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From small to large, organizations all over the world are using the internet to conduct business on a daily basis. At the very least, these organizations need an email address to communicate with their audience, and a website to direct that audience to for more information. For the average individual, a free email address or website provided by an ISP such as AOL or Yahoo is sufficient. However, the serious professional will want to have these essential services attached to their very own domain name.
Despite being treated as an afterthought by some, a domain name is absolutely critical to just about everything you do online. Here is a rundown of how of it impacts your online presence :
Creating Instant Professionalism and Credibility
When it comes to doing business online, professionalism is everything, and it’s hard to portray a professional image when your presence is tied to someone else. Having a domain name establishes a sense of ownership that makes you look more professional in email communications, and lends instant credibility to website interactions.
So instead of “firstname.lastname@example.org“, your email address reads more like “email@example.com“. Instead of “www.mywebsite.freewebhosting.com”, your web address is more like “www.myownwebsite.com”.
Of course there’s that anonymity deal that accompanies the internet, but professionalism and credibility are crucially important when dealing with an audience. They matter so much, that your domain name could be the difference between whether or not potential clients decide to give you a chance.
Setting the Tone for Branding
A domain name can also play a key role in your branding strategy. If you get either the name of your company, product, or something else related to your brand in there, it could help reinforce the value of your brand to those who encounter it. For example, if the name of your company is Vibrant Experiences, “VibrantExperiences.com” or “VibrantExp.com” may be appropriate. On the other hand, if your business sells treats for small dogs, something like “PupPops.com” might work.
Branding is all about increasing awareness. A visitor may not necessarily be familiar with the name of your brand when first arriving to your site, but they may upon leaving, and your domain could be a big reason why. It is the recognition it helps create that will have them coming back, recommending your website to friends, and doing other stuff that can result from strong branding.
Creating Flexibility and Fostering Longevity
When you register a domain name with a registrar like GoDaddy, you are typically allowed to use it wherever you want. This means you can host it there with them, or with another web host. If you decide that you want to change hosting companies later down the road, you can pack up your domain name and set it up on the new server running your website.
You are free to travel with your name as long as you renew it before it expires. Renewal usually comes on an annual or bi-annual basis, and it is not uncommon for registration fees to be less than $10 per year. The specifics depend on the registrar, but domain names in general are set up to give you the utmost freedom and flexibility. A good name can really help drive your online presence for as long as you need it to go.
Enhancing Search Value
Search engines crawl the web extensively, leaving almost no stone unturned when searching for text to index. Not a lot of people know this, but one place they look is your URL. A keyword-rich domain could potentially add to the SEO value of your website, helping it gain higher ranking in the results, more visibility, and increased traffic. For years, search marketing experts have been debating about the true SEO value of a domain name. When considering how it plays into links and anchortext, we’d like to think it can only help.
What’s in a Domain Name?
Hopefully after reading this, you understand how important a domain name is to your online presence. And since technology is widening the bridge between the digital and physical worlds, you could say it holds some weight offline as well. Getting one is much easier and cheaper in the post dot.com boom era, but choosing the right one is what really matters.
So what makes a good domain name? The short answer is short and sweet, catchy, and relevant to your brand. With that in mind, this simple formula can help you secure a domain name that holds down your online presence for many years to come.
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