On the hunt for that perfect domain name before moving on to small business web design? Do you perhaps feel pressured to get the best domain name, wondering which areas of the selection process actually matter? We've found that whether you're launching a business for the first time or you're a serial entrepreneur carving out a new brand, choosing a domain doesn't exactly get easier— in fact, the thought processes involved in choosing a domain are relatively the same no matter how seasoned you are. There are some factors that matter when settling on a new domain, and some that look like they should matter but don't—and instead can get in the way. Here's what matters when choosing a domain for your business.
If your favorite domain name choice is available on many of the common top-level-domains (TLDs like .com, .net, .biz, or .info), you should try grab your-preferred-name.com or a very-close-match.com that you can live with. Less appealing TLDs like .biz or .info are often thought of as spam sites (unfortunately there is some truth to this given their usefulness as throwaway domains). Even if your small business or startup is completely legitimate, you risk creating a sour first impression when users visit your small business website. Please note this advice only relates to brand perception and the benefits of owning a .com TLD end here.
Though choosing a .com domain for your business does in fact appear to be the most legit, this TLD is very, very old. The vast majority of the best matches for your brand are snatched up by other businesses or even squatters who try to resell at premium prices. It is simply a matter of time before registering a .com domain that is ideal for your business becomes impractical or impossible.
So here's where things get really interesting: many new top-level-domains have been added to the lineup in recent years, allowing much greater creativity and new possibilities when choosing a domain for your business. Google has weighed in on how they treat the new generic TLDs, with the main takeaway being they will not help nor hurt your rankings when compared to a .com domain.
When you start dreaming up a new business idea, it's all too easy to get caught up in perceived necessities, like having the perfect brand name, the perfect colors for your logo, and some shiny new business cards. While these things are nice-to-haves, they are, simply put, expenses—they won't actually earn you a dime until you launch. Do not fall prey to creating obstacles before you get your business idea out the door. Starting a business can definitely be nerve-wracking because no one wants to fail. Having a little bit of fear is completely normal, the cold hard truth is that your business will have already failed if you never launch. You can always go buy those ridiculously sexy business cards you've been lusting over later on.
Top-level-domains based off of country codes (ggTLDs) do in fact possess an edge over generic TLDs (gTLDs) in their respective regions. Your small business website's page relevance will need to still be a good match for user searches for the edge to matter. For example, if you buy a .my domain but your business doesn't operate inside Malaysia, then you're shooting yourself in the foot.
Pro Tip: Be careful not to mix up gTLDs that sound like they could be ccTLDs, especially if you desire the geo-targeting benefits of a true ccTLD. Some gTLDs appear extremely similar to ccTLDs (e.g. .london & .nyc) but in fact do not possess any geo-targeting benefits.
Though .io TLD is technically a ccTLD belonging to the British Indian Ocean Territory region, Google treats this top-level domain as a ‘gccTLD' to stop undesired geo-targeting. This is great news for tech-focused companies, given the strong resemblance to ‘I/O' and its already global use throughout the IT industry.
In recent years, search engines have become increasingly accurate at judging the relevance of a website domain, its content, and a number of other signals when deciding where to rank a website. In short, Google Bot has become very good at smelling B.S. The hyper-improved accuracy is in no small part due to AI/machine learning. If the recent advancements on the web from learning algorithms are worth basing predictions off of, search engines like Google and Bing are going to become ever smarter over the next several years. Operating a relevant, conversion optimized website at your-brand-carpets.com will easily rank higher than a crappy competitor at carpet-cleaning-service-city-state.com. Try focusing your efforts on running the best, most relevant website you possibly can for your target keywords and your ideal visitors.
Have we missed anything? Have you found evidence that contradicts any of the above info about domains? Please leave a comment and tell us!
Unless your name is Harvey Dent and you have a fancy coin to flip, it can be difficult to pick fonts and colors for your brand. Whether the dilemma occurs in the brainstorming stage or when you upgrade brand imagery, picking out fonts and colors to represent your business can eat up a lot of time—if you let it. On the other hand, spending a reasonable amount of time choosing the right color palette and font types is healthy.
Despite the above, if you still struggle to pick fonts and colors for your brand without obstacles, you wouldn't be alone. Veteran entrepreneurs and business owners know choosing the best font pairs and colors can still be just as challenging (and exhilarating) as it is the first time. Cyberia Technologies provides branding and logo design for small business, allowing you to consult experts and make sure you get the perfect font pairs and color palette to augment your branding. If you prefer to do it yourself, here are 3 free, powerful tools to pick fonts and colors for your brand:
Fontjoy is powered by deep learning to analyze the different properties of fonts and what constitutes a "good match". Since discovering Fontjoy, we've found it useful ourselves on more than one occasion. See for yourself and take it for a spin: if you like one font but not the others, you can 'lock' it in place while generating a new set.
Colormind is roughly the same concept of Fontjoy, but applied to color palettes. Built by the same developer as Fontjoy, Colormind uses deep learning to analyze color combinations in pop culture and recommend surprisingly beautiful color palettes. Similarly, if you like some colors but not all of them, you can 'lock' them in place to keep them in the next color set.
Though Paletton is just fine for pros and non-pros alike, its strengths really shine for people who know what they're looking for. Paletton offers much more control over your color selections, such as hue, saturation, brightness, and even degrees of separation on the color wheel. This helps you to fine-tune your brand's perfect color palette.
Though the 3 tools above will help narrow down your choices significantly, you might still find yourself on the fence. When that happens, a great way to move past it is to look at successful competitors. Are there any brands that have a voice similar to what you want? Note down your findings and what you like and dislike about each. Make your decision and move onto the next big thing!
Remember, having the perfect colors and fonts for your brand may feel important, but (unless you're already an established brand) it will make less of an impact than you think. If this decision hangs over your head and prevents you from launching your business, you won't have a bottom line.
It isn't hard to see in our culture as the digital generation. The desire, or perhaps pressure, to own a business is simple to understand. Whether you're driven by the desire to diversify your income, to be recognized, or to be able to pursue passion projects, you understand this requires freedom from the constraints of standard employment. In this article we cover the best proven and cheap business ideas for startups along with examples.
If you've spent 10 minutes on social media lately, you are almost guaranteed to have seen a meme, motivational speech, or inspirational quote about entrepreneurship. The goal to found a startup—to launch a new business that will help customers in a meaningful way—is a grand endeavor no doubt. But something about all the hype simply doesn't add up. In fact, the birth-to-death rate of small businesses in metro areas is actually negative, and has been for a decade. Without a strong reason to go into business, you risk disappointment for not only yourself but the customers you will have gained.
The reasoning behind shutting down a business is complicated and analyzing the factors involved quickly expands into a topic worthy of its own post. However, since no one launches a startup with the intention of shutting down we're going to share "known-good" business models for consideration. With a solid 'why' mixed with some wisdom & determination, you'll begin to profit from these proven and cheap business ideas for startups.
Operating a local service business may lack some of the sexiness you pictured in your martini-on-the-beach fantasies. To be brutally honest, making money is seldom sexier than spending it. A local service business is the most practical vehicle for you to earn $100K+ annually with only a few grand for an initial investment. A local service business model absolutely requires a lot of nurturing and will challenge your time management skills (especially with a full-time job).
We recommend first-time founders consider launching a local service business not just because of the cheaper costs involved, but because of the critical experience gained. You will learn first-hand about business filing requirements, day-to-day back office tasks, hiring & team-building, as well as problem-solving skills when issues arise. This business idea is proven effective in helping you earning your stripes before you move on to the bigger and better idea brewing. Here are some low cost startup ideas for new local service businesses:
Are you interested in launching one of these ideas? Cyberia Technologies specializes in web design & development for local service businesses. Be sure to view our website development services and reach out for a quote!
Running a referral agency is still relatively low-cost but has major differences. Running a referral agency requires more ad spending and testing when compared to running a local service business. If you spend your ad budget too quickly or without good A/B testing, you're SOL before getting any traction.
Since this type of business model is essentially a "middle man", your marketing and partnership chops will be tested more than your hiring or supervisory skills. This means you must possess a solid understanding of ads management, social media marketing, and content & email strategy building. Having the technical know-how to maintain a site is a huge plus. This is a fantastic business model if you've ever dreamed of working remotely or working solo. Here are some examples of referral agencies:
Though the above is a basic list of suggestions, the actual number of possibilities is nearly endless, especially when you niche down. Don't be afraid to pivot or make adjustments to your business model if you see that things aren't sustainable. Also, don't forget to test everything from your messaging to your product pricing. Last but not least, remember that when you're getting ready to launch any business, the first 6-12 months are seldom sexy in any way, shape, or form. The 'why' you chose as a foundation must be enough to motivate you through darker times. The dreams of martinis on the beach won't come true for a while, but they'll never come at all if you don't try.