Domain Names

Your site’s domain name is its calling card. As an online identity and location signifier rolled into one, a strong domain name is imperative to the success of your website. A dedicated domain name shows customers that you’re serious about being an online entity and allows you to easily direct customers straight to your website. 

There are several benefits to having your own domain:
  • Your domain name is your site’s primary identity and will belong to you as long as you renew it. In addition to providing your site with an address, you can use your domain name for your business’s email addresses. Once you secure a domain name, you are free to take it to different hosting providers if necessary. 

  • With your own domain, you can promote your business every time you send an email. For example, if your email address is mybusiness@bigpond.com, you are essentially promoting BigPond every time you send a message. Also, if you choose to go with another ISP, you will confuse your customer and have to print out new marketing material. If you have your own domain, you can use the email address admin@mybusiness.com, which you can keep regardless of changes to your Internet provider. 

  • Having a domain name makes it easier for customers to find you online and remember how to reach your site. 

Unlike in the early days of the Internet, domain names are fairly inexpensive, so there’s no reason not to have one. Before you go off and register a domain name there are a few things to keep in mind:
  1. Size Does Matter
    In general, the smaller the domain name, the better. The problem is, many of the smaller names are already registered and out of reach. If you do find an available name that is both short and appropriate for your business, it will be easier to brand and for customers to remember and spell correctly. 

  2. Make it Easy to Remember
    Try to register a domain name that is easy to remember and has a pleasant sound. Generic words work best for this, but the majority of them are already registered. If you find that all of your ideas are already taken, try less generic names or unique combinations of generic words. 

  3. Relate it to Your Business
    The best possible domain name is the name of your business itself. If you can register the name of your business you will keep your branding consistent both off and online and existing customers can easily guess your domain name without having to search. Remember, however, it’s important to use industry-related keywords in your domain to help search engines classify your site and improve your ranking to drive in new customers. 

  4. Avoid Similarities
    Avoid choosing domains that have similar counterparts online. You don’t want to accidentally lead customers to a competitor’s site rather than yours because they get confused over the two similar domain names. 

  5. For Australian Business, .com.au is the Best
    If you go with .com.au, it will be clear to customers that you are operating out of Australia. With domain names being so inexpensive these days, it’s a good idea to also register the .com version of your domain and any other related versions to avoid confusion and so that your competitors can’t scoop them up. 

Links

  1. ICANN's Registrants' Benefits and Responsibilities
  2. AuDa Consumer Rights as a registrant