Ever have an idea, one that just pops into your head and you think, “Now that could be The Next Big Thing”? More often than not, the idea passes as quickly as it comes. You figure somebody else already has the idea, or that it’s just too hard to pursue the next steps.
As marketing professionals, it’s exciting to be a part of our clients’ new ideas. Many of these ideas grow and thrive. Others have potential, but for one reason or another, don’t make it beyond the idea phase. And so, it’s particularly exciting to see one of our clients have a great idea, take a risk, and see the idea grow beyond his wildest dreams. What was it about this idea that made it a near instant success? Much of the success is found in the power of his domain name.
A few years ago, Bill Fleming ran a bike shop in Alaska. At the time, “fat tire” bikes, made for riding on snow, were just in their infancy. He imagined a web site dedicated to selling fat tire bikes and accessories, and a simple, easy to remember URL came to mind — FatBikes.com. A quick online search revealed that the domain name had already been taken, but was for sale. Bill negotiated and purchased the domain name from an individual who had not even heard of fat tire bikes.
Soon after, with the help of our web team, Bill launched FatBikes.com. Its first month’s revenue nearly paid for his initial web site investment with Stride. Since then, FatBikes.com has increased in volume and generated enough revenue to dedicate staff to the site’s maintenance and upkeep, and justify moving the warehouse operation to Utah.
So, what’s most noteworthy about Bill’s story?
Don’t discount the power of your domain name.
Many companies choose a domain name to match their company name — it’s easy to remember and quickly brings users looking for that company to the correct web site. However, the bigger prize in search engine optimization is something companies work long and hard to capture: being listed at the top when generic search terms are used. By purchasing a domain name that consisted of the most generic keyword phrase, Bill captured the most broad fat bike-related searches and brought them directly to his web site. The statistics are astounding for a new business: FatBikes.com daily traffic has nearly tripled in the past six months, with visitors primarily coming from the US and Canada, but substantial orders being placed by customers in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, and Asia.
Invest in the purchase of a domain name if you believe it’s the right domain in the long run.
Bill could have easily registered FatBikesAK.com or FatBikes.biz and saved several hundred dollars, but his instincts told him the investment in the strongest domain name would pay off. Domain name sales can vary from a few hundred dollars to many thousands. So if your business idea is rooted in e-commerce sales, the initial cost for that keyword-rich, search engine-friendly domain name may be the best business decision you ever make.