Building your brand online can help you be one of the first people/businesses that comes to mind when someone is looking for your product or service. In the small town that I live in, there’s a woman who drives a truck around selling fresh produce. She’s known as the “fruit lady”. She is a walking/driving advertisement for her family owned business. Whenever conversation turns to where to buy the freshest fruits and vegetables, someone will mention her. She is a living example of someone who has done an excellent job of building their brand and creating top-of-mind awareness.
I don’t know if this branding strategy makes sense to anyone but me but when I first reserved my Twitter name, I puzzled over how I could tie it into my brand. After all, 15 characters isn’t much. If my domain name (keepupwiththeweb) had been 1 less character, I could have chosen that as my Twitter name. Of course that wasn’t the case. So I reserved KEEPUPWEB as my Twitter name and decided to make the best of it.
Last week, I forwarded and masked a new domain (that I had created to match my Twitter name KeepUpWeb) to this website. Yesterday, I went back to my GoDaddy domain manager and took the “masking” off. This means that if someone keys the URL www.KeepUpWeb.com into their browser address bar, after they’re redirected here, the URL www.KeepUpWithTheWeb.com will appear as the address. Why did I change my mind?
Well, I don’t know whether I chose the right domain name or the wrong one. (Is there such a thing as a right or wrong name? Maybe “better” would be a more appropriate term.) I like the domain name that I registered for this website. It’s easy to spell and it reflects the content I write about. It’s a name that I believe I can build a brand around. So why was I having second thoughts about it?
What TLD (top-level-domain) should you choose for your website? Should you use .COM, .BIZ, .US, .ORG, .NET?
If you’ve built a brand and people already know who you are, your most obvious choice for your domain name would be to register your brand name. Chances are high that name will not be available but if it is, you’re good to go. If you’re doing business in the USA, it’s pretty much expected for you to have a “.COM” top-level-domain. If someone has already registered the .COM version, I strongly suggest that you find another domain name and not settle for something like a .ORG or .BIZ. If you do that, visitors looking for you will most likely land on the website for your competition.