You are ready to get started on your small-business website and the first thing to do is secure the $10 domain name that will someday be worth a bazillion dollars. Here are a few tips about acquiring a URL for your small-business website.
It really doesn’t matter
Many small-business owners fret over what they should call their website. Should they just throw a .com at the end of their business name? Should they make it search engine friendly? Before I go into what really matters, here’s the bottom line: The domain name means nothing unless you put consistent, valuable content on your website. So just buy the domain name and get on with creating great content.
I’ll give you a few more things to consider but, seriously, the domain name of your website doesn’t matter. Valuable content matters.
Make it easy for potential clients
When a new business owner asks me what their domain name should be the first thing I tell them is to make it consist of simple words that you wouldn’t have to spell out to anyone. When someone asks you for your website address they should not have to write it down or ask how to spell it in order to remember it. This means, if the name of your business is complicated to spell, WinthropAlstonLawOffice.com, choose a couple common English words that most educated people can spell, YourLawyerFriends.com.
If you have a complicated brand name, I’d still recommend you purchase the domain for your brand; you can forward multiple URL’s to your website. Use your simple URL when creating business cards or when sharing your website with others so that you are memorable and potential clients are more likely to visit your website when they are in front of the internet.
Google doesn’t care about your domain name
Many small business owners seem to think that your domain name is going to have some magical power to get you ranked in your industry. They think that putting a .com after a strong keyword term is going to rank them #1 on the same Google search. This used to be the case 5 to 10 years ago, but Google has become much more savvy since then. Buying the domain name TheBestDogNailSalon.com isn’t going to get you ranking any higher.
With that said, I should mention here that domain names are not all equal. Some domain names that have been created previously have what is called PageRank. Google honors these domain names with more ranking power because they have a history of strong search engine optimization. I wouldn’t worry about buying a domain name with high PageRank unless you are working with an experienced search engine optimization company that is going to be optimizing your website. Consult with that company and they can work on getting you an existing domain name with PageRank. This will give you a head start in your Google ranking quest.
Don’t use GoDaddy
Years of sleazy Super Bowl commercials have made people think Godaddy is the only place one can buy a domain name. It’s not true. Don’t ever use them for any type of service. I have heard volumes of bad customer service experiences and they will try and up-sell you at every chance they get. Tevya even wrote about why we left Godaddy, and have had lots of people add their support in the comments.
FiddlerStudios recommends you use Hover in all your domain name purchases. We have been using Hover for years, and have been impressed by the ease of use and their great customer service.
Again, what you call your website does not matter as much as what you put on your website. Go buy something easy and then start creating great content!