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Clara Edberg — 06/02/20

Dotkeeper meets – Dave Janjua from WP Engine

During NamesCon 2020 in Austin, Dotkeepers Marcus Glaad had many pleasant conversations with other participants. One of them was Dave Janjua from WP Engine, who talks about trends related to domain names and marketing.

Dave, thank you for taking your time. Can you give us a short introduction?

Dave Janjua – Working with paid advertising and social media at WP Engine. Been there for about 3 years. WP Engine is a WordPress DXP (digital experience platform), based here in Austin. Before that I work with the job search platform At both places I had kind of a similar role, working with social media and paid advertising.


We have been listening to a very interesting session now, about e-commerce and social media and the use of domain names. What is your take on that, what are the trends right now moving into 2020?

We see this huge shift towards digital spend, a non-traditional spend. Places were the domain name plays a smaller role, but the creative plays a larger role. You know, we moved into a space were on Facebook the actual domain name has become, in my opinion, devalued in the ad. But as for those other platforms, the more traditional platforms have caught up. Streaming services, podcasts, audibles etc. are allowing us to buy digital but non-clickable advertisement. People that have been buying digital ads their whole career now have to think about how to go back to using the domain as spoken as the one and only call to action. Now we have the ability to buy ads, where there is no clickable space, it’s just going into your head, going back to your radio test. So, doing non-clickable advertising places more pressure on the creative and is making good domain names even more relevant than ever. I think this is only going to grow.

Even if some people don’t want to acknowledge it, TV is still a huge part of enterprisers budgets and still grows, but not as fast. So, we have to go back to getting used to that kind of creative. It’s not just a link preview and it’s not just a card on Facebook. It’s video ads where you say the domain name a number of times, and then you kind of cross your fingers and hope to see some traction.


What advice would you give to companies in choosing and using the domain names?

We are working with a documentary called Make Shift – which is about advertising in the digital age. We bought all of these domains for safety, we have, and a lot of different variations. We bought them to make sure we had everything but also now when it requires us to be more creative, we have a lot of different options to choose from for measurement. Measurement is the key. We use more ad types where clicks are not present, so for measurability we need different variations of domains.

I think it’s becoming more important to have domain names specific to the platform, this in order to know where our traffic comes from. It helps us to maintain that trackability, when the domain names are just spoken. It’s all about attribution, we need to know where the traffic comes from. Thus, we don’t just have them in defensive purpose, we use them to measure.


What are the trends in the use of domain names vs social media? For example, the use of Facebook as a platform for your business, relative to having a website?

For us, we want to own the domain name and all variations of that name, and twitter user names. You know we want our name on both sides, usernames as well as domain names. I think kind of what the internet is for, is for everybody to, whether it is the business or an individual, have a voice and a piece of the internet. So, I think nothing have empowered people more, for good or for bad, to have a piece of the internet and social media. I think there will be a group of people that only ever have a twitter account, that only ever have an Instagram account. But when you come to a certain level of business or traffic, if you are making a living out of it, you can’t rely on social channels to act with your business best interest at heart. Because the social channels will change the algorithms so that they make more money and that is what they are expected to do. So, own your presence! Once it comes to a certain level where Facebooks algorithms can mess up for your business, that’s when you need to buy a domain name. Then you need to be more than just a Facebook-page.


Any final advice you want to send to marketeers or companies going into 2020, in terms of social media, domain names?

I would say, for us at WP Engine, what we are really thinking about when going into the 2020s, is all the processes and funnels that we have built over the last couple of years. In 2020 we are working on finetuning those to the point of near automation of mundane things. So, we want to turn things on, and don’t get too heavily steep in things that machines can do. We want to invest in tools that will help us be more automated, to free us more time for strategy. We want to make more of less by letting machines do more, but we want to keep them on a short leash.


Thanks you for the time Dave!