Domain Branding More Important Than Ever Before.”
by Wayne Ford
On Feb. 6th, 2003, websidestory Inc., a web analysis company, released a report showing that the majority of websites are now visited by direct navigation, instead of using search engines and web links.
Direct Web Navigation is when a visitor locates a site by typing the domain directly into the browser or by using a bookmark.
According to websidestory.com, in 2/2001 48.14% of sites were found through direct navigation and the other 51.85% through search engines and weblinks.
As of 2/2003 that percentage has risen to 64.43% and only 35.55% were found through search engines and links.
This study however does not diminish the importance of search engines and links for initially finding a website.
But it does give evidence that a domain and site that a visitor is able to remember will be returned to directly in the future.
Note I said `able to remember’ and not `worth remembering.’ Sure your site should be of such value that it is worth remembering, but if you don’t have that solid brandable domain that sticks in the brain like glue than it won’t matter.
How many times have you wanted to return to a cool site, but couldn’t remember the domain to get their? Of course you could search for it at a search engine, but this takes more time and effort. The more steps you put in front of your prospects, the less likely your site is to be found.
This is why domain branding is so important. For a very low investment any online business has the power to intensely leverage their marketing.
Think about it. Your Domain name is the most important marketing tool you have. Your domain is the first thing your audience sees and your first chance to generate a response from a consumer. Do they visit or move on? This decision is hugely impacted by the effectiveness of your domain.
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The entire basis of marketing is getting someone’s attention and your domain must do just that. It becomes extremely powerful to use a brandable domain name to leverage your marketing to the maximum.
Put simply a quality, short, memorable domain will always lead to an increase in sales.
Nobody knows this better that large corporations who have spend millions on solid brandable domain names. In one famous example venture capitalists in California paid $7.5 million to acquire Business.com. Even forsalebyowner.com fetched $835,000.
A little off topic but still interesting, is Ex-marine Darryl Pollock who registered the domain IraqiFreedom.com and has received offers into the thousands (Note: He has been qouted saying that if he were contacted by the pentagon he would ‘completely cooperate with them.’)
Crazy isn’t? But big business knows that these domains are worth because that domain will bring in sales for years and years to come. They can build it, promote it, brand it and it will work for them forever. Even two word, hyphenated domains are grabbing some pretty prices, checkout these recent Afternic and Ebay sales:
When you are marketing your site, business, product, service, you must be seen, heard and remembered by your audience. Consumers are bombarded with messages all day every where they travel. You must stand out and the most cost effective way to do this is logical domain branding.
So what domains are memorable and what makes a domain brandable?