What is Domain Name ?
A domain name is a string that identifies a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are used in various networking contexts and for application-specific naming and addressing purposes. In general, a domain name identifies a network domain or an Internet Protocol (IP) resource, such as a personal computer used to access the Internet, or a server computer. Domain names are often used to identify services provided through the Internet, such as websites and email services.
A domain name can be any combination of letters and numbers, and it can be used in combination of the various domain name extensions, such as .com, .net and more. A domain name is an essential part of having a website, but it’s only part of the equation. In order to launch a website, you’ll also need content and a hosting service to store your files so they can be accessed on the internet. Remember that owning a domain does not mean hosting is also included.
Why Domain Names are So Important
Why are domain names so important? A domain name gives your business instant credibility and puts you in the same online marketplace as your largest competitors. It says that you mean business and helps online shoppers and customers see you as a forward-thinking company that is conveniently accessible online. It is the pathway for people to visit your website, learn more about your business, and purchase your products and services.
The right domain will build your brand by creating a strong image for your business, and it can mean the difference between establishing a vibrant online presence and getting lost in cyberspace. If you publish your site through an internet service provider (ISP), your web address could end up like ISP.com/SuperiorAutoRepair (not very professional), as compared to SuperiorAutoRepair.com. See the difference? Your customers will, too.
How to choose your domain name
Start with Your Business Name
In a perfect world, you could buy a URL with your business name, but these days, competition is fierce. Do a search for your business name to see if others are using domain names that might easily be confused with yours (you might not want to buy PoshPuppyBoutique.net since there’s already someone using PoshPuppyBoutique.com, or you might lose business to them since the site name is so similar).
If your business name is not available, look for SEO-friendly keywords that relate to what you sell, like SanDiego-Art.org. This will help you rise up search results for that keyword phrase.
Make Sure It’s Pronounceable and Short
Realize that you will be speaking your domain name out loud a lot, so avoid dashes and other things that make it hard for people to find you. It’s much easier for people to process you saying that your site is Pencils.com than Pencil.Collectors_PA.com.
Consider your Domain Extensions
As competition heats up for .com domain extensions, we’re starting to see some interesting ones like .art, .vip, .club. If you can find one that’s relevant to your type of business, you may be able to get the domain name you want with a different extension (and these are usually cheaper).
Know that some online forms don’t recognize these more unique extensions yet so you may have trouble filling out forms where your website or email address is required.
Set Up Your Domain Email
There’s one final step once you’ve chosen your domain name: setting up your domain email. Using an email address with your domain ending is more professional than using a Gmail or Hotmail account. People expect to get emails from a brand with the domain name (email@example.com) so your emails will make it to their inboxes, whereas a Gmail email might not (firstname.lastname@example.org).When you choose your email address, make it easy to spell. Something like email@example.com is easy to remember and rattle off when people ask you for your email address rather than Sales_and_marketing.firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also create emails for different departments (even if you’re a one-person show), like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Be consistent with the email addresses for all employees, if you have a team.
Your domain name and website are your digital credentials. It’s important that you look professional and by investing a little time and money into the process of choosing your domain name and setting up your website, you can do just that. But once you do, you instantly establish credibility, and that helps get sales rolling in.