As we are delving even deeper into a more virtualistic society, people are creating their own websites to promote business. One important factor creators often forget is the value of owning your own domain name. Just like physical realty, digital real estate is available to buy, sell, and rent all over the internet. Not only does it solidify your brand, it strengthens your business in multiple ways—-some you may not have even considered.
Here’s just a few reasons why you should own your own URL address:
You gain more credibility
As soon as someone searches your name or a staple product of your business, it pops up on their feed. Using the same concept of SEO, owning your URL address to your website gives you a better chance of being seen by the public.
You have control over your own name
Once you’ve completed the step of purchasing your own domain name, you automatically have more control of how people see you on the internet. For instance, any less than attractive Facebook photo of you or tagged cringey post with your name on it is docked down on search engines if you own your own URL address.
You create prevention of either people buying it first
Whether someone has a grudge against you or is mindlessly purchasing random domain names, you can lose control over your URL address really quickly. Even if you decide not to use your own name as your URL, consumers could misunderstand your product, brand, etc. based on who owns the address.
So, now you have a little better insight on why you should invest in online real estate. But how should you go about it? What are things to keep in mind when browsing through online real estate? Here’s another short list to check off when creating and buying a URL that solidifies your brand.
1. Buy when it’s cheap!
Preferably, you want to be the first one to snatch the URL name you want. Many websites allow you to evaluate prices such as namebio.com. You can enter keywords and use other search features to see lists of names similar to what you may be thinking of calling your URL address. You can also look at GoDaddy Auctions and Afternic to research current domain name sales. Many domain names can be bought for around 10 to 15 dollars per year.
2. Remember to register the domain in your own name AND renew your registration
Many business owners make the mistake of not registering their URL under their own name. Which this can lead to issues when trying to sell business. Plus, missing the registration deadline can lead to devastating results.
According to an article on entrepreneur.com, Nick Hoffman, previous owner of inetguru.com, missed his renewal date, and another person purchased the name. Losing most of his contacts, Nick was forced to move on. Now working as a chief operating officer for an aftermarket marketplace for domains, Hoffman suggests buying a registration for up to 10 years up front or setting up an auto-renew payment. It’s an easy practice that most businesses forget, but if prioritized, it’s well worth it in the long run.
3. Be sure to pick a name that is not too complicated
The last thing people want to do is remember a URL with 5 different symbols and an unusual spelling. Avoid words with more than one spelling, using slang words, using numbers and abbreviations, and words that are too long. Word of mouth should play to your advantage when giving people your URL address, and keeping it as simple and intriguing as possible is the goal.
4. Watch out for hidden fees and tricks
Many times, domain names that come at a reasonable price have extra costs attached to them. Be sure to read any fine print in the terms of service, and do not let registrars upsell you on add-ons you do not need such as domain endings like “.info” or “.co”. Sometimes, registrars will charge transfer fees when buyers want to switch registrars or they make the process very difficult. Focus on transparency when using a registrar.
Whether you’re starting your own personal website or managing one for your business, picking out the right domain name is crucial for your brand. As long as you’re organized and methodical, people will flock to your URL.