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BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local: GoDaddy Looking to Grow SMB Offerings

Blake Irving, GoDaddy CEO, shared many of the changes that GoDaddy is implementing to become more than just a domain name company.  There’s no question they have had incredible success with that core business: 50% of all new domain name registrations worldwide are with GoDaddy.  In the US, that number is even higher at over 60%.  But in serving over 12 million SMB’s (9 million in US) they are looking to expand how they serve those customers, and some of their goals provide insight into the trends that are impacting the interactive local media space.

  1. Small businesses often struggle with promoting their identity.  To help with brand recognition they seek domain or website names that closely mirror their business name, but the limited number of domain names with the .com top-level domain (TLD) can make that a challenge.  With the expansion by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) of TLD’s, many more names are now available.  GoDaddy just this week added 13 new TLD’s available for domain name registrations.  They are also in the process of creating an after-market platform (think eBay) for “used” domain names.
  2. The reputation or identity behind the brand is perhaps most strongly tied to a business’ website, so GoDaddy offers website building services.  However, Blake recognized that an SMB’s digital identity goes beyond its name and landing page.  It is also critical to build your digital identity on other platforms where customers find you like on Facebook, through the yellow pages, on review sites like Yelp, and other search venues.
  3. Platforms like Yelp, YP and Google are shortening the search and discovery process for customers.  The path to purchase from discovery of a product/business to the purchase itself is being done in one step or click via vertical offerings that take away opportunities that used to exist to influence a selection.

In offering products including business applications, SEO management, email and CRM services, web design, and with expansion into 60 new markets in 2014 covering 30 different languages, it’s clear that GoDaddy is looking to take advantage of the shortened purchase process.  They have a huge self-generating pool of leads built up from the initial transactions where consumers secure a domain name.  In other words, you should view GoDaddy as a major competitor for those advertising dollars coming from SMB’s.

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