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The importance of a good domain

Originally Published on : March, 17 – 2017
Updated on: June 25 – 2022

From a marketing point of view, the importance of a good domain name is critical as it is the basis around which we build our online business. If we use it in a smart way, it can become an invaluable asset as we can promote our main service aligned with our domain name by implementing some SEO strategies. Before diving into details, let’s see first its definition.

What is a Domain Name

A domain name is the text representation of a numerical string that is used to identify an address on the Internet. Each computer on the Internet has an Internet protocol (IP) address that is a unique string of four or six numbers separated by periods. And when I say four or six numbers, that means IPv4, that is the standard and IPv6 that is a wider range of IP addresses as they are running out as Internet grows.

For example, when you open up a web browser, chances are that you use a search engine. When you go to the address bar, what you type is a word, for example, you type Google.com. What you may not realize, is that the name of the website actually translates to numbers that represent that IP address, in this case, 172.217.6.238, that is the IP address of the Google.com domain name. If you write Yahoo.com, it resolves to this IP address 98.138.253.109.

Domain names were created in the form of character strings because it’s easier for human beings to remember names instead of numbers. The shorter a domain name is, the better for people to remember it. The ICANN is the corporation that is in charge of the administration of all domains in the Internet. Following we have some of the most important aspects of why a domain name is so important.

Credibility to your Business

When you have your own domain name, it makes your company look professional. If you publish your site through an ISP (Internet Service Provider) or a free Web hosting site, or those common “free all-in one” page builders out there, you’ll end up with a URL such as www.theisp.com/yourbusiness.

This generic address does not inspire confidence in a customer like a www.yourcompany.com domain name does. Since many people don’t yet trust the Internet and e-commerce, you’ll want to do what you can to prove that your small business deserves their money. If you’re not willing to pay the money to register an appropriate domain name to be used on a paid hosting, why would consumers think you’d put any effort into creating valuable products or services? They simply cannot trust you just because of this small, and at the same time big detail.

Some business owners try to cut costs by renting, rather than buying, a domain name. This is not a good business idea as it shows that you don’t even care enough to invest in your own link. Remember: If you look cheap, your customers will treat you as cheap.

Importance of a good domain

Having a domain name and a website immediately puts you in front of your competitors that simply don’t have it. Do you remember what Bill Gates said?

When you have a saying like that one, and specially coming from the man that for the first 20 years of the 21st Century, has been the richest man on the planet, it has to tell you a loud and clear message that you must have an online presence with your domain and website. By doing so, you are giving a solid impression to your customers that you are using the best tool of communication that has ever existed: the Internet.

When you have your own domain, this tells the world that you are serious about what you do. Not only that, it tells everyone that you are thinking forward. Your business goes from competing in a local to a global market.

Freedom for your Internet presence

If at some point, you decide to change of hosting provider, or simply select another platform, owning your own domain allows to swiftly transfer it wherever you want. But, if you are using a free platform, such as Wix.com and many others out there, nor the name, nor the site, nor its contents belongs to you. You will have to start from scratch selecting another domain that be available, which will destroy the branding that you have built with your first address.

SEO and Positioning

The right domain attracts people who is searching for a similar topic. If you decide and are able to register a domain that matches the concept or name of your main service, instead of the name of your company, you can draw a lot of traffic of people that is searching for that term. For example, if you create websites and you are located in New Jersey, U.S.A., and you have a domain name of NewJerseyWebDesign.com chances are that you get found when somebody is searching for that service in that location.

It’s really important to understand that picking a domain name can be crucially important to the success of your business online and so you need to put a lot of thought into it. When you be thinking about buying a domain, take it seriously. If it’s possible let other people look at it to see what they think of it before you go ahead and buy it. If you make a mistake then it can be costly and difficult to change, particularly if you already have a position in a search engine and a number of customers who already know it. So, it is far better to get it right first time.

  A domain name builds your Brand   

More than anything else, a domain name can increase awareness of your brand. If your company name and your domain name are the same, it reinforces your brand, making it easier for customers to remember you. It makes it easy for potential and existing customers to keep your name on their mind and tell their friends.

The bottom line is that a good domain name can go a long way toward generating traffic to your Web site and building your reputation. That, in turn, will result in more customers and more sales.

The Price

This is a super important point. Every single day thousands of domains are registered. In the same way, thousands of domains are deleted from the global record. In this last case, are the domains whose life cycle has expired. The thing is that there are both people and companies that are called Domain Hunters. What they do is that they are checking for good and available domains on the web, they register them, for a very low price, and then they sell it for a super high price.

For example, a domain that can cost $10 to $35, can be sold in $100,000 and even more. This is true. And they do this because there is no regulation in this, as the ICANN, that is the global corporation says very clearly: “The first that comes is the first one to be served.” In other words, a domain name belongs to the first one that purchases it. If somebody else, even a big company wants to get it, has to reach an agreement with the owner. It’s hard to understand or accept it, but that’s the way it is.

If someone, in some way or another, registered the domain you wanted, be it your name or your company ‘s or product name, there are only 4 things to do:

1- You purchase at the price they set (This is NOT recommended unless you have a lot of money)
2- You contact the person or company that has it for sale to see if you can have a better offer, something that in fact is done many times.

3- You wait for “a miracle” and pray for the owner to allow it to expire.
(It sounds weird, but sometimes it works. In 2012 I lost my domain luisfederico.com and 8 years later I recovered it.)

4- You simply look for another domain name that be similar to that one and move forward.
(This is the smartest option).

To give you an idea, Mark Zuckerberg paid $225,000 to acquire the domain Facebook.com. By then, it was not yet the Social Media giant we know today. The one he used was TheFacebook.com but he paid attention to a recommendation from Sean Parker and it turned out to be an excellent move.

In 2010, Facebook bought the domain FB.com from the American Farm Bureau Federation and paid a high amount for it – $8.5 million dollars, which is 40 times more than what the company originally paid for facebook.com.

One feature of Facebook messages is that it assigned a personalized Facebook.com email address. If a friend sends a message to their Facebook email, they will receive it in their Facebook inbox. Unfortunately, Facebook employees were already using the Facebook.com domain for their emails, so they had to switch to another domain. That’s why Facebook had to buy FB.com. You can find more information about this here.

I remember the case of a person that time ago we were talking about creating a website. I told him that the first thing that he had to do was to acquire the domain and hosting services, which was a very low price by that moment.

He told me that he was working on the logo, and that he had a nephew in another country that was designing it, and that he had to consult with his sister before making a desition on that name and he asked me to wait for two weeks. I just told him,    “I know what I am telling you, it’s better that you buy it now, or you are going to regret it.”    He said, “Don’t worry, Luis. It’s going to be available.” I said, Ok. I was about to get it for him, but as many times he said no, then I decided to leave it so.

Two weeks later, I checked the availability of that domain, and I saw that a domain hunter acquired it and have it on sale. Now the price was $3,875. I contacted the person, opened a browser in front of him, and just typed his domain, and he saw the price. He was in shock. I just said:   “You know about your business, but I know about this.”    By the moment that I was writing this article, I checked again that domain, and now, it’s not the old price, now it’s $14,195. The problem was that he registered his company and preprared all documents under that name.

CONCLUSION

There are more than just a few good reasons to get a good domain name. Your choice of domain name can have a big impact on the image and prestige of your company and also has an influence on the success of your activities on the web. Your domain is your brand, and your brand is everything.

A millionaire once told me: “Luis, do not hesitate to acquire a domain, because a domain, beyond its price, has an immense value for you, your brand and your business.”

So, any questions that you might have concerning domains, don’t hesitate to contact me. I will help you.

It's a Social Media and Digital Marketing consultant, owner and founder of LFStudio. He is also author and entrepreneur. He helps small businesses to get clients online, generate income and grow.

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