Whether you are a plumber, a freelance photographer, own a local cafe or any other type of small business, having a great website is essential to your business’s success. Unfortunately, several small businesses found out just how crucial having an online presence is, thanks to the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Businesses without a website or any social media presence were suddenly scrambling to get themselves noticed, and keep sales flowing, during Government imposed restrictions. The first step, and often underrated step, towards setting up your website is securing a domain name for your small business. Let’s go through some of the fundamentals –
How to Secure a Great Domain Name
Your domain name (a.k.a.) website address is super important for several reasons. Firstly, most people assume that your domain name will be something like yourbusinessname.com.au and if it doesn’t end in .com.au then often it is assumed that your business is located in America.
Beyond this, there are several other aspects of your domain name that should be considered:
Keep it short and sweet
No-one wants to be typing an obscenely long URL into their browser’s address bar, or worse yet, attempt to type it on their mobile browser. Keeping it down to 10-20 characters is ideal. Including hyphens and underscores is not commonplace, and should be avoided if possible.
Choose the correct domain extension
As mentioned above, the domain extension is often the basis of many assumptions, so keeping it relevant is important. Let’s look at a few examples –
- .com.au – likely to be an Australian business
- .org – likely to be a community organisation or not for profit
- .melbourne – this business is all about Melbourne
- .digital – hmm, no explanation needed here!
The more ‘exclusive’ the domain extension, the more expensive it is likely to be. For example, .melbourne is very specific and so is charged at a premium price as opposed to .com and .com.au which are the most cost-effective.
Keep it relevant and memorable
Don’t be too clever or ‘tricky’ with your domain name by using a hard-to-remember acronym or strange spelling. It’s all about having a domain name that is easy to remember, but also easily recognisable as belonging your business (eg. it reinforces your branding). Choose a domain name that is relevant to your business, but also suits your target audience.
For example, let’s say your business name is Clayton Pies and Bakehouse. Whilst this is a pretty long business name, you could opt for domain names such as www.claytonpies.com.au, claytonbakehouse.com.au or www.claytonbakery.com.au. Even better, you could attempt to secure all three domains and keep your brand protected.
Protect your brand
Protecting your brand via domain name is often completely overlooked, but I cannot begin to emphasise the importance of this. Here’s an example:
JD Sports is a large sports retailer with stores across Australia. One would think that their website address is jdsports.com.au but alas it is not. Their address is www.jd-sports.com.au
I’m not sure which business secured their domain name first, but either way, I would have strongly recommended that they purchase both options to avoid any other business grabbing it and potentially ‘stealing’ website traffic.
For the sake of a few extra bucks a year, it is a worthwhile investment.
Do your research
This might sound ridiculous, but yes, you need to research your domain name! The last thing you want to have is your business mixed up with another, purely because of a domain name tangle.
Take the time to ‘Google’ your proposed domain name and see if a similar one already exists online. Check out business.gov.au and asic.gov.au to see if there are any other businesses with a similar name to your own.
Keep your domain name search engine friendly
Yes, that’s right, even your domain name can be search engine friendly. How? You need to keep it relevant to what you do! So, if you are a plumber based in Mordialloc, wouldn’t you try to secure mordiallocplumber.com.au ? There is really no question as to where you are located and what area your service, and Google will lap it up (along with all the other SEO goodies on your website)!
Find your domain name today
If you are ready to find the domain name for your small business, you can explore your options here. Not only can you find available domain names, but you can also purchase an Australian domain extension (eg .com.au) domain name from as little as $12.95 per year.
If you need any help securing a domain name or need to talk through the process, feel free to contact us at Promark today!