Branded web domains exist under unique URLs/web address names and make it viable for online businesses to direct their traffic to a single site and increase their brand recall across multiple platforms. But how do you begin building a branded domain of your own, and what benefits can you expect to enjoy once your domain name is live? This quick guide breaks these questions down to help online businesses like yours use branded domains to build trust with their target markets and increase revenue through multi-platform brand visibility.
From the moment you wake up and check your phone to the time you switch off your TV before bed, you watch countless products for sale advertised across many different devices. Businesses have always competed with each other to stand out as the best in their industry, lest they fail to establish their products and their brand as extraordinary. But these days, nowhere is the competition for brand visibility fiercer than it is in the world of eCommerce; online businesses struggle to keep customers interested in their brand across multiple platforms, devices, and geographical locations.
Effective branding in marketing has always been important to generate brand visibility, but building trust with customers and potential prospects is a task that is exponentially more difficult when it’s across multiple platforms. And yet, consistently well-done presentation of your brand improves overall sales online: specifically, multi-platform brand consistency across all of your business’s advertising platforms can increase your revenue by up to 23%.
What makes custom domains unique?
It’s important to have a firm understanding of what, exactly, branded (custom) domains are. A solid understanding of how custom domains are unique from standard subdomains can make it much easier to purposefully align your domain’s URL name with your marketing objectives.
Try to approach branded domains as extensions of your marketing strategy. A custom domain is unique to your marketing campaign and, instead of being a generic subdomain that’s hosted under a web provider’s domain name, it separates your own brand from platform-branded domains. In other words, branded domains are unique to your organization because, for all intents and purposes, they’re an extension of one of your business’s campaigns.
Take the concept of custom domains as extensions of your marketing campaigns one step further and bring keywords into the mix. Specific keywords should be part of your branded domain’s name so you can associate those keywords with your domain’s product or service category. An investment in a premium domain is an investment in the inherent semantic value of a keyword or phrase, which lets your business control powerful and positive connotations between a key term and your brand.
The internet is a landscape of nonstop activity, and it should therefore come as no surprise that the number of unique domain names available for use has dwindled since the first domain name was registered in 1985. Online businesses are often hard-pressed to track down the specific name they’re in search of, but the market for domains for sale is fortunately a vibrant one.
There is an abundance of domain names in 2021’s market for premium domains which are registered domain names with specific key phrases that can be bought, sold, and invested into. Online businesses can tap into the market for premium domains by investing in a brand-specific to enjoy the long-term benefits of using a custom domain name:
How branded domain names benefit online businesses
Branded domain names that are customized to your business’s marketing campaign can improve multi-platform brand consistency. Take a look at some of the biggest ways branded domains make it easier for businesses to engage people with their brand across different platforms and improve online sales figures:
Make an authoritative first impression
Using a branded domain is a reliable sign to your website’s visitors that you’re willing to invest in your business’s long-term eCommerce presence. Whether you’re a completely digital business or are just beginning to expand your online sales offerings, it’s important that you make an authoritative first impression with a customized, branded domain.
With a branded domain, your business’s credibility and authority online is far easier to establish. Premium domains demonstrate an unquestionable commitment to exposing as many people as possible to your professional brand across multiple platforms. And since it’s inevitable that your domain name will garner more direct, type-in user traffic than standard subdomains and circulate across multiple online platforms over time, it’s recommended that you customize the aesthetic of your website’s landing pages.
Creating a strong logo that you can use to solidify your brand’s credibility and consistency across platforms can be challenging even for creative business owners. It’s often useful to use a brand identity kit to design elements such as your brand taglines and catchphrases and to ensure that you remain consistent when using brand elements across your different advertising and communications platforms.
Cultivate brand recognition across more platforms
Part of standing apart from your competition is increasing your brand’s memorability. Having a custom domain name that’s simple to can is valuable for multiple reasons, chief among them being the ability to make your brand memorable across multiple platforms.
Your website’s visitors engage with plenty of devices on which they see countless names of your competitors every day. Your business needs a way to cut through the endless number of domain names people see across social media, sales platforms, and search results pages. With a memorable domain name, you can easily share your URL across your own social media and sales platforms you’re active on to generate familiarity with your brand among a broader audience of interested users.
An easy-to-remember domain name is useful for cross-platform marketing in part because of the boost in discoverability it provides. People are going to feel more inclined to search for a branded domain that’s highly specific, easy to remember, and keyword-rich, is easily discoverable and benefits from search engine optimization (SEO).
A customized domain name that’s easy to remember ranks well in search engine results pages for the key phrases or words it targets, and it gets visibility at the top of social media and sales platform search results because it’s a memorable brand name that people remember to search for.
A short, to-the-point domain name indicates to your visitors that your site directly relates to your business’s products or services. A premium domain name also puts your brand’s focus keyword and, subsequently, its area of specialty at the forefront of your users’ attention.
Rank higher for your domain’s keyword(s)
A large contributor to your website’s growth is its search engine rankings for your business’s critical keywords. Custom domains are naturally specific to the keyword(s) that you associate with your marketing campaign, which means your business has a leg up when it comes to search engine ranking performance.
Improved search engine ranking performance is one of the most common benefits that come from using branded domain names. Exact-match domain names help you prove to search engines such as Google that your website is useful to your visitors and relevant to their interests. The more relevant your premium domain’s keyword is to your users’ search queries, the higher it will rank in search engine results pages.
Domain names include extensions such as ‘.com’ or ‘.org’, which many business owners fear may impact their search results rankings for specific keywords. However, as online marketer and web developer Nathan Finch of Best Web Hosting Australia notes, it isn’t always necessary to go with a .com domain extension when it comes to SEO.
“One of the most frequently asked questions regarding top-level domains is whether or not they affect search engine optimization,” says Finch. “The short answer to that question is: No. Given the number of ways Google is able to analyze page quality — such as traffic, content and backlinks — you don’t necessarily require a .com domain for your business. Instead, you should opt for a domain suitable for your business or organization, such as .org.”
When not to use branded domains
Not every business needs a branded domain even if they’re growing their online sales. Of course, businesses that have memorable, highly brandable domain names with specific keywords to target should definitely consider using custom domains. If, however, your business and its brand focuses on a longer, harder-to-remember keyword that doesn’t garner lots of search queries, a generic domain may instead be your better bet.
When it comes to acquiring custom domain names, costs are typically at the front of the minds of business owners. Generic domains can be attractive to businesses with limited budgets that don’t allow for extra costs associated with a custom domain name. Custom domain names typically cost between $10 to $15 annually and can vary depending on providers and features offered. If cost is a significant factor that your business needs to consider as it builds its eCommerce presence, generic domain names provided by third-party platforms may be worth considering.
For the non-technically minded, generic domains can be simpler to get up and running. Generic domains are often easier to use than custom domains and don’t require that users go through an extensive setup process. Custom domains require that users set them up on a unique server and prevent businesses from establishing a new web presence in a matter of seconds. Choose a generic domain for your online business if you’re interested in speed and ease of use rather than finding the perfect branded domain name.
There’s a lot of branding work to be done if you want to achieve long-lasting brand consistency across the different platforms your customers use. With branded domains, you can drastically shorten the time it takes for your brand name to begin circulating multiple social media and online sales platforms.
That’s because branded domain names are more than just catchy URLs associated with your business: they’re living extensions of your marketing campaign that speak directly to a specific product or service that your brand offers.
The benefits of branded domain names, while sometimes slow to appear, can make long-term, positive impacts on an online business’s brand recognition, credibility, and memorability. Branded domain names make an authoritative first impression to new visitors and indicate to them that your business is willing to invest in an established eCommerce presence.
You can cultivate brand recognition across the social media and sales platforms as well as search engines that current and potential customers use by choosing a short, to-the-point domain name that’s directly related to your brand’s focus keyword or phrase. Your business can begin to rank higher for the keyword your branded domain’s URL focuses on and can indicate to search engines such as Google that its premium domain is relevant and useful to visitors.
Although branded domain names are often wise investments for the majority of online businesses, certain organizations with highly unique focus keywords or limited product or service lines may consider investing instead in generic domain names that act as standard subdomains under a third-party provider.