How to Choose the Right Domain Name for Your Small Business
Once you start planning your business, you will find that online representation is a crucial part to make it a success.
In today’s digitally driven business landscape, having a business website is a must, irrespective of how small or big your business is. Now, to start building a website, you need to have a domain name.
Getting a domain name is not as simple as choosing one and paying for it. You need to find one that fits your brand, niche, and business goals.
Let’s take a closer look at what is a domain name, its benefits, and how to choose a good one.
What Is a Domain Name?
Your domain name is the equivalent of your physical store address. It’s what people type into their browsers to go to your website.
Your domain name is unique to you. Once you register it, no other entity can claim it. But make sure that you renew it every year.
A good and relevant domain name reflects your brand and what you do. If you have the same domain name as your business name, it will reinforce your brand, making it memorable.
How to Choose the Best Domain Name for Your Business?
A business’s domain name is a signal of its potential for success. When your website starts to rank in Google SERPs for industry-specific keyword phrases, its value will increase exponentially.
Here are important steps when selecting a domain name:
1. Start brainstorming and do your research
Before purchasing a domain name, you must decide on the right name first. You can come up with a list of ideal names and brainstorm them with your friends, family, and colleagues.
Next, browse through Google to see if there are any existing domain names related to the one you’re considering.
2. Check your ideal domain name’s availability
Now that you have domain name options, you need to see if they’re available for registration.
Though most businesses prefer a domain name ending with .com as it’s easier to remember, it is not easy to find one as approximately 44% of all the domain names uses the .com domain extension. If the .com domain you want is not available, there are various niche-specific and locale-specific extensions you can use, such as .store, .edu, .au, etc.
There are numerous places you can visit to perform your domain search. You can use BigRock’s Domain Name Registration search bar or WHOIS lookup tool.
3. Determine and look at the domain auctions
The cost of domain names can vary widely. It depends on where you are purchasing the domain, besides other factors.
When considering your domain’s overall cost, it’s essential to consider additional costs like accessory fees and yearly renewals. You also need to be aware of the charges for auto-renewing or transferring your domain.
Oftentimes, proxy bids are accepted, meaning you can set the maximum amount for your bid and then the system will keep upping your bid until the maximum limit is reached. If you win the domain auction, you will have a specific period to claim and pay for the new domain.
4. Choose your term for purchase
Depending on the registrar, you can purchase domain names for terms longer than a year. With that, you need to consider your business goals before deciding on a term. If you have any plans to change your business name at some point, buying and locking in a domain name for a long period may not be a viable option.
The key advantage of buying a domain name for a longer term is – it’s locked in and there’s no chance anyone or your competitors can snatch it. Other advantages are the lucrative discounts you can get and it saves you time.
Should You Use the Same Domain Name as Your Business Name?
Ideally, it’s important to have a domain name that matches your business name. If you’re starting your business and have not yet decided on the business name, you may even consider naming your business based on the domains available.
The situation is a little trickier if you’re an established business owner searching for a domain to create a website. When you start your search for domain names, you may run across a couple of situations:
Your businessname.com is already taken, but the domain’s owner is not using it currently.
In this case, you may be able to get in touch with them and enquire if they’re interested in selling the domain. Do a WHOIS lookup to find domain owners and/or their registrar’s contact information.
Yourbusinessname.com is taken, and the domain name owner built a website with it.
If you have trademarked your business name, and have been in the business for a while, there’s a good chance that people could confuse your business name with other businesses. In this case, you may file a legal case to get control of the domain name. However, the process can be time-consuming and expensive, so you’ll have to decide if it’s worthwhile.
Once you have chosen your domain name, purchase it from a domain registrar like BigRock that offers domain theft protection or domain locking services. This would protect your domain name from hijacking or unauthorised transfers, ensuring that the domain name you’ve worked hard for is secure.