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How to Choose The Best Domain Name For Your Brand

Choosing a domain name that fits your brand could possibly be the most important thing that you could ever do for your website. It is pivotal for your success. A good domain name can be an extremely profitable marketing tool to help grow your brand. 

A strong domain name can create so many opportunities for your business, such as professional credibility, visibility, and mobility. Your domain name can also help you in search engine rankings. As you begin to grow your business, your name will become more recognizable by Google, in turn, drawing more customers to your site. 

The actual process of choosing a domain name can be intimidating. If you choose the wrong name, you risk damaging your brand or hurting your search rankings. Your name should compliment your business and create a lasting impression on your customers. In this article, we will share tips, tools and steps to choosing the best domain name for your brand.  

1. Use a .Com Domain Extension 

There are tons and tons of different domain name extensions available today, ranging from .com, to .net, .org, .online, .wine, .life, .jewelry, .photography and so on! There are 280 Internet domain extensions in total, so you would have a wide variety of extensions to choose from. We recommend choosing a .com extension, as they are viewed as the most credible type of website. As cool as it would be to have a unique looking domain name, stick with the .com extension. Believe it or not, .com is the most memorable domain extension. Those who aren’t as “tech-savvy” will automatically tack .com to the end of your domain, whether or not it ends with .com. It might be smart to just avoid the creative extensions and stick with ‘ole reliable.

2. Keep Domain Name Short 

It is important to include keywords into your domain name, but don’t overdo the length. Keep it short so that it is more memorable. Standard rules say to keep your domain name under 15 characters or less. Anything longer than 15 characters can start to get hard for users to remember. Longer domain names also come with the risk of a misspelling, deterring those users away from your site 

3. Keep it Brandable and Unique 

Along with making sure that your domain is short and ends in .com, you should also make sure that it’s unique and creative. Your business name should stand out in your users’ minds, so they never forget it! Before choosing your name, do some research on other blogs/websites and find out what words and names they are using. That research will come in handy more than you think. In the midst of creation, it will help keep you away from a copyright nightmare, yet inspire you to create something that fits your brand. Think of some names that are catchy, yet brandable. For example, websites like Amazon, Google, Target, and many more have very catchy business names that have shown to be wildly successful over the years. 

4. Leave Room to Expand 

When choosing a domain name, do not limit your options. If possible, think about where your business may be in a few years. If you see your business expanding, then do not limit your business! For example, a hair stylist might choose a domain name such as hairstylespace.com, but later might want to offer more services. Instead of branding the website hairstylespace, the hair stylist may want to consider a different business name that would encompass all of the services they offer. Keep in mind that moving your site to a new domain can be a pain in the rear end! Not only that, but it can cause many downfalls, including losing search engine rankings. Our advice is to do yourself a solid and create a flexible name from the very beginning. 

5. Avoid Hyphens and Double Letters 

Stay away from creating domain names with hyphens or double letters. Hyphens can easily be mistaken for suspicious content or spam, which will deter users from visiting your site. Domains with hyphens are also more prone to typos. If you choose a domain name with a hyphen, users may get confused and end up on your competitors site instead. It’s also a good idea to avoid using double letters because it increases the chances of making a typo. For example, let’s say you decided to make it: egggrass.com. Notice the three G’s in the domain name? That kind of a domain name will end up causing typos. Do your best to avoid things that would cause confusion! 

Choosing your domain name may seem like a daunting task, but at the end of the day it should be a fun and creative process. This is your opportunity to define your brand’s message and mission! If you need help with this process, the Hostirian team is filled with creative professionals who’ve done this for years! If you’re running out of ideas, they can help you determine the perfect domain name for your website. If you want to check to see what domain names are available, we have that too!

Create a Winning Website With These 5 Tips

Woman working on her website on a laptop

Websites should offer a service, not just lip service. By that we mean, your web provider should walk the walk, not just talk the talk! Thankfully, we here at Hostirian pride ourselves with top of the line service, so with us, you will never have to worry about lip service. To have a winning website, you need to make sure that your website actually offers something to a visitor. Here are five pointers that will help turn a passerby into someone who will stay to learn more. By offering these options to your visitors, you can turn a “potential” client into an “actual” client.

1. Get Their Email Addresses

A good way to get a lurker to introduce himself is to offer a resource that cannot be accessed without an email address. This could be a newsletter, a free online coaching video, a subscription, or anything else, as long as it stands behind a wall where contact information is key. Once that is given, use it to slowly introduce subscribers to your work. 

2. Give the Visitors Scheduling Options

People like to have options to schedule, reschedule, and cancel appointments at their convenience. One way to provide convenience is an online calendar that clients can use for scheduling without your involvement. A tool that we like to use here at Hostirian is called Start Booking. We even wrote an article that details how to use this powerful tool!

3. Show Off 

Now is not the time to be bashful. When someone checks out your website, illustrate that your knowledge is beyond stellar and absolutely vital to a successful life. Do this by offering a small e-book, providing a “tips and tricks” newsletter or perhaps recording a video interview so that visitors can get an idea of who you are. Do whatever you can to display who you are and the mission of your business. After all, first impressions are important!

4. Help Visitors Spend Money

While it takes far more effort on your part, make a shopping cart available on your website. This will allow visitors to hire you immediately. Once they learn more about you, they won’t be able to stay away. This also shows web visitors that your business is credible and can be taken seriously. Make sure that you have gone through all of the necessary security precautions when adding online shopping to your website. You will be showing that your business is trustworthy and those loyal followers will keep on coming back.

5. Respond to Best Questions from your Ideal Client

This would essentially be the Frequently Asked Questions area of your website. Presumably, a lot of potential clients will have the same sorts of problems, so why not have a section that lists popular questions and answers? This lets visitors to the website know that other people have had their problems, and that you know how to address those particular issues.

Should I Advertise on Instagram?

a phone sitting on a table

In today’s technologically advanced climate, there are no limits to what you can do in marketing and advertising. You have so many options in front of you. Your success is determined by the social media platform you use and how you use it to further your business. Let’s talk about Instagram. 

Instagram first launched in late 2010. Little did the public know that this measly application would soon become a social media giant. People and businesses all over the world have joined the platform since then in hopes of connecting, sharing and reaching a new crowd of people. Around 1 billion people are using Instagram today, standing as one of the most popular social media platforms out there, right behind Facebook. 

The great thing about Instagram is that it has unlimited marketing potential. Your business has the potential to grow to new heights. As much as Instagram has become a popular social media channel, it has also become a successful marketing platform. Instagram has built its fame around the ability to post visually pleasing pictures, which can be very effective for businesses with eye-catching content. 

The answer to your question is…

If you are wondering whether or not you should advertise on Instagram, you should consider your brand and audience. There are so many positive aspects to advertising on Instagram that you should consider before you completely rule it out. 

If you ask me, “Abby, should I advertise on Instagram?” , I would say, “Well young Padawan, it depends on your business goals. It all comes down to how well you can market your product visually. Though, in my opinion, it would always be a yes.” 

Before I keep throwing random, yet surprisingly interesting, information at you, consider these reasons to advertise on Instagram. 

1. Facebook and Instagram are sister platforms

If you have a Facebook account (which you should), you will be happy to know that the two are connected. Therefore, what you post on Instagram, can be shared to Facebook, helping you reach broader audiences. If you have been using Facebook for a while, you should be able to access your Facebook analytics and data to then target your audience on Instagram. That data will help you determine what has been working and what hasn’t. The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to posting ads on Instagram. You will already have an idea of what to do because you have done it on Facebook.

2. Integrate Shopify and sell products quickly and easily 

One of the many upsides to marketing on Instagram is the many different ways that you can visually market your product. Shopify is one of those channels that have allowed businesses to sell their products quickly and easily. Shopify is a one-stop-shop for businesses who want to sell their products through the app. Instagram’s shopping feature allows tagging of products on pictures so that users can purchase items directly through the Instagram app. Shopify makes the sales process super easy. This has been known as a great tool because businesses are converting sales right on the app instead of driving users to their website and then point of purchase. 

3. Engagement rate on Instagram is higher 

Yeah, you heard me right! The engagement rate on Instagram is higher than the engagement rate on any other social media platform. According to a recent study, Instagram generates 70% higher engagement rates than Facebook. It also generates 669% more engagement than Twitter! Even though Facebook stands as the leading social media platform, Instagram leads in engagement. It is considered by far the most engaged social platform for brands, with at least 2% to 7% of users engaging with each post. 

4. Easy marketing 

While investing in paid advertising will certainly do you some good, having an Instagram account can bring your brand more awareness. Generating a new following can be difficult, but you can at least have a good time trying. Simply having an Instagram account will allow you the opportunity to engage with users, post subtle ads, create more brand awareness, and grow a loyal following. It could not be easier! Even if you didn’t want to spend any money on advertising, you would still have the ability to post on your business account and gain followers organically. Posting on Instagram allows you the opportunity to tell your brand story in a way that is not too over-promotional. You can even be creative with your posting too, such as creating giveaways, shouting out loyal followers, and going live on your story to answer customer questions. 

5. Different ways to advertise

In the last segment, I talked about how simply having an account will do wonders for your brand, as long as you engage and post consistently! This is true, but if you wanted to take your marketing a step further, there are several different things that you could do. With Instagram, you are able to utilize photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and stories ads. Each type of ad is displayed on a different area of Instagram in an attempt to capture the attention of different audiences. Before you throw all of your ad spend into each type of ad, think about what would most successfully bring your brand more awareness. 

When deciding whether or not marketing on Instagram is right for you, ask yourself if these five positive aspects of advertising fits in with your brand goals. As mentioned before, Instagram has unlimited marketing potential. It all depends on what you do with that potential that can take your brand to new heights. Along the way, you may even gain a better understanding of your customer base, reach untapped customers, and build a better brand-follower relationship. 

5 Benefits of SEO for Small Businesses

So many things have changed, technologically and digitally, over the years. Although much has changed, the idea of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, hasn’t changed a bit. In fact, it is still considered one of the most significant marketing strategies out there. 

Businesses and websites all over the world utilize SEO to grow their business, sales, customer base, and yearly revenue. SEO has numerous benefits that are all known to improve a website’s visibility, help drive targeted organic search traffic to websites, help turn those customers into clients, and much more. 

There is no doubt that these benefits are important for large businesses, but they are even more crucial for small businesses looking to grow. If you are a small business owner and have yet to utilize SEO, you need to start, NOW! SEO is your ticket to a bigger, more successful business. 

We have outlined five benefits of SEO for small businesses like yours. 

1. Heightened Brand Awareness 

People who are searching for words and terms that are relevant to your business are more likely to come across your small business website. Depending on the ways that you have optimized your website, people from all over the world could be seeing your site at the top of the search results page more than once. The more your website is seen on the first page of the search results, the more brand awareness that you are receiving. Brand awareness is so important because it means that more people are aware of your site. It also means that they are more likely to click, share with their friends, and consider your business in the future. 

2. Cost-Effective Marketing 

Utilizing SEO the right way can actually be a very cost-effective opportunity to digital market to a broader audience. As you may know, bigger businesses have larger budgets to spend on pay-per-click advertising, Facebook ads, and other types of highly priced advertising. While bigger businesses can outspend you on marketing techniques, you can win the competition by working smarter and not harder! With SEO, you aren’t paying for ad space. You are basically just optimizing your site and positioning yourself to be noticed by a greater number of people. Once you start getting more traffic to your site, you won’t have to spend money on marketing because you will already be getting that desired traffic! For small businesses, SEO is easy on the budget and great for your website! 

3. Increased Conversion Rates 

With more clicks comes more traffic, especially if those clicks are coming from people searching for products relevant to yours. The more traffic that you have on your site, the more likely you are to see those conversions. If your website is easily accessible and indexed near the top of the page, you should have no problems seeing more sales and customers. It’s all about how you optimize your site. If you’re lucky, those customers may return and bring their friends too! 

4. More Customers

The main goal for a small business should be to grow their company, draw in more customers, and make more sales. You can do all of this by simply investing in your website’s SEO. In fact, small businesses who have websites grow twice as fast as small businesses who don’t. So, if you have a website, you are already ahead of the curb. This statistic shows us that people are online and they are ready to spend money. You just have to put yourself in front of those people. SEO is incredibly important for small businesses like yours because it puts your website in front of people who may otherwise never see your brand. All it takes is a little optimization on your website and Google will take notice! Not only will you find more customers, but you will also find new markets. 

5. A Better, More Productive Website 

Before indexing, Google looks at every inch of your website and decides on its usability and functionality. A website is really all about the user experience. You want to make sure that your website is easy to navigate, use and purchase products from. Optimizing your website for SEO can help you do that. Pay attention to things on your site, such as your call-to-action button, your navigation bar, your URLs, your page layouts, and much more. When your website is easier to use, you’ll find that you have more visitors lurking your site and buying your products.

Although SEO practices are incredibly important for businesses of all kinds, it is important to stress that small businesses need to be paying the most attention. Investing just a little more time and money into your website optimization will pay off when you finally see your website on the first page of those search results. Wondering how you can optimize your website for SEO? Don’t worry, we have the answer to that too.