Choosing a domain name is similar to choosing a company name — it requires a lot of thought and consideration. Remember there are long term implications in Google Search for your domain name so choose wisely. Your domain name is your identity on the web; you want to make sure you choose a name that not only fits your business, but is also easy to find and promote.
Follow these steps to help you pick the perfect domain name.
1. Make it easy to type
Finding a domain name that’s easy to type is very important to online success. If you use slang (u instead of you) or words with multiple spellings (express vs. xpress), it might be harder for customers to find your site and they may end up visiting a competitors site or a site unrelated to your business.
2. Keep it short
If your domain name is long and complex (Example: Landscapingexpertsofcharlottenc.com, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is going to be your best bet.
3. Use keywords
Try using keywords that describe your business and the services you offer as that will help your rank higher intitially. For example, if you’re a landscaping business, you may want to register HomeLandscaping.com or ResidentialLandscape.com.
Include the keywords that people enter when searching for your products or services. It helps improve your rank on search engines (which increases traffic) and just makes more sense to your customers.
4. Target your area
If your business is local, consider including your city or state in your domain name to make it easy for local customers to find and remember. Example: CharlotteLandscapers.com.
5. Avoid numbers or hyphens
Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood in search or in other printed materials — people who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (5) or it’s spelled out (five) or they misplace or forget the dash. (5Landscapers.com or Five-Landscapers.com). If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe to keep away competition.
6. Be memorable
Remember you aren't the only person who does what you do in your business. There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain that’s catchy and memorable is essential to search. Once you’ve come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.
7. Research it
Make sure the name you’ve selected isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could result in a huge legal mess that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain!
8. Use an appropriate domain name extension
Extensions are suffixes, such as .com or .net, at the end of web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that works for your business. The .com domain extension is far and away the most popular, but it can be tough to get a short and memorable .com domain name because it’s been around for so long.
A bevy of new generic top-level domains — like .photography, .nyc and .guru — offer a great opportunity to register short and highly relevant names. And here are some other top extensions and how they’re often used:
Have additional questions about selecting a domain? Are you building a website for your small business and don't know where to begin? Contact us at Banyan Creative.
Got a couple meetings today and figuring out how to get it all done? Ever had that meeting where you couldn't find the meeting invite you are digging through emails and calendar invites? Or even worse you join the meeting, the call drops, you are on your phone and now you are combing through your phone to find out how to log back in? If you can relate to this then we are indeed sojourners.
As a small business owner, I understand the power and value of simple technology to help small businesses get a lot more done with less time and less margin. When I discover a new platform or tool that makes business faster, more flexible, more cost effective my ears perk up.
A few months ago I checked out WebEx personal rooms for every WebEx Meeting Center customer. Now it’s easier than ever to get a meeting started. Rather than scheduling a meeting, all you have to do to start a meeting is share your permanent and personalized URL.
One of my personal favorite use cases happens to me a few times a month. As a small business owner, managing many meetings, project schedules, website builds, ad campaigns, paying the vendors, keeping up on emails, running carpool lines, running in between meetings, riding my bike when I can, I often find myself in traffic when a meeting is about to start – and many times it’s a meeting I am supposed to host. Yes... I know. I said it. I'm late sometimes.
To start the meeting, all I do is tap the WebEx meeting notification on my iPhone. WebEx instantly opens my personal room, immediately admits all guests into the meeting, and also lets WebEx know to call me back on the same phone. I simply answer that call via the hands-free button on my car’s steering wheel. It’s magic. There are no numbers to dial, nor passwords, no PIN numbers to look up in old emails. And I can keep my eyes on the road and my hands on the wheel.
I'm thinking about upgrading to the Apple Watch, which after an easy tap on the wrist automatically launches a Webex personal room on command. Part George Jetson.... Part awesome. It then instantly opens the door for all of my guests, and calls me back when we are ready to begin. Simple, quick, efficient. This is the power technology, and in a modern flexible workforce where things change on the fly this is a win for technology driven small business owners. We are pretty sure its the first conference call you initiate from the touch of a wrist.
And now hear all the field sales reps breathe a collective sigh of relief....
Sam Casey is the Managing Partner at Banyan Creative. He also is known to be late (every once in awhile) but loves the hustle of it all. But now thanks to the new Webex app for iPhone his life just got way easier and is now out of excuses.
Understanding the psychology of colors is vital to designing an effective logo.
So you just launched a new small business and you are excited to get out there and tell the world. But first you need a logo. What's going to attract the right customers? How do you capture the essence of the business in the logo? What's going to look great on a business card, signage, shirts etc. The human mind is highly responsive to visual stimuli, and color is one of the major defining factors in that response. On both a conscious and subconscious level, colors convey a whole lot of meaning. Graphic designers need to harness the power of color psychology to bring resonance & meaning to their designs – and in no field is this more important than that of logo design.
The use of color can bring multiple layers of meaning, from primitive responses based on millions of years of evolved instinct to the complex associations we make based on learned assumptions. Companies can use these responses to underline and accent their branding messages. And your success as a logo designer or business owner in need of a logo design will be boosted if you have a thorough understanding of color psychology.
Logos are a critical aspect of business marketing. As the company's major graphical representation, a logo anchors a company's brand and becomes the single most visible manifestation of the company within the target market. For this reason, a well-designed logo is an essential part of any company's overall marketing strategy.
What different colors mean
Every color, including black and white, has implications for logo design. As a business owner working with a professional graphic designer, you need to pick your colors carefully to enhance specific elements of the logo and bring nuance to your message with the use of shade and tone.
In general terms, bright and bold colors are attention-grabbing but can appear brash. Muted tones convey a more sophisticated image, but run the risk of being overlooked. More specifically, particular meanings are ascribed to different colours in society...
Single or multiple colors?
To get the maximum impact of your chosen color's coded message, at Banyan Creative we normally stick with a single color when creating a logo design. That said, there are some very successful multi-colored logos – think of Google, Windows or eBay. The implication of multiple colors is that these companies are offering a wide choice of products and services. The multiple colors used for the Olympic rings carry a message of diversity and inclusivity.
If your client is a global corporation, choose your logo color with care. There are cultural differences in the way colors are interpreted. For example, red is considered lucky in China, while white is the color of death and mourning in India. There's a good round up of the cultural connotations of different colors here.
Finally, don't put too much focus on color choice. Consider that one in 12 of us suffer from color blindness. Plus there's always the likelihood that any logo you produce for a client will end up be reproduced in monochrome, or even in different colors, as they see fit. So make sure your color choice reinforces and enhances the design of your logo – but doesn't define it.
Need help with you logo? Contact us at Banyan Creative
Sam Casey is the Managing Partner at Banyan Creative. He enjoys helping small business owners launch new businesses, rebrand old ones, and help them develop a stronger digital footprint. He also enjoys drinking a lot of coffee while designing logos and would be happy to buy you a cup and talk marketing.
When people think about industries that use reviews, their minds tend to two places first:
But tons of growing industries have started using reviews in innovative, industry-specific ways to attract customers, gain traction, and boost sales. Online businesses in these fast growing markets need to attract customers quickly or risk being left behind. This isn't just for enterprise marketing. We are see small local businesses as well capitalize on this opportunity.
Here’s a spotlight on how savvy brands in 5 emerging industries use reviews to attract new customers to power growth.
1. Drone Brands Use Reviews to Stay Ahead of the Competition
Drones are all the rage in 2016, and they’re not showing signs of slowing down: according to a report by Grand View Research Inc., the drone industry is expected to rise to $2.07 billion by 2022. The majority of the growth in this industry will be happening in the commercial – not military – sector.
And commercially, drones are expected to impact nearly every major vertical.
A Business Insider report says, “The global commercial drone market will take shape around applications in a handful of industries: agriculture, energy, utilities, mining, construction, real estate, news media, and film production. “
In such a highly competitive space with tons of new players entering, customer feedback is vital for helping companies stand out to get new customers. Reviews give drone companies the social proof they need to attract traffic and convince shoppers to choose their products over the competition.
Jonathan Baird, founder of Drones Etc., explains how customer reviews have helped him get an edge on the competition:
“Each happy customer is an extremely valuable ambassador that helps grow the brand. Since adding reviews, we’ve seen around a 10% increase in traffic and revenue across the board.” Jonathan Baird | Founder of Drones Etc.
With more expensive items like drones, product reviews are especially important.
And for expensive items, it’s crucial to have tons of reviews to instill trust in new shoppers nervous about making a big purchase.
“Drones are a popular, high-growth retail category, with broad choices for quality, features, price, as well as hobbyist and professional applications. Authentic customer reviews are a critical tool for helping consumers narrow their choices and drive to a purchasing decision, and a great review can push a sale over the line,” Rick McInnes from Drone Nerds explains.
Additionally, because drones are such a new and quickly evolving technology, drone brands need to be on their top game in understanding customer complaints and working to improve the product as quickly as possible.
“Customer reviews have been vital for receiving feedback on our sales and delivery process in real time. If we get a bad or not stellar review we can immediately huddle as a team and figure out what we did wrong and how to fix it so it doesn’t happen again,” Baird says.
2. Financial Services Stay Relevant with Customer Reviews
Financial services is another growing industry that struggles to get customers because of a lack of trust and engagement.
People approach financial services with stress and uncertainty, and these companies need to transmit reassurance and show they are trustworthy and honest in order to attract customers.
They need reviews to establish credibility in an industry where most people are skeptical.
Many companies in the financial industry offer similar suites of services. Therefore, customer satisfaction is a huge differentiator for them.
Probably the biggest challenge financial services face today is attracting millennial customers.
Millennials are characterized by their lack of trust in institutions, specifically financial ones which they do not trust (they have lived through enough crashes and crises to not trust banks).
However, millennial customers have just now reached the age where they must begin to interact with the financial industry – they are getting married, buying homes, having children, consolidating student loans. Therefore, financial services need to change the way they offer services.
Millennials do not trust them, but they do trust each other. This is why personal experience and word of mouth is crucial for attracting quality traffic and customers who already come in the door with a trusting mind.
Also, when it comes to financial interactions, the tendency of customers is to pick one company and stick with them for life, so it is crucial for the company to be there at the decision making time.
People do write reviews about financial services on third-party websites, and these reviews are usually negative.
A lot of the time the people writing these negative reviews did not actually complete a transaction with the company because they were, for example, refused a loan and they are upset.
So they go on third-party websites like Yelp to rant. Financial service companies are having trouble getting reviews from customers that actually completed a transaction.
But financial service companies that are taking control of their reviews are seeing huge positive benefits.
LendKey allows consumers to refinance their student loans online, through credit unions and community banks. Here is what David Barak, Director of Acquisition Marketing & Analytics at LendKey had to say:
“People are extremely sensitive about sharing financial information online – and due to some bad practices in the early days of the industry, people are also very skeptical of online lending. I knew that social proof was going to be important, but we needed to do it in a way that was genuine and transparent.
Reviews allow financial institutions to increase engagement and trust among visitors.
“Since LendKey started publishing reviews on its product pages, we’ve had an uptick in the time visitors spend on our site, the number of pages they see, and the degree to which they convert,” Barak says.
Sam Casey is the Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner at Banyan Creative.