Businesses of all kinds are increasingly depending on web traffic to drive conversions and loyalty. This means your brand’s website is more vital to the customer experience — and therefore your bottom line — than ever before. Making a good impression online is key.
Your company’s domain name is its unique online moniker that people will see when they visit your website — the parts before and after the period in your web address. Think of it as a chance to make a first impression with visitors.
Keep reading for advice on buying a domain name the smart way so your website can shine.
Choose a Strong Domain Name
Before you can make a move to buy a domain name, you need to brainstorm some strong choices — then explore their availability and pricing.
Domain names typically either relate to your company’s name or its product niche. Here are some characteristics of a good domain name:
- Concise (think three words or less)
- Straightforward (easy to type/spell)
- May contain relevant keywords
- Consistent with your unique brand
- Differentiates you from the competition
Why is it so important to put care and consideration into choosing your domain name? Because potential customers factor in your website name when evaluating your brand — particularly its legitimacy and trustworthiness, as well as how memorable it is. A low-quality domain name can cause people to second-guess whether they are visiting the right website or whether they want to do business with you, while a high-quality one makes a favorable first impression.
What If Your Desired Domain Name Is Taken?
After you come up with a shortlist of domain names you would like to get, it’s time to start the shopping process. You may very well find your top pick is taken already, in which case you must either choose an alternative name or try to purchase it from the current holder.
The experts at Verizon add that you may be able to change the extension when buying a domain — i.e. trying “.net” or “.biz” instead of “.com” if these alternatives are more available and affordable. As you can imagine, “.com” tends to be the most expensive extension on the market, although it is also arguably the most recognizable and trustworthy.
There is often flexibility in domain names, so don’t be afraid to play around with different options until you find the name that is right for you in terms of branding and pricing.
Bundle a Domain Name + Web Hosting
Another way to secure a domain name is to register it through a web hosting service rather than a standalone registrar. The advantage here is that it tends to be a bit more convenient to bundle a domain name with website hosting — a one stop shop, if you will. This option works especially well if you are still in the stages of getting your website off the ground, or have an established website through a particular website hosting service you’d like to keep.
Although web hosting and domain names go hand in hand, they are not exactly one and the same. Domains are essentially a shortcut to access your website’s IP address. Web hosting is what powers a website. Here’s how Crazy Egg describes it: The domain is like the street address of a residence, while the web hosting is like the actual home itself.
Buying a domain the smart way first and foremost requires you to do your research and take time to brainstorm strong domain name possibilities. From there, it’s a matter of shopping around and deciding whether to bundle your web hosting with your domain name for ease.