fbpx

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. 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Free Hosting

The day has come! You have decided that you are finally going to start your own website. How exciting! After some research, you come to find that you need a web hosting plan. To your surprise, there are two options: free hosting and paid hosting. While you are staring at your computer screen, mentally analyzing the differences between the two, you immediately begin to think “Well, what’s the difference?” 

You may be thinking, “I just need a website… The free version will do!” 

For those new to the world of websites, the “free version” may seem like the better alternative because… well, it’s free. But, think again! There are a handful of obvious differences between free hosting and paid hosting that may cause you to consider dishing out a few extra dollars per month. 

What is Free Hosting?

Free web hosting is just how it sounds. It is a web hosting service that is offered free of charge to the public. A majority of free hosting plans include free server space, global reach over the web, a free domain name, and other limited capabilities. All this sounds great, right? Well, it comes with a catch… or a few. 

The only real advantage to using a free hosting service is that it is free! A free hosted website is really just a limited version of what you could really do with a paid plan. But, let’s get something straight. Anything that is considered “free” online actually comes with a price. You are not legitimately getting any service for free. If you are not paying for the product, then you are the product. This includes free web hosting. If you are not paying anything for your service, then you are accepting that there will be some kind of exchange. The option to sign up for a free site is just a way to get you to upgrade for their paid plan. For this reason, almost every feature of the free plan is limited in some way or another.

5 Disadvantages of Free Hosting

Expect to deal with these five things when signing up for a free hosting plan.

  1. Ads- EVERYWHERE

You will be seeing many more advertisements on your website when you sign up for free hosting. As annoying as ads can be, it is actually a fair trade. The service is free because of the potential money that the web provider could make from you. Every time you click on an ad on your site, your web provider makes money. Since you are not paying for any kind of service, they have to make money on you somehow, right? Your web provider has to pay for the space and equipment to host your site. Because of this, your website is basically an advertisement. If you don’t mind the ads around your content, this might be a good route for you.

  1. Limited Access to Customer Support 

With a free hosting plan, you can expect to receive limited access to customer support. Most web providers that offer free services say that you will receive 24/7 support. Though, take that promise with a grain of salt! That’s not to say that you won’t receive help if you need it! But, your free site will most likely not be their #1 priority. Customer support was created for the convenience of the paying customer. Paying customers will have their website issues figured out right away, while you may be waiting a while to get yours fixed. 

  1. Domain Name Branding

Free hosting plans will not provide you with a real domain name. You will be given a sub domain name that includes their name in your URL. For example, let’s say you created a free website with WordPress. Your domain name would include “WordPress” in the URL: such as, Janedoe.wordpress.com. Web providers do this for branding and advertising purposes. With a free hosting plan, you do not have complete control over your domain name. Remember, your domain name is an important element of your brand. If you don’t mind sharing your domain name with your web provider, then this plan might be for you. Your web provider will always give you the option to upgrade to a hosted plan to receive a real domain name, if you so choose.

  1. Limited Features

Surprise, surprise! Your free hosting plan comes with limited capabilities. Many free plans restrict the number of free pages that each user receives. With a free hosting plan, you may only receive a few pages that you can utilize for your website goals. Once you have used up those few pages, you will be given an option to upgrade for a low price. With this plan, you will also receive limited bandwidth. The bandwidth is the amount of visitors allowed on your website per month. If you use more bandwidth than you are given, most web providers will force you to purchase a paid plan. Lastly, you will have limited data transfer speed. This means that your site might be slower due to sharing the server with many others. 

  1. Nearly Impossible to be Indexed  

Unfortunately, it is pretty difficult to optimize a free website. Google’s ranking algorithm includes many different pieces that all work together to get websites ranked at the top of the page. Things such as web speed, mobile-friendliness, security, the domain name and much more play a part in being ranked. Those things, and many more, are not possible with a free site. Part of this reason is because free sites are more vulnerable to spam content, which Google blocks and prevents from being indexed. Because of these reasons, and more, search engines prioritize paid hosted sites over free hosted sites. Free hosted plans may also restrict your access to site analytics. Some web providers may give you access to some free statistics about your website, but sites like Google Analytics won’t allow free websites to hold an account. 

If you are still on the fence about spending money on a hosting plan, then consider the differences. Think about what you want to accomplish with your website and then choose your plan from there. Chances are, you will accomplish many more of your goals with a paid hosting plan. A free hosting plan would be perfect for someone who wants to learn the basics of creating and operating a website. If you don’t expect much traffic to your site, you’re not bothered by the lack of webpages, you don’t mind the ads, or the domain name, then this would be a perfect option for you! Though, if you are a brand or a business who needs to establish an online presence, you will be much better off paying for a hosting plan!