A great or catchy domain name for your company or product can make a huge difference in your potential success. But getting a great domain name isn’t easy, as the majority of quality domain names are already owned by someone else.
A domain name adds credibility to your small business. Having your own domain name makes your company look professional. If you publish your site through an ISP or a free Web hosting site, you’ll end up with a URL such as www.yourisp.com/-yourbusiness. This generic address does not inspire confidence in a customer like a www.yourcompany.com domain name does. And since many people don’t yet trust the Internet and e-commerce, you’ll want to do what you can to prove that your small business deserves their money. If you’re not willing to pay the money to register an appropriate domain name, why would consumers think you’d put any effort into creating valuable products or services?
A domain name says you’re forward-thinking. Having your own domain name indicates you’re part of the Digital Revolution, and it implies that you’re up-to-date on emerging technologies. Whether this is true or not, having your own domain name might just put you ahead of your competitors.
A domain name adds mobility to your Internet presence. Owning your own domain name lets you take that name with you if you transfer Web hosts or switch to your own in-house server. If you don’t own your domain name, you’ll have to take a new URL, which will destroy the branding that you built up with your first address.
The right domain name can attract walk-in business. If you decide to register a domain name that matches the concept of your business (instead of your exact business name), you might draw Web surfers in search of that topic. For instance, a hardware store that registered Hammers.com might get visitors looking for hammers on the Internet. Also, although search engine results are hard to predict, Hammers.com could show up more frequently in search results when someone searches for information about hammers.
A domain name builds your brand. More than anything else, a domain name can increase awareness of your brand. If your domain name matches your company name, it reinforces your brand, making it easier for customers to remember and return. It will also be easier to win business via word of mouth because customers will remember your name and pass it along to friends.
The bottom line is that a good domain name can go a long way toward generating traffic to your Web site and building your reputation. That, in turn, will result in more customers and better sales.