The Interactive Advertising Bureau has released its latest report, revealing that search advertising actually outpaced the Internet at large during the first half of 2011, showing a 27% increase from $5.75 billion to $7.3 billion. With the competition for searching eyes increasing so rapidly, the question now becomes: how can you tip the scales in your brand’s favor?
One fresh idea that is often overlooked in campaign development is the critical role that your company’s domain name plays in successful search advertising. The right domain—or portfolio of domains—can help spur your company’s rise to the top without the perpetual cost of search advertising.
One company, Bobbleheads.com, is a perfect example. Although bobblehead dolls are a niche product, the popularity of these collectibles has created a fiercely competitive market. Entrepreneur Warren Royal was looking to enter that market when he purchased the domain names bobbleheads.com and bobblehead.com in 2008 for $29,112 and $36,000 respectively. Although such an upfront cost might sound steep for a startup, natural website traffic alone brought a monthly average of 13,500 visitors to bobbleheads.com, and the website was the second result in a Google search for “bobbleheads” – all without any search advertising. Since then, Royal’s business has thrived. He is seeing over 1,000 visitors daily and has turned down offers to buy his business for several hundred thousand dollars.
Clearly not every business can afford a “category killer” domain such as bobbleheads.com, but there are a number of ways to boost your company’s online presence with a sound domain strategy. If you haven’t already, ask yourself which keywords people would search for when looking for your business and consider incorporating those words into your company’s domain portfolio. Adding descriptive or geographic (.de, .co.uk, .eu, .fr, .es, etc.) names to your portfolio can grow online traffic and help consumers find your company online. Elevating your business above other online noise is the end goal of any search advertising investment, but it is important to entertain other means to the same end. In a neck-and-neck race, minor advantages make all the difference.