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It goes without saying that your domain name weighs heavily on the success of your online business. More than 600,000 small businesses start each year in the United States, and 64% of them have websites. Choosing a unique domain name can be difficult when so many people are working in the same niche as you. When learning how to choose a domain name, it’s helpful to understand that there are several factors that contribute to the success or failure of your website.
Domain Name Extensions
When the internet first came into our homes, we had .com address extensions. Shortly thereafter came the .gov and .edu extensions. It took just a few short years to use up the majority of the domains that were short, easy to think of, include targeted keywords and are relevant for most small businesses’ needs. Today, if you can think of a brandable .com domain that someone else doesn’t have and it’s relevant for your business, you’d be remiss to pass it up. This is especially true considering good .com domain names start at $5,000 and can cost upwards of $10 million.
Vital Information About Small Businesses
It’s a fact that small businesses just starting out can’t afford to invest thousands of dollars into a domain name. The reality of their finances forces them to buy domain names with lesser-known extensions. Some business owners assume that the best policy is to wait until they’re financially ready to buy a .com domain and then build their website.
There’s simply too much competition on the domain name market and too much business lost by not having a website up and running. Your website can have more than one domain name. It’s smarter to start off small with a little-known extension and change it or add to it later on than it is to not build a website at all.
As cited in the Blue Corona article above, while 36% of small businesses don’t have a website at all, 58% of these business owners want one and have plans to build one soon. Waiting to build a website and buy a domain name can cost small business owners everything they’ve worked for. Because 70% to 80% of potential customers search for products or companies online before making a purchase, those sales are lost to businesses without a website. Almost no one goes to a brick-and-mortar store without searching for it first.
Out of all of the small businesses that have websites, only 17% invest in SEO. Those who buy a good domain name and set up an optimized, well-designed website set themselves up for success. Almost no one looks beyond the first page of search results, so getting your business to the first page is vital. That’s easier with a .com domain name, but it isn’t impossible with other domain names, too.
How To Choose A Domain Name And Build Its Value
A great way to save money but still build a successful website is to choose a keyword that’s relevant to your business and try to find that domain with a non-.com extension, like .us, .net, etc. Small business owners can build up their funds and wait for the right opportunity to buy a premium domain name with a .com extension. In the meantime, they can transform their current domain name into a high-value asset with a little work, investment in premium website building and SEO efforts.
The domain name of a business is a signal of the potential for success. The website in itself is what drives success. When that website starts to rank in Google SERPs for industry-specific keyword phrases, its value increases exponentially. Connecting social media pages with web pages is extremely helpful.
Though only a tiny percentage of small businesses find success with social media advertising, when marketing posts go viral, it can bring huge amounts of revenue into a business. To start, it’s enough to have a well-written social media page with high-quality photos and videos for patrons to follow. The more social media accounts that are associated with a webpage, the more value the domain has.
Having similar domain name variations that redirect to the website is very helpful. When customers incorrectly type web addresses and get the website they were looking for anyway, it can bring in a lot more traffic, which in turn makes your website look more authoritative to Google. Add and take away hyphens and other special characters and use common misspellings to come up with new domain names to use.
Decide Whether To Sell Your Domain Name
After putting all that work and time and money into your domain name, does it make sense to sell it? If your business is doing well and your efforts have worked for your business, it wouldn’t make much sense to sell your domain name(s) to a competing business. However, if one of your domain names isn’t bringing in much traffic and you’re dumping money into it doing SEO, maybe the domain name isn’t so valuable to you.
No matter the situation, only sell your domain name if it no longer serves you and you can make a decent profit off of it. Account for every dime you spent to develop the name and then add how much profit you want to make off of it to determine its price. You can wait until someone offers to buy it, or you can contact a domain name broker to go ahead and sell.
Buying, developing and building the value of your small business’s domain name using social media and SEO tactics can be immensely profitable to your business. The right domain name can’t automatically make you a small-business millionaire, but it can signal your potential for success to search engines and customers. Take your time, do your keyword research and find the best keyword string with a .com domain to reap the rewards for years to come.