At our recent panel on positioning your brand to succeed in the new Dot-anything world, we discussed how the new domain space will affect small businesses. Cool Beans Group founder Bob Knorpp explained his views on this challenge. See video at 5 minutes, 40 seconds (or you can watch the full discussion below).

Bob observed that every company uses domain names as part of their marketing and branding strategy. However, with the new gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains), companies are going to need a structured domain strategy.

He said, “Your presence on all the domains where you have authority is going to mean much more to the end result, whether or not you’re going to rise up in search; whether or not people are going to find you; whether or not people are going to buy from you.” In other words, having the right domain presence will help people to find you in search. He also used the analogy of a phone number: “How many of you remember many phone numbers,” asked Knorpp as he  pointed out that we all have databases in our phones and computers that remember the numbers for us.

Will it be similar with domain names?  If your small business has a long URL, like www.JoesPlumbingSupplyCompanyNYC.com, obtaining “JoesPlumbling.NYC” might help people remember your business and domain name more easily. It also may help with search results in Google or Bing. Panelist Jeff Neuman told the audience to search for “Bees NYC.” (Here, let me search that for you.) The first result is Bees.nyc, the NYC Beekeeper’s association.

It will be harder in the future to build an SEO strategy without having relevant domains related to your business. Additionally, if cyber-squatters or competitors take relevant domains that should belong to you it could negatively affect your search results, which is critical for small businesses. In all events, monitoring the domain space via a service like DomainSkate, and keeping your eyes open to the new domain spaces could have a real impact on your company’s bottom line.

You can watch the entire panel below.

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