When it comes to creating a solid online presence, most small business owners will be more than familiar with the concepts of innovative web design, social media and SEO.
However, just as crucial but perhaps not so widely recognized is the process of choosing and registering a domain name, which essentially serves as the foundation of your online brand. Here is everything you need to know about choosing the right domain name and how it will benefit your business.
What is a Domain Name?
Every domain is unique, and is a more easily memorable representation of the numbers that constitute a computer’s IP address. Domain names consist of both a top-level domain and a second-level domain, with the top-level referring, for example, to the “.com” or “.org” component, whilst the second-level is usually based on the name of the business or organization. In terms of building your company’s brand, it is important to consider that a domain name is the means by which internet users will find and identify your business online.
What Does a Domain Name do for Your Business?
There are many ways in which registering a domain name enhances your online presence. Firstly, a registered domain establishes you as the rightful owner, which is especially important in the case of technical issues. Should a user search your domain name, for example through the WHOIS Domain Lookup tool provided by 1&1, you will be identified as the proprietor and contact person, ensuring that all related queries are directed to you.
Secondly, a registered domain name is a way of keeping hold of your brand, as it enables you to take your chosen name with you should you ever decide to switch web hosts or servers. Otherwise, you may need to set up a new URL – which essentially means starting from scratch in terms of building your brand. A domain name is, however, much more than just an administrative formality. Rather, it plays a key role in branding, marketing and SEO, as well as adding credibility to your business and distinguishing it as a serious contender in the online marketplace.
What Should You Consider When Choosing a Domain Name?
There are many factors to consider when choosing and registering a domain name that will effectively boost your online presence. It is important to go for a domain name that is relevant to your business and the goods or services that it provides, not only to avoid confusing customers but also to ensure optimal appearance in the right search results.
Some general rules for creating a powerful domain name are to keep it relatively short, making it memorable and easy to spell, whilst ensuring it is sufficiently unique and discernable from generic names within the same category. As larger companies tend to have a monopoly over the most desirable domain names within a certain category, coming up with your own domain name requires some creativity and linguistic flair – here are some useful strategies to get you started. Whichever domain you choose, it is essential to view it not only as a name but rather the heart and soul of your branding campaign.