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Old 14th August 2007, 12:58 PM   #1
crazyhere
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Smile Domain Name and Branding a Small Business

Hi all,
Wish i will get few helps from my fellow entrepreneurs.
I am looking for a catchy domain name,along with the slogan, for a Online Travel Agency. I am going to concentrate on the Asian market, particulary Indian market. Is there anyone who can share thoughts.

Thanks
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Old 14th August 2007, 09:26 PM   #2
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Why "catchy"?

Why not "searchy?" Searchy makes ranking higher in the search engines faster and simpler.

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Old 14th August 2007, 10:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mktgbiz View Post
Why not "searchy?" Searchy makes ranking higher in the search engines faster and simpler.
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Not sure I'm following you on this. Do you mean keywords in the domain helping it rank better? If so, the value would be minimal.

Coming up with a catchy, brandable domain is a good approach.

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Old 14th August 2007, 11:12 PM   #4
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Robert -
I have a problem with catchy and brandable....

They take time..............more time, and money.

My site TheJavelinPen.com is so unboth (catchy and brandable) but it ranks first on goggle for a number of keywords because it is searched for on a daily basis. Doesn't need branding. Small market.

In order for branding to take hold people have to be exposed to the name being branded.....more than once, more than twice, more than ten times more than lilkely, and that boils down to putting that brand in front of lots of people, over and over and over. That's not cheap and it takes time.

Catchy is in the mind of the beholder. Catchy usually takes creativity. Most people don't sit and create.....

I have a fishing site...FishForFREE.com that is catchy and has been being branded for the last 4 years....and still nobody knows about it. I mean, it's known, but it's not. I sponsor a professional bass angler to help with branding. I have linked the site. I have run banner ads on differents site to increase awareness. And on and on and on. Catchy branding takes work and time.

When it comes to marketing on the Internet, branding isn't as important (IMHO) as the experts make it out to be.

Using keywords in your domain name helps you rank higher faster. At least it's proven to be true for me.

I have another site......CustomBlueInkPens.com that is totally keyword rich. I've owned the domain name for about 3 or 4 months, have done absolutely no marketing of any type with it and it is slowly bringing in sales.

I'm not trying to plug my sites here folks, I think most of you know that, I am trying to help clear the confusion on marketing and promotion. Or at least help settle some of the dust......


Well......................that was way more than my 2 cents huh?
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Old 14th August 2007, 11:37 PM   #5
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Good point, Mktgbiz!

But here are some suggestions, flytoindia or visitindia. Please check if these names are still available or not.

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Old 15th August 2007, 12:30 AM   #6
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When it comes to marketing on the Internet, branding isn't as important (IMHO) as the experts make it out to be.
We'll have to agree to disagree on that one. I think branding is extraordinarily important to a business in a highly competive field like an "Online Travel Agency." I also think branding can be extraordinarily effective even in small markets. Yes, branding costs time and money but I think it's worth the investment.

But, branding doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. For example, we get tons of branding out of our Puppy simply by using her as our graphic in social networks like mybloglog, etc. Each time I or Jennifer visit a site displaying the mybloglog widget, our Puppy shows up in the widget on the page. We've had more than one person make comments like "you must advertise like crazy... everywhere I go I see your puppy." We don't advertise that much. But, we are able to leverage the impact of our advertising because we utilize all the free branding opportunities to show our Puppy as we can.

For another example of effective, low cost branding, I'll use is one of our forum members; Crimson Fox. I've seen his Crimson Fox logo a zillion times on the forum and it cost him no out of pocket expense to imprint his brand on me and the other forum members.

Our Puppy is our brandable element. But, in cases of sites like zipzoomfly.com, woot.com, newegg.com, shoemoney.com, johnchow.com, cafepress.com, bloglines.com, etc, their domain name plays a large, effective role in their branding.

IMO, branding is extremely powerful and can be utilized by even the smallest of companies.

If you can grab a domain like onlinetravelagency.com in such a competitive field, go for it and use your logo for branding. Otherwise, building a site with a brandable domain isn't such a bad idea.

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Old 15th August 2007, 05:09 AM   #7
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Thanks for your inputs mktgbiz & Robert. Both make a point here.I came to know how important it is to chose a brand name. Now i know why cheapflights.co.uk is getting listed on the first page on the google screen when i search for cheap flights to india. Looks like domain name plays a part here along with the meta tags.

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Old 15th August 2007, 08:16 AM   #8
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It's a funny one actually.

While I agree that you can still push a brand on the internet no matter what the name, when it comes to search engines I've found it's a different matter.

My online marketing has been harder with Crimson Fox compared to one of my other sites –*SmartBusinessIndex.com

With the SmartBusinessIndex I've been able to leverage the term smart business to get a higher visitor rate through the search engines.

That being said. Offline is a different matter. My offline marketing is far easier with Crimson Fox because I've created a good brand with that one.

So you really need to ask yourself. Where are you going to aim to get your customers from –*Online or Offline sources.

For longevity, I'd aim for a Brand name that you like the sound. Especially since you're going to be talking about it almost every day. But if you are just trying to get something up quickly I'd aim for the keyword packed domains.

By the way…Crimson Fox comes from my name.

Russell mean Red and Fox like, which gave me Red Fox. But I wanted to tweak it a little and came up with Crimson Fox. Later after I'd decided on the name bought the business name and domain name I found out that there is a little known Marvel Action Hero called Crimson Fox.

It's not going to effect me too much since it's a French character but I'd recommend you do as much research into what ever name you choose before you start. A simple look to see if the domain is available might cut it.

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Old 15th August 2007, 11:17 AM   #9
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Thats nice Crimson. Sometime back i read a review about your domain name and logo in one of the post in smallbusinessbrief. I became a fan of your lgogo after that. My business is going to be online.I am not going to open a high street. So i have to concentrate online and my website should be ranked.
I have got few domain names. Let me know your suggesstions

1, CheapFlightstoIndia
2, tastytravel
3, travelagencyindiaonline
4, travelagencyindia

As i said mu business will be a online travel agency which is going to concentate on indian market.
It seems like these domain names are also available. Any suggesstions how good it is??

thanks
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Old 15th August 2007, 02:59 PM   #10
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I'm going to go with Robert on the branding and easy to remember outranking the keywords in the domain idea.

Sure, if you can find one that covers both bases, that's peachy, but if I had to pick one or the other? I'd go with branding. I tend to think long-term. A search engine may provide a strong portion of your business, but that's just today. Who knows where you are going to be in 6 months, a year, five years?

Amazon.com
Yahoo.com
Google.com
ebay.com
MySpace.com
YouTube.com
AOL.com
MSN.com
Expedia.com
Woot.com
BoingBoing.com

I could go on and on and on. How many REALLY great, really well know, strong sites can you think of that are keywordkeyword.com?

These companies didn't pick these business names and domains without knowing about search...they were thinking big picture, long term and branding.

I'll be honest with you...I have a better (more positive) reaction to a listing on th SERPs that sounds like a real business than I do about a listing that looks like they're trying to target keywords. In other words, I'd probably visit BengalTravel.com over CheapIndianTravel.com any day.

I'd also note that I personally don't think keywords in a domain name make enough difference to sacrifice branding. I honestly think it's a case of people mistaking correlation for causation.

Pizza Hut ranks number one for "pizza" NOT because the word is in their domain name but because so many of their incoming links use the text "Pizza Hut" which boosts their chance of ranking for Pizza. It's more about the link text than it is about the domain name itself. (Though there's obviously a relation.)

As Robert said, you don't have to spend a ton to brand online. My Lactivist blog only gets about 20K uniques a month and the only advertising I've ever done is sponsoring a conference or two this year...yet everywhere I go, people know that "Lactivist" means "That Jen girl that talks about breastfeeding."

I've seen this happen with other companies as well. Social media has really changed old school branding. It's not as hard nor as expensive as it used to be.

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