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How a Domain Name Can Make or Break Your Online Business

Michael Gargiulo - CEO, VPN.com

By: Michael Gargiulo, CEO at VPN.com

Updated: 3:23 PM ET Fri, May 1st 2020

Introduction

The domain name of your online business is arguably the most important part of your digital brand. It’s the name customers know you by and the main message of your social media marketing. If you want to understand why a domain name is important, look no further than top Fortune 500 companies. Amazon, Google, Ebay, and so on are exclusively known by their domain name. 

Choosing the right domain name for your online brand can be a make-or-break decision, and it’s one you have to make early in your online business’ development.

What is a Domain Name? How Does it Affect an Online Business?

Every computer connected to the Internet has a unique identifier known as an IP address. These are 12-digit strings of numbers that act as a kind of Internet telephone number. With 32-bit protocols, there can be up to 4,294,967,296 unique IP addresses, each assigned to a different website. 

No human can be expected to remember random number sequences, which is why domain names are important. The earliest Internet sites were given names, such as Harvard.edu, to help people find them online.

The main reason why a domain name is important is the sheer presence it has in online commerce. In 2020 there are over 360 million domain names registered with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Many domains are familiar brands, such as Pepsi.com. Others are companies that hardly exist outside of the Internet, such as most social media sites.

Why a Domain Name is Important

Two of the top three most valuable brands in the world, Google and Amazon, are domain names. Facebook, Twitter, and Ebay are top-20 brands. These are all worth tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars

Domain names act as calling cards for online brands. They make it easy for potential customers to navigate directly to your website by intuition alone. Often, your domain name is the shortest-possible brand message your online business will ever use. A memorable domain name is especially important for online retailers that count on high traffic to thrive.

How to Choose an Effective Domain Name for Your Online Business

It’s no secret that some domain names are better than others. The one you choose will dramatically affect how easy your business is to find on the Internet. While many domains are already taken, there are several things you can do to maximize the potential of your domain name.

 

Always Go With “.com”

 

Domain names end with an extension, such as .org, .gov, or .edu. Whenever possible, you should pick a .com extension for your brand. .Com is by far the largest domain extension available. As a result, it’s likely to be the first extension potential customers try when they’re searching for you.

 

Keep it Short

 

Shorter is always better. Technically, you can choose a name that’s up to 255 characters, including the extension, but that’s way too long. 

Short, punchy names stick in the public’s memory. They also fit more easily into space-limited social media posts about your brand. Social media branding is yet another reason why a domain name is important.

 

Try to be Intuitive

 

While many Internet users visit sites via a search engine or direct link, there’s a third group you could be missing out on. These are people who search for sites intuitively, by typing a brand name into the navigation bar followed by “.com.” Having an intuitive domain name can make it far easier for first-time visitors to find you.

Consider a Premium Domain Name for Your Online Business

It was inevitable that certain domain names would become more valuable than others. Premium domain names, as they’re known, are domains that draw enough traffic to be significantly more valuable than the standard $10 to $35 cost of a domain registration. Prices for premium domains are often thousands — and even millions — of dollars.

Wrapping Up

Finding a premium domain name is relatively easy with a domain name broker. VPN.com has over 1,000 premium domains for sale, as well as listings for countless other domains that we can negotiate to buy from their current owners. Higher traffic, better retention, and boosted brand recognition are all reasons to consider purchasing a premium domain name.

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