Are custom domain names an SMB’s most powerful marketing tool?

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Businesses and individuals can now use a variety of new domain extensions for their websites. ‘Generic top-level domains’ – or gTLDs – provide organisations with a much wider range of choices to end their URLs than the standard .com and .org domains. For SMBs and online marketers, these new domains offer a slew of new creative options to catch people’s attention and build brand awareness.

With such a range of new domain name extensions to choose from, SMBs have several options when devising stand-out URLs for their websites.

Here are three ideas to take any small business’ domain name to the next level:

Inform

Domain names can convey critical information to potential customers who may be deciding whether or not to click through to your site. This can be especially useful for attracting search traffic, since domain names help to qualify your site’s content or relevance in search results. A website using a .Sydney or .Melbourne extension, for example, will stand out more to potential visitors from Australia than its .com equivalent, particularly those in state-specific industries like tourism, property, or even local produce.

Apart from providing geographical context, a custom domain can also inform potential visitors about the type of content (.news), industry verticals (including high-growth ones like .property and .tech), or simply the product or service (anything from .accountants for tax-time to .menu for dinner-time). This helps qualify the traffic that the site receives, meaning people who visit the site are more likely to engage with what’s on offer and convert into actual sales leads.

Promote

Certain new domain name extensions cater to temporary sites or microsites used deliberately for promotional purposes. Domains like .sale, .win, and .events don’t just inform potential visitors of the site’s function, but also highlight the value that they can get by clicking. That, in turn, boosts the chances that people will both visit the page and take part in the promotion happening, since they’re more aware of what to expect before they enter the website.

Promotional domain names work particularly well on social media, where a clear .win or .sale domain stands out when shared by fans. In collaborative ventures, using domains like .events or .community for landing-pages that host links to partners’ main sites as well as options for signing up or registering can help to raise awareness of the promotion. These domains can be easier to remember than more standard domains, making it simpler for visitors to spread the word and remember the website in the future.

Entertain

The sheer variety of new domain name extensions gives SMBs huge opportunities to get creative with choosing a domain name for their idea or business. Instead of putting the entire business name before a .com extension, use the last word of the name as the extension.  Or add a touch of humour to the brand: a domain extension like .rocks, for example, offers wordplay opportunities aplenty to small businesses involved in music or geology.

Instead of simply conveying information about the business, smart owners will also use their domains to give potential customers a sense of their own personality and ethos – helping them further stand out from the crowd.

All the domain name extensions mentioned here are already available, with more domain name extensions being offered in the future. With these creative possibilities at their disposal, small businesses can’t afford to restrict themselves to traditional domain extensions. Unique and informative domain names give visitors the best first impression of a business – and when it comes to turning visitors into loyal customers, those first impressions always count.

Tara Commerford is the GoDaddy Country Manager, Australia and New Zealand

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Tara Commerford is the GoDaddy Country Manager, Australia and New Zealand