Once you decide to start your own business, you realize that this single decision calls for making a whole slew of other, closely-related decisions, as well. Even as an expert in your field of work, you cannot merely set out on your own online and expect people will just find you out of the blue or recognize your relevance among so many other competing businesses in your sphere. So, as you accumulate business knowledge, you also need to set a strong foundation for your online presence – and choosing a domain name makes for a great start.
Yes, there are so many other elements to a successful digital presentation, from growing your SEO relevance, all the way to posting regular content for the sake of customer engagement. However, the basics such as selecting your domain name will set the tone for your company. Here’s how picking your domain name impacts your business strategy as a whole, and why you should take your time when defining your digital address.
Earn Customer Trust from Day One
Try to remember the very last time you searched for a product or service online. If the results showed a mix of websites with .net, .me, .com, and .biz extensions, what was your very first choice? Depending on the industry and item you need, of course, but you’d normally go for the most common names that inspire trust. That is precisely what your customers do, too.
Every part of your domain name can elicit trust or distrust – is your domain name too long and complicated, the extension uncommon, or does it include strange symbols? People trust what they know, and they know that most major brands have memorable, short names, and frequently-used extensions. Give them this kind of security, and they will be far more likely to trust your website.
Build Authority Around Your Brand
In addition to trust, which is the primary driving force for people to interact with your brand online, your business also needs industry credibility. Your domain name contributes greatly to your effort to establish your authority since you have shown your willingness to invest in purchasing and managing your branded domain name for your business.
Your competitors and industry partners will value this effort and take your business more seriously, as opposed to if you go for a free, generic domain name. Your customers will be able to notice you more easily since your credibility will set you apart from the crowd.
Give Your Business a Personal Edge
As a professional single-handedly building a presence in the online realm, you know very well what it means to obtain a decent slice of your target market and retain their interest and trust over time. To make the battle easier, choosing a personalized .me domain can help give your brand a more relatable, personal touch that will resonate with your audience.
Personalization is far from a new concept today but imbuing your domain name with a touch of personalization will grant you that much-needed advantage over your overly-corporate, impersonal competitors. It will help people associate your name with your success, and it will help you position yourself within your industry.
Elevate Your Visibility
A domain name will in no way replace a comprehensive SEO strategy, but it can surely contribute to its success. How? For starters, avoid spammy, keyword-crammed domain names that attempt to show your scope of work in more words than necessary. Search engines don’t appreciate such “loud” names, as they prefer short, to-the-point names that combine personalization with professionalism in one fell swoop.
With a strong domain name, you won’t get penalized by search engines, but instead, you’ll get a chance to rank better, provided that your SEO efforts are optimal. In a way, a domain name is a perfect base for optimizing your SEO campaigns and making sure people can find your brand online easily.
Functional and Technical Practicality
Owning a branded, dedicated web address for your business means that you own your site’s “home,” so to speak. From a strictly practical perspective, if there comes a time for you to move your site to a new server, or you decide to choose a different hosting solution should your business outgrow the one you’re using now, owning your domain name lets you make the switch without changing the address.
At the same time, you’ll be able to preserve the accumulated SEO value and recognition you’ve built over time, but you’ll also manage to preserve the memorable name for your brand. If a switch is indeed necessary, your domain name protects your SEO visibility from being affected by the transition, and it helps retain the needed visibility in the eyes of your customers.
Help People Remember and Recognize You
Life surely hasn’t been kind to us in the past year, and entrepreneurs have suffered tremendously during the pandemic when it comes to growth and professional expansion. To inspire people to remember you and notice your brand even in times like these, every little detail counts, your domain included. If you use an obscure, hard-to-pronounce domain, your users will likely fail to remember or recognize you.
But with a simple, straightforward domain that’s easy to type, pronounce, and link to your profession, you can “nudge” people to keep you in mind. When they have an easier time exploring what you have to offer and you make their effort worthwhile, they are much more likely to also recall your brand upon a second encounter, let’s say, on social media.
Domains Grant You Focus and Freedom
We’ve already established that building up your brand visibility does indeed depend on the kind of domain name you choose, especially for a personal business you run on your own. However, when you want to run your company in a location-independent way, you want to avoid being visible only in front of a single demographic in your region – the right extension and registrar can give you that freedom. Keep in mind that it only works as long as you pair this choice with the right content marketing strategy, too.
Alternatively, if you want to have a dedicated local presence for a branch of your business, then purchasing a domain name that is mostly limited to that location helps you focus all of your marketing efforts.
Provide Secure Interactions with Customers
Although the branding perspective and the many facets of presenting your business through the right domain name both hold so much value for you, there’s also the issue of security. Hackers and scammers are constantly on the lookout for weak links among websites, and if you choose a poorly rated registrar for your domain name, you risk exposing your business and all your customers to potentially harmful breaches.
That is why security should be one of the main criteria for selecting the most trustworthy registrar for your domain name. Does it use two-factor authentication and offer domain monitoring to ensure no data breaches occur? Does it provide support so that you can ask for help if something goes awry? Your domain name is your gateway to the world, so make sure your gatekeepers, meaning your domain providers, are giving you the best possible bang for your buck.
Setting up a business is intricate and time-consuming, but when you don’t skip steps and take every detail into account from the start, you’ll give your business a much better chance to succeed in this competitive world. Whatever your industry might be, your domain name sets the stage for your digital presence, and choosing the right one is a surefire way to establish trust, relevance, and visibility in the oversaturated online realm.
Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping startups and small businesses grow. She’s a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing.