Looking to start a business online? Believe it or not, the first thing you need isn’t a website, but rather a domain name.
What Is a Domain Name?
Simply put, a domain name is the address of your website, where your clients go to purchase your products and services. Web traffic not only leads to sales, it also builds your authority and expertise. This definition highlights why of having a good domain name should be a priority for any business.
What Are the Benefits of a Good Domain Name?
While there are hundreds of other factors that could bring about a business’s success, a good domain name is the one factor that consistently pays off.
It is like the location of a brick-and-mortar retail store. If you have a good location with high foot traffic, then your business would have little trouble getting visitors. In the same way, a good domain name would make it easier for you to get visitors to your website.
The domain name also helps in building your brand. If you have a domain name that is the same as your business name, it would be much easier for your customers to remember your brand and become repeat customers. Why? Because they can easily find and return to your website just by using search engines like Google.
Big businesses often spend hundreds, even thousands, of dollars just to purchase the domain name of their choice. They know that a good domain name could do wonders for any brand. It is an investment with a high ROI (return on investment), as those thousands of dollars can easily translate into millions in sales.
Speaking of investments, while other ways of marketing through online and offline channels such as newspapers, TV ads, and online ads also create awareness and draws customers, they only work as long as you keep paying for them. But as soon as you stop paying for an advertisement, it stops. If you were attracting 100 customers per month from an advertisement, you will lose those you could have attracted if you stop paying for that ad. In contrast, paying for a good domain name is a one-time investment that you can leverage for as long as you want.
What Should You Look for in a Domain Name?
A high-value domain name is short, about five to ten characters long, descriptive, and easy to remember. Ideally, your domain name should also match your business name. This lends credibility to your business and makes it look professional.
A good domain is also:
- Simple to spell and does not have special characters
- Easy to pronounce by most people
- Unique and not related to any other business
- Easy to identify with your brand and connect with your overall business.
- Good for long-term recall and success.
- Searchable with extremely few (preferably zero) competitors on Google results .
Is .COM The Best Domain Extension?
The most popular domain extension is .com. In fact, almost all of the website domains that you can immediately recall end with .com. This extension was first used in 1985 originally as the domain extension for brick-and-mortar companies who want to set up their websites. In contrast, .net was anticipated to be used by Internet-only companies, but this didn’t happen as much as expected.
When the dot-com boom happened, .com quickly became the extension of choice, compared to all other alternatives. Today, after more than three decades, it has become the go-to extension for nearly all major brands. In fact, investors and companies alike continue to pay anywhere from tens of thousands to millions for premium .com domain names.
What To Do If The Domain Name You Want Is Taken?
So many domains are being registered every day for the past 20 years because of their low prices. Because of this, all the generic and predictable domain names have most likely been registered a long time ago. Therefore, whatever domain name you have in mind with the .com extension may no longer be available.
Also, you may not be able to get the domain name that has all of the mentioned qualities. You may have to settle for one that has as many of the qualities you want as possible. While some businesses have used their unusual domain names to their advantage, not everyone is able to do this.
So, if your business is not in a position to pay for a premium domain name or if your preferred domain name has already been taken, consider these other options:
- Choose an abbreviation or a slightly altered version of the domain name you wanted. Be creative, but don’t use a name that is too long, possibly confusing, or unrelated to your business or brand.
- Instead of the company name, use your company slogan. If the slogan is short, recognizable, and reflects your brand, this could be a good way to generate awareness and recall.
- Use a different domain extension. Google shows that .com addresses are not favored by search engines compared with other extensions. If your business name reflects a certain niche and will make for a memorable web address, go for it! Let’s say you have an ecommerce business, then the domain extension .store would be perfect for you (click here to find out why).
If you get the domain name of your choice, make sure to renew it regularly. After all, an excellent domain name is crucial for business success, thanks to its impact on brand awareness and corporate reputation. In the long run, a good domain can help a business prosper by establishing a strong and faithful customer base.