You want to pick a domain name. Someone told you it was important to have a Web site. Cool. welcome to the late 20th century!
But what domain? Foremost, you should always own your name and any variations. You should own your business name. You should have a tagline, and own that. You should own all of the suffixes:.co,.mobi,.com,.net, and so forth for all of your domain names.
"So what do I call it?" you ask. Don't just pick anything that's available or funny.
Here are five reasons why your domain name can be one of the most important business decisions you make:
- It tells potential customers you understand a problem they have.
- It tells potential customers that you, and only you, can solve their problems.
- It tells potential customers what kind of audience you help.
- It solidifies your brand in potential customers' heads.
- It's your virtual storefront.
You may have noticed something: the only part of that list that concerns you is the last item.
Now, before you even start, memorize these rules.
Finally, imprint this in your marketing DNA:
|THE ONE RULE TO RULE THEM ALL|
Your domain name needs to instantly position you as someone who a) cares about your potential client's problems and b) can SOLVE them.
If you're serious about a domain name, you need to see it as an extension of your marketing, and you need recognize that this will be your first introduction to your potential clientele.
What's the primary objective for my domain name?
Do you want new clients? Do you want to announce a new blog or build a tribe of attorneys who will recommend you? Do you want to get people excited about a new book?
For example, I want people to know about my upcoming book, DOMINATE: How Smart Lawyers Crush Their Competition. I want to reserve a domain and create a place where people can learn about the book.
Do I use the title, or do I use something that will inform about the book? How about DominateHow2CrushCompetition (title)? Or do I use YouCanCrushYourCompetition (goal of the book)? I have a friend whose website is icanmakeyourich. He's a marketer. That gets people's attention.
Then ask yourself:
What's my target population (T-POP)?
Let's assume you're an estate planning attorney. Your T-POP is easy: people who want estate planning.
- But what age?
- Parents of young children?
- A couple where one or both travel for work?
- Sandwich generation caregivers?
- Retirees who have just now realized that they really need to do something?
- Does your T-POP know what "estate planning" is?
Your domain name has to be memorable and appeal to the tribe you want. That will only work if you address your T-POP's needs and problems.
Choose a name that will speak to those needs and problems. For example, estate-planning-sucks.com might really appeal to GenX and millennials, because it's funny and it says how they feel about writing a will. But your potential boomer clients could be really offended by it. They may agree that it does, but the phrase has a different meaning for them. Always use the right language for the right T-POP.
It's like wearing a really nice suit to court as opposed to a t-shirt that says "They killed Kenny!" I saw this at the store the other day. Ouch - mainly because the picture was stretched across the guy's ample belly.
Say you want your domain name to convince new college graduates or new parents that they need estate planning. Numbers and letters will work because the domain name will look like a text message - wills4u or plnurfutr. That's how millennials communicate, and they'll remember the site and assume you speak their language.
Something like "myestateplanningattorney" works for aging boomers, and perhaps the sandwich generation because it's more formal and gives them the sense of ownership and belonging. I quibble with this one because it doesn't tell the client anything about your practice. Neither does the name of your firm or business. You want to reassure this T-POP that writing a will or setting up a trust does not mean they will die or lose their independence.
Remember it's about your T-POP and their needs and problems. Address issues that keep them awake about not having a will, or planning for their future, or leaving a legacy.
Why not do something with pieces of estate planning that your desired tribe will recognize? Wills are the most obvious thing, although "Trusts" will appeal to certain crowd too. "Avoiding probate" will appeal to caregivers. Words like "protect" and "future" and "generations" appeal to retirees.
It's important not to simply think of some clever names and throw them up to see what sticks. Go to the Google keyword tool and check out what people are looking for. See which proposed domain gets the most hits and go from there.
Remember your PO and T-POP and your domain will be your most valuable asset.