I get asked all the time what to look for in the perfect domain name.
My recommendation is to go for at least 3 out of 6 of this criteria:
Business name is the same
Explains what you do
Explains where you do it
Is easily spelled / read & memorable
.com is still better than anything else
.com and country specific extensions still rain supreme.
.co is still the worst of all the new extensions in my opinion because most are still trained not to read and will actually put in .com instead of .co
Some domain names are gaining in popularity like .io which seems to mean online app for those that can’t afford the .com. That or they often choose to say something line get____app.com.
The domain name is really up to you now. Google really understands domain names and what people are known for regardless of the name nowadays.
Arguably for Bing and Google, domain names that have something in their name recognizable (some would say use keywords) is helpful still. But I would not pick that over the business name unless your business name is so out there.
"Nearly 60 percent of searches now from mobile devices" -Source
Doug's is a good example of a custom built WordPress Theme(Design). I've found between WordPress, Gantry Frame Work and Thrive Architect you may never need a developer or designer again.
Okay that may be a slight over statement especially in consideration of how easy those other website builders are. But I'll take the SEO/marketing, customization freedom and open source nature of WordPress over any other builder any day.
Regardless of the platform
You'll want to make sure you build out service pages
And location pages
In addition to your core pages like about us and home page.
Set Up Proper Tracking
A good marketer can show you most importantly how many leads they are getting through. Tracked back to the marketing campaign (SEO, PPC, Social Media...).
Doug's if they like can then audit those leads and tell you how much money they made from them.
Traditionally marketers just show things that don't really help you:
Time on site
A website if setup correctly, is really just the center of your marketing engine. If you want to know how your marketing efforts are doing I can help you do just that. Most people find that marketing then becomes a tool for more business rather than an expense.
Website building pricing really depends on what your goals are.
Here are 2 additional resources I just published that could help you.
I like to have experts come on the contractor podcast from time to time. This one with Luke Alley from Avalaunch is perfect for helping you know what to look for in an agency. Also his top recommendations for your business marketing online.
As a service professional you do a lot of business from your car. So I was thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if somebody kept you up-to-date during your drive on the recent Google changes and what do you need to know? So that’s exactly what I’m gonna do today.
Getting Reviews – Pillar 4
Interesting enough, there has been a lot about reviews come up recently. One of the reasons it’s a big deal is because Google decided that you need only 1 review to be able to start having your star rating show up in search results. This applies to your Google Maps listing and other listings such as Yelp and Facebook.
Here is what it looks like.
This matters if you have very few reviews on those sites and you get one bad review. That can really impact the perception of your business. So now it’s even more important to get a few reviews everywhere and to get them more reliably.
Harvard has actually done a study and found that having to overly positive reviews also hurt your business. This hurts in returns or clients being unhappy. It truly is better to under promise and over deliver. I’m sure a motto that you know well.
My favorite free tool is Chatra.io and they do allow the tracking of events such as somebody interacting with you. I have found that if somebody can interact with you, they’re more likely to buy. It’s a very great tool to have and you can answer chats straight from your phone on the app.
I haven’t checked if Facebook’s free live chat can do that but that’s also great tool to look at.
Update: After this recording I decided to investigate live chat more. Turns out currently there is no way to track back to the source Facebook Live Chats. So I wrote this article comparing Facebook Live Chat WordPress plugins & Chatra.IO, “Should I Use Facebook Free Live Chat“.
For beginners this is a really great video from Matt Cutts who used to be with Google. He explains how the Google search engine works. It can be really insightful to understand all the different pieces that they’re looking at to make sure there’s a great experience online.
The short answer to "Should you use Facebook's free live chat on your website?" is maybe. Facebook awesomely started allowing you to start conversations from your website and finish them in Facebook Messenger.
The biggest advantage is if you miss their chat, the customer can see your reply next time they login. The biggest draw back is they can't chat right from the website.
That is why this is probably a great solution for busy service professionals.
I went ahead and compared the Facebook chat to my favorite live chat service that has a free chat option as well: Chatra.IO.
Free Facebook Live Chat
Answer chats from app
Can't see reply on website
Can't track in analytics
You'll wish you could limit your hours
Must be a FB user to chat
No advanced features
FREE PLAN Chatra.IO
1 User at a time
Customer sees replies on the website
Receive chats from anyone
Answer chats from app
Tracks in Google Analytics
Limited free chat hours
Advances features cost
With a few more tweaks Facebook could be a contender to any live chat software. If you don't track your marketing, it really is a toss up.