You probably know that you need a domain name to start an online business, but unless you have some experience with digital marketing, you also probably don't know where to start.
Thankfully, many people out there make a living from online marketing and web design, so you can always find help. For this guide, we have researched various resources like a web design or digital marketing agency to take the superior guide in order to gradually improve the online business platform, and they duly delivered.
Before you select a good domain name you need to check the best and affordable domain hosting provider that will help to build your website's brand makes it easier to find and ensure credibility.
If you already have some idea about domain names and how they work, go ahead and scroll down to our tips on choosing your domain name. Conversely, if you're new to the whole idea, consider taking this slow.
Please grab a cup of coffee and let us explain the importance of a good domain name for your SEO and online marketing efforts.
Let's start small and answer an even more simple question — what is a domain name? In short, it is the name of a website or what you type into the browser's address bar to find a particular site. For example: Google.com, Facebook.com, xyzabc.com, etc. Ok, the last one isn't a real website, but it could (and should) be.
Each website on the internet has a numerical IP address, so in theory, you could type a string of numbers to reach every website out there, but you probably don't want to do that. That's where domain names come in.
Sure, nowadays, reaching a particular website has become even more simple than typing its exact name into your browser's address bar. You can bookmark it, google it, or even use the relevant mobile app, if available. Does this mean we no longer need custom domain names for websites?
Of course not. Firstly, people don't bookmark websites nearly as often as they think they do. Secondly, there's the pretty significant matter of branding.
Most companies have stopped using domain extensions (such as ".com") in their business names, but that doesn't mean brands have stopped being recognized by their domain names. If you think of a company like Amazon or Twitter, your brain probably automatically adds the ".com" part.
Achieving this type of subconscious connection with your audience can be a massive branding coup.
Another reason domain names matter, as you might have inferred from the title of this post, is search engine optimization (SEO).
Google and other search engines consider many different factors when deciding whether a website is worth showing to a person performing a keyword search. The domain name is one of these factors.
If you have a company named Hedgehogs with Hats, and your domain name is hedgehogs-with-hats.com, we should hang out because I think you're probably a fascinating person. But more importantly, Google will look at your brand name and assume your website is relevant to any search containing the keywords "hedgehogs with hats."
Having relevant keyphrases in your content is important, and having them in your domain name is an advantage.
All that being said, the most important reason to have a custom domain name is owning your identity. You don't even need a super-sophisticated website — you can make one using any number of website builders.
Even a Facebook page would do fine, but having a domain name like xuzabc.wordpress.com or facebook.com/xuzabc would mean sharing your identity with these platforms.
The point we're trying to make here is that having a custom domain name is a relatively cheap way to separate your brand from the website builder you happen to be using. It says that the business is yours alone and gives you a level of control not offered by free plans from some of these services.
Another critical thing to note is that you can take your domain with you, so even if you change the platform the site is built on, your visitors will still be able to find it.
Finally, having your own domain name feels much more professional. Your audience members are more likely to trust a business with a half-decent website and a custom domain name.
Considering the trust that a custom domain can generate, we feel that it is more than worth the small investment.
Finally, we're down to the practical stuff. Knowing why you need a domain name is important, but it won't help you much unless you can figure out what it will actually be. Also, In terms of online business, you need to find custom web design and development services that can show you the right path. Here are a few quick guidelines that should help you choose your domain a lot more quickly.
Generic Top-Level Domains
The so-called "generic" top-level domains such as .com, .net, .org, and .info date back to when the Department of Defense was still heavily involved in the regulation of the internet. These are considered generic because they are no longer tied to their original intent, so .com is no longer used only for commercial sites, nor is .net only used for network-focused companies.
The most notable benefit of using a generic TLD is familiarity. We don't need to talk too much about the ubiquity of .com, and nowadays, almost everyone is familiar with .net and .org as well. Having an extension that is easy to remember or even predict is generally a good thing.
The flip side of the coin is reflected in the fact that the exact domain you're looking to grab has a higher chance of being taken. Almost every domain name that could ever be considered a keyword already belongs to someone. It might not be in use, but someone bought it to resell it at a higher price.
Country Code Domains
There's a country code domain for every country in the world and a few for regions within countries. You would use a country-specific TLD in one of two cases:
The first reason you would use one of these extensions is that your company operates solely within the region that the domain covers. The other use case is for businesses that have separate entities in different countries, such as Amazon or Google, and want to have a separate site for each of these entities.
If your business is within the realm of an industry-specific TLD such as .design, .news, or .media, you should consider going for it. This has the advantage of telling your users exactly what to expect from your business/website. It also has the added benefit of making your domain stand out from others in the industry.
The only potential downside is that all of these industry-specific TLDs are in English, so if you're targeting a non-English-speaking audience, you're probably better off going for a country-code domain or a generic one.
Remember that Less Is More
When it comes to domain names, the general consensus is that shorter is better simply because it is easier to remember. Keeping things short and sweet is best.
That said, shorter and simpler domains that are still specific enough to target a keyword are likely a lot more expensive. If you want a single-word domain or a widely used abbreviation, be prepared to pay top dollar.
This is why finding a longer yet memorable phrase can be hugely rewarding. A domain like hedgehogs-with-hats.com might be a bit of a nuisance to type, but it's difficult to forget. Plus, typing a complete domain name is not something we really do anymore.
So, it is best to keep your domain name short, and if you can't keep it short, at least make it memorable.
Use the Right Keywords
Unless you're naming your website after your business, researching keywords is a great way to get domain name ideas. Tools like Semrush and Google Keyword Planner can be used to find out what people are searching for when they're trying to find your type of business online.
Once you have a set of keywords ready, you can try to find the most cost-effective combination for your domain. That being said, at the end of the day, it is probably best to stick to the name of your business.
Ultimately, the choice of what domain to register is entirely up to you. Every business is different, so it isn't easy to create a one-size-fits-all type of guide, but we can give you some general pointers, which is what we tried to do here.
Your best bet is to use your business's name, but you can deviate from this rule in some situations. Remember, while your domain name is an integral part of building your brand, it is still only one part.
A great domain name does not a great company make, nor does a bad one guarantee that your business will crash and burn.