?
Or maybe you have an awesome promotion coming up?

In that case, you can attract more customers to your new product launches, blog, store upgraded and so on with an .ONLINE domain name.

For example, if you had a new product launch coming up, you can register a new domain such as productname.online and use that to promote your new product across different channels.

Build a personal brand

Another reason why I chose .ONLINE out of all the possible custom extensions available is that it’s perfect for building a personal brand; for example if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to build their own business with your own name, or if you want to build a professional virtual portfolio.

Create domain redirects

Another feature that gets me very excited about domains is that you can easily redirect a .ONLINE domain to other, much more complicated links – such as links to various social media platforms (which tend to get pretty busy!).

Plus, you can also use domain redirects to point your customers to a specific page on your website, such as a product page where you want to drive more traffic (and conversions!).

And if your visitors were to encounter some 404 Error URL on your website, they can easily be redirected to a page you want to drive more traffic to:

bit.ly branded domain screenshot

Conclusion

Owning a business is tough work and there are a plethora of challenges that you need to deal with all the time to attract your customers and grow your business.

Your domain name is such a simple tool, but something that can have a huge impact on your success – just go to get.online or get.online/partners to get your own domain and generate better results for your business. Plus, you can get over 90% off your first year by using the coupon code Lilach – just click on the image below to use the coupon code:

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