A business website, no matter how basic, requires some strategy built around it, from the font and color scheme to the content and domain name.
This might sound overwhelming, but don’t fret. We turned to Sarah Fruy, a pro when it comes to marketing, digital publishing, and online advertising, to walk us through some of the basics. As the Director of Brand and Digital Experiences at Pantheon–a WebOps platform that operates more than 300,000 websites around the world to make sure everything runs smoothly (and safely)–she knows the must-dos and must-don’ts of building websites.
To start, Fruy shares her tips on picking the right domain. Picking a domain is, after all, one of the first steps you’ll take when launching a business website.
“Businesses should consider four things when choosing a domain name: awareness, scalability, and simplicity,” says Fruy. Here, she lists what you should know when picking your domain name.
- When it comes to awareness, do some research before committing to anything. In addition to making sure the domain name is available, confirm that it is also available as a profile name or handle on popular social media sites, advises Fruy. Look at keywords that will increase awareness for your business and consider adding them to the URL.
- In terms of scalability, think 5-10 years down the line. Where will your business be then? “Your domain name should be able to grow with your company, so stay away from names that could lock you into a niche that will force you to rebrand in a few years’ time,” says Fruy.
- When it comes to simplicity, keep it short and, well, simple. You want people to be able to remember the URL. Long phrases, misspelling words, and adding hyphens will complicate this task and confuse your audience. “People have very short attention spans,” says Fruy. “If they are just learning about your company, a tricky URL could end their customer journey just as it is beginning.”
- You want to be simple and findable. Avoid choosing domain names that are confusing, or are too similar to those used by your direct competitors.
Your website will likely become the showpiece for your company when it comes to customers evaluating your product/offering.
“In fact, most if not all of your marketing programs will reference the URL, so put a lot of thought into what it represents for your brand and your business,” says Fruy. Consider how it will look on signage at an event, in banner ads, or on business cards.
Says Fruy, “What will it sound like when you are sharing it with another person over coffee or pointing people to it in a podcast interview? Give them something to remember, so your brand won’t be forgotten.”