Today, does your domain limit where and how your business grows tomorrow?
Use the restroom, grab your coffee and a snack for today’s thoughts. Let’s begin.
I’m not certain that too many business owners think about the posed question in great detail. It’s quite apparent when observing the number of businesses within the radius of where one lives and works.
Personally, I encounter and engage a small number of SMB businesses that “get it” while others don’t have a clue nor do they clearly comprehend the importance of a digital presence.
I understand that there are industries and markets that don’t rely on a digital presence being the deciding factor for their line of business.
In fact, for most SMB businesses, word of mouth is their powerhouse marketing and advertising driving their business to profitable success.
And for SMB businesses without word of mouth, review services such as Google Reviews, Angie’s List and Yelp, to name a few, are the deciding factor in increasing their revenue or completely shutting their business’ doors.
Which brings me to the point of today’s post about whether your business’ domain is a catalyst for growth, or if it constricts and is limiting the growth of your business.
Much insight can be gained from an initial encounter, whether formal or informal, with a SMB business and it’s digital presence.
I don’t speak in terms of visiting a website directly, although much can be said for performing such an action.
The digital presence I speak of is when one come’s into contact with a SMB business’ domain name for the first time.
As much as it says about a company, it’s also imperative to understand that a business’ domain name declares what a company is NOT.
Your brand in its entirety is always on display, whether you know it or not.
For example, I was driving into the office one rainy morning, minding my business, when I turned a corner to encounter a hunter green dump truck. I could tell from afar that the dump truck had writing on its tailgate.
As I approached the slowly moving dump truck, I was able to make out that it displayed a domain and a phone number in big white letters on the back of its tailgate. The phone number read 512-263-7744, and the domain, which was placed above it, read AsapStoneSupply.com.
The dump truck came to a complete stop as the rain picked up a bit, not realizing I was behind it. My guess was the person driving was a bit disoriented with where they were headed. Nevertheless, I waited.
As I waited for the dump truck to figure out what it was going to do, I whipped out my phone camera, snapping a quick shot of the dump truck’s tailgate.
No sooner than I snapped the shot, the dump truck proceeded to move again, passing my destination. I arrived at my destination to start another productive and profitable day’s work.
Are you the the sole owner of your brand’s digital presence?
Whatever the reason, I could not shake the dump truck’s domain name from my mind throughout the day.
Then, the thought, in the form of a question, finally dawned on me as I reviewed the company’s nicely developed and responsive website.
Why would a landscaping company register a domain name containing the word stone?
Sure, AsapStoneSupply.com is only 15 letters and falls within the range of keeping a domain under 20 characters. But why not register AsapLandscapeSupply.com as well and redirect it to AsapStoneSupply.com?
After all, AsapLandscapeSupply.com falls with range of being less than 20 characters long. It contains 19 characters exactly.
Again, it is quite often a missed opportunity, and one that average business owners often don’t consider.
Really think in regards to what I’m about to share with you.
AsapStoneSupply.com was registered March 30, 2009. AsapLandscapeSupply.com was registered July 6, 2015.
Let this sink in for a moment. This means that AsapLandscapeSupply.com was available for purchase nearly 8 years, and now is owned by someone else.
Why would a company not register alternative domains containing their brand?
It’s a no brainer that a business should register domains containing their brand and service keywords. If this is you, stop now and go defensively register YOUR FUTURE.
We’ve still not answered the question of this section soundly. Why would a “LANDSCAPING” company register a domain name containing the word stone in it?
To answer this question, I cracked open a web browser and Googled. To my dismay, AsapStoneSupply.com ranks reasonably in search engines for the phrases “stone supply austin” (ranking #2 and in spot #2 for Google Maps) and “austin stone supply” (ranking #2).
Based on research, ASAP’s ranking has much to do with having setup and executed the following:
- A Responsive and Optimized website
- YouTube Profile
- Facebook Page
- Google Places listing
- Houzz listing
- Manta listing
- SuperPages.com listing
- YellowPages.com listing
- Yelp listing
- and many more local service listings
So, hats off to ASAP’s diligent effort in creating a decent online presence, having a reasonably ranked website although not many backlinks. All things considered, at least their website is ranking on page one to start.
Are you a closed business or an open business?
But this still doesn’t answer our question though. Yes, business could be going well today for ASAP, allowing them to make money hand over fist. But what about tomorrow, or years and decades down the line?
After all, Austin is one of the fastest cities in Texas as well as the United States. A record number of people have moved and KEEP moving to Austin. That phrase, KeepMovingToAustin.com, has almost unseated the longstanding “KeepAustinWeird.com” mantra.
Nevertheless, with an increase in population comes an opportunity for more competition because of increased landscaping demands.
You may be thinking, “big deal, so what? That’s business!” Okay, I agree that it’s an everyday occurrence for businesses to face new competition and all that comes with such territory.
However, if that’s the case, then this next point I explore puts greater emphasis on answering why a landscaping business would register a domain name containing the word stone.
Are you a stone business, a landscaping business, or both?
If you know that you’re facing the increasing digital winds of competition, then why on earth would you not prepare to restrict the competition and use the digital winds to your advantage?
Knowing that ASAP is truly a landscaping company, I encourage ASAP to invest in domains that include landscape to decrease the digital winds of their competition, whether present or future. Understand that this doesn’t mean ASAP could not own domains including stone.
Not knowing the how profitable ASAP is, I would assume that stone is their best seller. But again, ASAP bills itself as a stone and landscaping supply company in the first few sentences of their website.
Although stone may have been where they started ASAP as a business, it’s quite limiting to the overall business in terms of service expansion.
Think about it for a minute. Based on seeing the dump truck tailgate alone, I would assume ASAP sells nothing but stone.
What if I needed sand, loam, or soil? Personally, I wouldn’t automatically think of ASAP as providing such services without visiting their website.
In fact, I would probably search for “landscape supply” or “landscaping supply”. Oh wait, let’s take a minute and do just that.
Well, here are the results (see image below): ASAP IS NOT FOUND IN SEARCH RANKINGS. The interesting thing to note in the image below is what is displayed via search rankings.
Do you notice anything about any of the listed rankings? Let me help you if not.
Notice how many companies are listed with “landscape supply” or “landscape supplies” included in their domain name.
In fact and more specifically, take notice of AustinLandscapeSupplies.com, RoundRockLandscapeSupplies.com and LandscapesSupplyWaco.com.
I searched Google for “landscape supply” and local search listings were returned. Let this sink in a moment. What do we see and NOT see?
Wait a minute… How does a company in Waco out rank a Austin-based and operated company, AsapStoneSupply.com?
Exactly, that’s the power of a domain name. The RIGHT domain names offer the ability to CRUSH your competition in and OUTSIDE of your market, especially when your focus is a local market like Austin, Texas.
And to add injury to insult, the Waco domain is an inverse geo service domain, rather a service geo domain.
Generating customer growth and revenue at the competition’s expense
Oh and before I move on, curiosity got the best of me with AustinLandscapeSupplies.com and RoundRockLandscapeSupplies.com.
I just had to know what happened if i used “supply” instead of “supplies”.
Type in “AustinLandscapeSupply.com” into a web browser. Notice anything? Now type in “RoundRockLandscapeSupply.com”. Notice anything?
Exactly, both redirect to AustinLandscapeSupplies.com.
This means that anyone that mistakingly types “RoundRockLandscapeSupply.com” instead of “RoundRockLandscapeSupplies.com” ends up at “RoundRockLandscapeSupplies.com” competitor’s website, “AustinLandscapeSupplies.com”.
Think about that. AustinLandscapeSupplies.com is winning and converting customers because their competition didn’t have the foresight to register domains containing their industry keywords and, more importantly, BRAND.
Without seeing a website, who do you think as more credibility, AustinLandscapeSupplies.com or AsapStoneSupply.com?
In my opinion, about the only thing that ASAP has going for it is that its domain is shorter. That’s about it.
That’s a sobering lesson to say the least.
And again, where exactly is ASAP in all of this?
Unfortunately, and in my opinion, they are and will become a distant thought of the past as time progresses.
Look at what else I uncovered: diamonds in the rough.
Now I don’t sit here and claim to know the future or business plans of any of the aforementioned companies. At best guess, I’m doing just that, guessing.
However, there’s one thing that I know to be true and that is not a guess. Companies that learn how to effectively use domains to their benefit simply CRUSH their competition today and TOMORROW.
And yet another thought occurred based on the aforementioned companies.
I wondered how many stone and landscaping domains, targeting Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park and Leander, are not registered and available for hand registration.
Using a simple domain bulk search, here’s what domains are available for registration containing “stone supply” and “stone supplies”:
One thing to note is how I shortened city names using abbreviations (i.e., RR, ATX, CP).
So, if you’re strictly in the stone supply business and your market is a local market, then review the domains, gems might I add, that are staring you in the face ready and waiting to be registered.
And you know I couldn’t resist going one step further to identify domains available for registration containing “landscape supply” and “landscape supplies”:
*Denotes domain was available for hand registration at the time this article was written
Notice that I also added a “r” to the word landscape that also opened the door for additional domains.
Just look at that goldmine of a domain list. 33 out of 42 domains are available for purchase. That’s absolutely amazing! They are truly diamonds in the rough.
Now you can argue that some of the domains are long, and you would be right. But what you can’t argue is that AsapStoneSupply.com is more effective.
Think of it like this. You can be right and out of business at the hands of the competition, or be effective and limit, if not eliminate, the competition altogether.
While these domains are available for registration at the current moment as I type this post, there are numerous ASAP-like businesses increasingly spending their hard earned marketing and advertising dollars in hopes of converting more customers.
All the while, these same companies are missing customers directly typing in the domain to see if a credible company exists to meet their need.
The list of domains above barely scratches the surface of the numerous cities and services that exist, with more to come in the future.
Spending to promote a perfect brick vs Investing in flawed diamonds
I’d rather invest in flawed diamonds and their value than wasting money on perfect bricks.
Some business owner will read this very article and act upon making one of the biggest investments in the life of their business, while others will simply perish at the hands of the competition.
It’s IMPERATIVE that your business invests in and builds its digital presence using a single domain or redirecting multiple domains to a single domain.
Such an opportunity offers your business greater expansion rather than limits or pigeon holes service offerings and overall business growth.
So I close ask you the question I started with: