By 2023 eCommerce sales in the United States are predicted to surpass $740 billion…
That is almost DOUBLE the sales volume of as little as five years ago.
This poses a range of both opportunities and challenges for SMBs dealing in the digital space.
For starters, more and more people will be transacting online, which is a good thing.
But on the flip side, the competition will continue to increase, making it more costly to acquire customers and devastate your strained marketing budget.
So, how do you prepare for this rapid incline in online sales and competition? How do you stand out?
There is no “one thing” that will flip the switch and make you forever competitive in a digital world.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
There are numerous tweaks and changes you will need to make to your marketing efforts to stay on top of things. Every small improvement adds up to a significant lift in returns.
One small but highly impactful change you can make is to use a new domain name extension.
Domain extensions, such as .FUN, .PRESS, .TECH, .STORE, and .ONLINE, catch people’s attention and have a lasting first impression.
Here are five ways a new domain name can help make your marketing campaigns more impactful.
#1. Branded links
Ever used Bit.ly or a similar service to create short URLs?
Shortened links are a critical part of most marketing campaigns because they help track clicks and allow you to share simple and memorable URLs, rather than long and drawn-out strings.
However, with most basic shorteners, you are left with a highly unmemorable short URL that adds no brand value.
Instead of using a generic bit.ly link that doesn’t say anything about your content, you could use a branded short link on a new domain extension. This can significantly increase brand recall and improve the ROI of your campaigns – by almost 39%.
For example, I use Jeff.ONLINE to track all of our campaigns and customize the links using Bit.ly with relevant strings. By using branded short links, you provide a bridge between the message and the page it’s leading to, making your communication more effective.
Panda Express does something similar with .PRESS, as you can see below:
If you’re ever driving traffic to your website’s inner pages, such as a product page or blog post, the URL can look long and ugly and be very hard for the average person to remember.
With a simple domain name, you can direct people to specific pages on your website with nice-looking and easy-to-remember URLs. Plus, this approach offers much better tracking, too.
For example, the eCommerce giant, Amazon, uses www.kindle.store as a redirect to its Kindle page on the website. It’s a nifty way to brand the product and give users a domain name that they can easily remember.
The domain name www.kindle.store is far better than using; https://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html/ref=as_li_ss_tl?node=133141011&linkCode=sl2&tag=amznip-kindle.store-20&linkId=4cd0d831c10ebb77bbf4aeeb9b352a3a
Which is just a long, clunky, and not a user-friendly URL!
#3. Optimized anchor text for backlinks
As you may know, a key ingredient to improving your search engine rankings is to acquire backlinks from other websites. However, what you may not know is that the text used by the other website to link to your page, the “anchor text,” determines the link’s relative strength in Google’s eyes. If the anchor text exactly matches your URL and the keyword you are trying to rank for, it will have a more significant effect on your SEO performance.
What does this have to do with new domain names? Well, new domain name extensions have the benefit of being more descriptive than traditional extensions such as .COM or .ORG. If your website had the domain name “www.luxurywatch.STORE,” for example, and the anchor text of a link to your website was “luxury watch store,” you would get the optimal value from that link.
Of course, this effect isn’t going to revolutionize your business by itself, but it’s another 2% benefit that will add a significant contribution to your overall marketing performance.
#4. Voice-search friendly
Almost 35% of the US population uses voice assistants to make searches – a statistic that is on the rise.
Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa are growing in popularity, and the way people look for information and products online is changing forever.
What this means is that your SEO strategy also needs to adapt. For your content to be found in a voice search, it needs to include a range of long-tail keywords and conversational phrases.
Another thing to consider is that the days of having a long domain name for catching Google searchers are gone. For example, domains like “www.plumbingbusinessinlosangeles.com” do not show up in searches just because of their names anymore.
Instead, you want your domain to be short, simple, easy to pronounce, and easy to remember so that people can find you via a voice search. New domain extensions allow you to find those simple names that are already taken with the .COM or .NET domains.
For example, www.cleanhomes.online is a lot more search-friendly than www.getcleaning-servicesonline.com.
#5. Brand positioning
A unique domain name extension can help position your brand in several ways.
Most obviously, it gives your brand an impactful identity. Rather than your domain name being a separate entity, it is one and the same with your logo and other branding elements. You’re not “www.storemarketingtech.com” or “www.sundaypodcasthost.net” anymore; instead, you are “www.storemarketing.TECH” or “www.sundaypodcast.HOST.”
This alone is a powerful branding play. But the benefits of a unique domain extension for brand positioning don’t stop there. These extensions also help you if you operate in a niche market. The domain extension becomes a part of your identity in that market and helps people recognize and remember your business. For example, you may run a coworking space for eCommerce brands. Your domain name could be “www.ecommercecowork.SPACE.” Isn’t that powerful?
Emirates uses the .STORE extension to distinguish their online eCommerce presence from the rest of the brand:
Domain name extensions – Your competitive advantage
If you’re looking for a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded online business world, a unique domain extension could be the perfect fit.
Not only are short domain extensions great for linking to pages on your website and tracking campaign performance, but they’re also a cut above traditional domains when it comes to brand positioning and memorability. Are you ready to make the switch?