If we focus on Website Branding, here are some facts to help see a domain name's importance.
- Every web address contains a domain name.
- Every domain name includes a Top Level Domain (TLD) (like .com, .org, .gov, .mil and .edu)
- And 2015 added over 1000 new TLDs like .buzz, .fashion, and .wine
- Google ranking factor, how long has your site been registered? The longer the better.
- Google ranking factor, how long is your site registered out ahead of today. Buy three years at a time is a good practice.
- Google ranking factor, use a keyword at the beginning of your domain name
- Get a domain name that is memorable. Long can be OK, short is better. Brevity can be a problem for getting your meaning across, so not too short.
- Choosing something that’s easy to read (and get it right later) will send more people to you. In other words avoid characters that may be visually confused (i.e., a lower case ‘L’ and an uppercase ‘i’ become ‘lI’, a zero and an uppercase letter ‘o’ become ‘0O’.)
- It's common today for people to first find you when they see a link to your website (online or off.)
Do your homework on the domain registrar that you're thinking of buying your domain from. There are good and bad registrars. Read lots of reviews.
Never let anyone else register a website for you. Even if they are your long time friend from kindergarten. This is a task that is not very complicated but is often thought to be. Take the time to do this yourself so that you can ensure that your identifying information is shown as the business owner.
For the next step, it’s important that you have your credit/debit card at hand so you can buy the domain you want when you see it. About 70 New domain names are registered every minute.* The chances are slim (not zero) that someone may snatch away your prime choice while you wait to make the purchase.
Use Your Domain Name Off-Site
So, now you have a domain name, awesome. You may say “So what? It’s just a place to put my website at, right?” Wrong. It’s so much more.
When you talk about your business you will probably hear questions like:
- Do you have a handout for your presentation?
- Do you have a flyer? A brochure?
- Where can I get more information about…?
- What's your email address?
- Do you have a business card?
- Do You have a website?
These are awesome opportunities for your business! Guess what? All of these have your domain name in common. Put your domain name/website to work for you by giving everyone an easy to remember place to get more information. Put your web address on all printed material, use an email address from your domain name and put it on your business card along with your web address, add your web address to your email signature.
*Jonathan Knight and Nick Sutton, Qmee, “Online in 60 Seconds” infographic, 2013 (accessed June 20, 2017)