The key method of developing your business is advertising. Call it integrated marketing with all the other forms of getting your message out, but it still boils down to advertising, which is making it public and memorable.
You may advertise in a trade magazine or on a billboard, but your website is the only form of advertising that's constantly available to your audience. Your domain name is the focal point for all of these marketing components, at the corner stone, and the foundation from where you build your brand upon.
Get a dot com name. Other extensions may gain popularity in 20 years, but for the foreseeable future your marketing efforts will end up in the junk folder. Even in tech where .io and .ai have some traction with start ups, it translates into they're in beta, not ready for primetime. As a decision maker can you back your choice of doing business with an organization that's not really established?
Read my last post about Branding for Authority and Affinity for more information. Here are some premium domain names that I have for sale.
Brand Building is Web Development
When setting out to develop a new website for a client the first thing to consider is their brand. Defining a brand is a lot like writing a business plan for an organization. Who's their customer, what is their demographic, current corporate culture and visibility across all media along with consistency regarding these representations. Sometimes a client expects development of a website to be just stamping out code, but it's much more artistry and expertise than that going on to get it right. I wouldn't just start nailing boards together if I were a builder, the site, direction, watershed, parking, permits and a 100 other items need to be considered before breaking ground. The same holds true for web development and I would recommend reading up on these sites listed below about building your brand before developing the wrong site for your business.
First, have or get the right domain name. Brandgy.com can clue you in as to why that's so important. Learn about branding your business with these no nonsense guides available through HowToBuildABrand.org These folks out of the UK know what they are doing and it's explained in a way that you can see how it effects other facets of your business. SearchEngineJournal.com puts the technical edge on your brand strategy. Their site maybe a good read for the more technically inclined, but getting found is what it's all about going forward into 2018 and beyond.
Spoiler Alert - If you haven't seen the final episode of MadMen, read no more. MadMen was weekly TV series that ran on AMC and just came to a brilliant concluding episode. I found the show intriguing on multiple levels. First as a period piece into the advertising industry roots of the 50's to 70's. The characters were well formed and wisely engineered into an almost historic account of advertising growth as it was woven into American culture. The final episode tied it together with a twist I didn't see coming until the classic Coke ad brought it home.
Don Draper's smile while chanting as the new dawn arose could have been that he finally found peace, or was it that he just got the idea for one of the best ad campaigns in history. The next scene was the 1971 "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" commercial. Brilliantly written, directed and executed. (standing ovation). Through the course of the series the ad firm grows into a multi-million dollar empire. What's ironic now is that there is a new dawn in advertising again. The ad firms and TV stations that got rich during the MadMen period a now seeing a seismic shift in the platform, welcome the internet. The dawn is over but the sun hasn't full risen. The day hasn't even begun to warm yet. It'll be interesting to see how history and culture remember this segment of our development, who'll be the next Don Draper's and just how technology will evolve.
Opportunities are everywhere. Internet growth and online advertising are set to explode. Where will your business be?
Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but this one I just can't see how the management team didn't see the future of their business. Back in 2000 the internet was more than thriving and Blockbuster could have bought Netflix for a mere 50 million. As of today Netflix is worth over 128 billion, down from and all time high of 180 billion. In the summer of 2000, Blockbuster CEO John Antioco said "The dot-com hysteria is completely overblown". His council went on to state how the business models of Netflix and just about every other online business were not sustainable and would never make any money. That statement couldn't be any more wrong then than it is now. Read the full article here on Inc.com
How did these guys not see that by delivering their product online would eliminate all of their overhead, shipping and logistical nightmares. Yes, management and vision are two different things, but they shouldn't be. Doesn't matter what business you are in either, not only do you need a strong online presence, there is an evolution going on of how your customers will interact with you and not just on social media. Developers are building virtual realities to showcase products. Imagine if your customers could experience your products before they buy. This will be very popular with the gaming generation as they become the most powerful purchasers of consumer goods in 10 years.
If you haven't read the worst business blunders in tech history I would suggest Googling that phrase and see what you get. Branding blunders are even more common and they happen all the time. Avoid a brand blunder and start with a great domain name. A strong domain name is the foundation for enticing and retaining customers with a memorable name. Your domain name also attracts B2B partners and lays the ground floor for building supplemental income streams. Streams turn into rivers and maybe even into a whole new business model for your companies' survival. Have some vision and get creative.
Here's a company I discovered while looking for some keyword analysis on my GeorgiaBeachHomes.com website, Wordstream.
Not only does Wordstream offer keyword advice and optimization, they have a suite of utilities to tune up your marketing campaigns. Wordstream is a Google and Facebook Premier Partner leading the industry in search optimization.
I like the design of their wesite too and they have a wealth of information for those of you just getting started with online advertising. Spend a little time reading though the Pay Per Click University and learn about bid management and conversion tracking.
Writing is a huge part of building a great website and also the point where most sites fall short. Writing content isn't easy for most developers, they are good with the technical end and years ago with Visual Basic, I remember contests where it would challenge developers to write a function with less words last guy. Kind of like the show Name That Tune, where contestants had to identify a song within a few beats. Writers do a similar thing with landing the hook in the first sentence of a book. The challenge is can you grab the reader's attention and hold it with the first sentence. I've come up with a great one for a book I'll finish someday so I'm not going to reveal it here. One of my favorite comes from British historian and author Stewart Colette in his book Mumba. Here it is, "When you fall in love after the age of thirty, it's usually with someone else's wife." And, the Snoopy classic, "It was a dark and stormy night".
I enjoy writing without all the syntax and code sometimes, simply just to paint the picture with words is a true art, almost a lost art. Programming is art form, too. It's satisfying building a site and seeing it all come together, both form and function. The only drawback to coding is that the language changes often and web programming is an incorporation of many languages. For people outside the industry this would be like having to do your job in Russian and Italian starting next month. It has stabilized in the last 7 years and that's made development very productive.
There's a lot to learn in web development, you have to be a designer, graphic artist, software developer, marketing professional and author to make something worth going to. I am a one man band that enjoys getting it all done. If you're looking to have some work done, I'm looking for a good client. Feel free to call or send a message and let's see what you have in mind.
Many online businesses have been thriving throughout the pandemic, some have had an unprecedented 2nd quarter. How? The answer is simple, they have mastered the art of the UX (user experience). Evaluate your sites whole UX and ask these 10 questions about your site from Medium.com. I'd add credibility to that list and that begins with your domain name. The article is from 2018 and is every bit as relevant then as it is today.
For the DNN platform there's an upgrade for the developer's UX too with Vanjaro.com from Mandeeps.com. When you design all day, what you experience matters. The new UX is comparable to Wix, SquareSpace, and Weebly. Featuring a Drag & Drop Live Editor, Responsive Editing, Automatic Revision History, Workflow Management, and in context, user aware, centralized site administration and it's open source. Vanjaro.com is compatible with custom DNN Modules, (including XMod Pro) and hundreds of existing solutions on the DNN Store.
The experience is the journey. Make it better and make more sales.