This blog was originally published on Name.com.
by, Ethan Conley, Name.com
[…] To me, the best thing about a .BIZ domain name is flexibility. It opens up some options that just aren’t available with .COM.
No need to include “store” or “shop” in your domain name
You’re a small business owner named Mike. You’ve got a hardware store named (drum roll) Mike’s Hardware Store, and you want to create a basic website with contact information, directions, hours, etc. mikeshardware.com is already taken. Which of these available domain names is easier for customers to remember and type into an address bar?
Option A: mikeshardwarestore.com (22 characters)
Option B: mikeshardware.biz (17 characters)
Not only is option B shorter, but the .BIZ ending makes it unnecessary to include “store” in your domain name.
Clears up ambiguity
Of course, whether you go with mikeshardwarestore.com, mikeshardware.biz, or some other variation, people will still get the idea that it’s a hardware store run by a dude named Mike. But what if your business name doesn’t convey exactly what your business does, or even that it’s a business at all?
Did you miss Post 1 in this series? Read it here.
Social media is the second area that business owners can easily measure their online influence and impact. When benchmarking social media success, it’s important to take into consideration that social media should be used as a means to an end, not THE END. Social media can be a great resource to help build your business’ credibility among your target market. Use social media to drive customers to your .US website, continue through your sales funnel and eventually convert.
Often times, social media is stereotyped as the marketing tactic that “can’t be measured.” However, there are many different ways you can measure the value and business impact social media brings to your bottom line.
Below are just a few KPI’s and free tools we’ve identified to get you started in determining your overall online influence via social:
Reach/Impressions: Reach refers to the number of unique social media accounts that saw your published message(s) and Impressions is the total number of times messages were delivered to accounts. Most social media accounts offer free tracking reports for reach and impressions – including Facebook Insights and Linkedin. Third-party reporting sites are other effective alternatives, with Tweet Reach and Crowdbooster to name a few. Moreover, use this valuable data to determine the best distribution times for your messages to optimize your reach and impressions (tool: Timely.is). If your audience doesn’t see your message, you’re wasting your time and you’ll have 0% chance to getting them to your website.
Engagement: Now that your audience has seen your social media message, the next step is for them to “engage” with your message and/or your company account. Engagement can take different forms – from clicks, comments and questions to follows, shares and mentions. If a potential customer engages with your business on social media, you know your message relates to them and has provided value. You can also set lead scores for various types of engagements received on social, and use pass along qualified leads to sales. Social Mention, Bitly Hootsuite and Tweet Deck are five tools to count and quantify your business’ social media engagement.
Are you reaching the right audience through your social media efforts? Research the top users and contributors to your outreach with Social Mention and Tweetreach. You can also set up an account on Klout to find out which users you are influencing the most (navigation: influencers>>you influence tab). View user profiles and followers/fans to learn more about who they are and if they fit into your target customer persona. If you find that your social media efforts are not, in fact, attracting the right audience for your business goals, then you might need to go back to square one and conduct some additional research to catch the attention of the audience that is valuable to your business. You can search for users by various demographics and keywords, such as company name, job title, location and more via Twitter Advanced Search, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and other networks. Directories including wefollow, twello and Technorati may also prove worthwhile tools.
Track your website visits from social through Google Analytics. It’s easy to create tracking codes for all the links you publish socially with google’s URL Builder tool. This will allow you to identify the social networks that drive the most traffic, the most popular pages your visitors visit and the messages that produce the highest sales conversions. You can also use Google Analytics to test the messages you distribute through social media. Learn what content resonates best with your audience, optimal distribution times, and tweak future messages accordingly for best results.
You can also determine your business’ social media influence by following the social media activity of your competitors. Most social media outlets display public profiles for all users – so a simple company name search will often do the trick. Additionally, search for analytical information on your competitors’ social presence with free tools Social Mention, Tweetreach and Klout or dig deeper with a paid subscription of Radian6 or TwentyFeet.
Looking for more? Check out these additional resources for best practices on optimizing social:
Next week: check out our final post in this series –how to measure online influence and impact across Sales. Get cutting-edge tools and best practices to better connect your social efforts to sales revenue and ROI.
Business savvy entrepreneurs everywhere understand the importance of getting their business online. However, once there – many fail to measure the direct influence and impact that their online presence has on new business, customer loyalty and reputation.
There are several free tools and resources available to help you connect your online results with ROI. You can start measuring your online influence and impact across your website, social media and sales & revenues — all in a matter of minutes.
If you haven’t already started using Google Analytics to monitor your website activity, follow these simple instructions to add it to your site now. Google Analytics is a free tool that will provide you with invaluable data around where your visitors are coming from and how they are engaging with your content.
Use this service to access and automate:
- Reports: Tailor weekly, daily or monthly reports for your specific needs – from number/demographics of web visitors and PPC ad performance, to website referrals, ecommerce and content trends.
- Dashboards: Design personalized dashboards with the analytics, visuals and comparisons that are valuable to you. Place your dashboard on your internal websites with customizable widgets or set up automated alerts to your company email.
- Promotions: Create google tracking codes for each link (to your website) you distribute externally. Distribution outlets could include social media, email, forums and more. Filter results of each promotional campaign within google analytics (Traffic Sources >> Sources >> Search >> Campaigns).
Now that you have access to your Web site analytics, you’re probably wondering how you compare to your competitors. Compete.com is a great resource that allows you to benchmark your data against others in the marketplace. You can also use SimilarSites.com to find other information about competitor websites including keywords and rankings. After checking your site against competitors, you might find that your website doesn’t measure up quite as you hoped. The reason for this may be attributed to your website having a low SEO ranking on popular industry key words.
SEOCentro provides a quick “rank checker,” which allows you to identity where your website ranks on search results for specific keywords. The tool also lists those websites who rank above and below your website according to search term.
Stay tuned for our next two posts in this series – covering tips and tools to measure online influence and impact across the areas of Social media and Sales.