What’s lost on amateur marketers is the dramatic decrease in direct navigation, where domains must exactly and reliably reproduced by prospects. These days consumers rarely type the Dot at all— and leave off anything meaningless like “Com” or “Net,” especially when the ending is uncertain. For example, when searching for either WineClub.Com or Wine.Club, consumers simply type “wine club” into Google, with no quotes and no Dot.
Prior to 2009, just to get to Google, you first had to type in “Google.Com.” Since search invaded the URL bar, most users rely on Google to take them on a ride to their requested site. They just type in the word phrase (click #1) and then click on the desired site (click #2)— or a competitors site. Click, Click, Hooray!
Recent stats suggest that only 12% of web traffic is Direct Navigation, but even that may be skewed. It stands to reason that type-ins will be higher for famous sites like Amazon.com, eBay.com, and others that are burned into the minds of consumers, but surely lower than average for others, because of the uncertainly of business name, spelling, and whether the web address includes a Dot Com or something else.
Prior to 2016, when a business was not organically displayed on the first page, it was optional to pay for top placement with PPC. Since then, Google has displaced most of organic listings from the first page altogether with ads, forcing even well-ranked companies to pay up. Marketing professions are only beginning to recognize the perils of search. From the standpoint of the advertiser, it’s now Click, Click, You Pay.
Search is the enemy. In fact, the very premise of for-profit search is obscene. Imagine placing a call to Macys, only to have the phone company intervene with a self-serving message, “We see you’re calling Macy’s. How about connecting with JCP instead? Press one.”
Even major corporations, ranked #1 organically, can not escape the clutches of Google. Although Google will displace competitive ads, they place a PPC honeypot above their #1 organic listings, continuously extracting value from web searchers who just click the top listing out of convenience. Ouch! Type “Progressive Insurance” and “Sandals Resorts” into Google and you will see this extraction for yourself (use a non-mobile browser).
It may have puzzled you to see 1-800-Progressive and 1-800-Sandals so heavily advertised on television— while each has perfected their branding with the ideal Dot Com address, Progressive.com and Sandals.com. Yes, this is 2018! Only amateur marketers fail to recognize the value of this tactic.
Progressive and Sandals are averting the “Google Tax” on search. Phone calls go direct to them and keep prospects off the search engines, saving them millions in search fees! In addition, the closure rates are remarkably higher where human interaction is deployed. This pays for itself.
You may even find it surprising to learn that 1-800-Flowers.Com owns the category domain, Flowers.com, yet drives this category-killing domain into the #1 organic listing that maps their vanity phone number, 1800Flowers.Com. They want you to call. Please! No extraction.
Yet, brands like Progressive, Sandals, and 1-800-Flowers can only invite prospects to use their preferred contact channel, as consumers will use the channel they like. That’s why is essential to perfect your brand, matching domains with vanity toll free numbers.
We call this Magnetic Branding, where the goal is simple: all roads lead to you. For example, Sandals.com matched with 1-800-Sandals unifies all messaging, so prospects know exactly how to call, text, email, and visit— and are more likely to make direct contact.
Of course, to remain in vogue they would be well advised to move their website to Sandals.Resorts, should that domain become available someday. There's zero downside when you hold all essential domains, the Non Dot Coms and the Dot Coms. Just forward the rest and remember, they all "Dot" the same.
It’s the message that matters. Together with a tradition address for email to minimize human error, the answer is yes; integrate it all. Get a hip, new Non Dot Com to stand out in the crowd, a traditional Dot Com/Net for type-in email and direct navigation, and a toll-free vanity number to call, text, and see, someday soon, with Telex.Live.