A Small Business’s Guide To Setting Up A Domain Name

Text sign showing Domain Name Registration. Business photo showcasing Own an IP Address Identify a particular Webpage Male human wear formal work suit presenting presentation using smart device

Today, over 2 billion people prefer buying products over the internet, according to Statista. This number keeps rising year on year, thanks to the rapid increase in internet access and adoption. As a result, many businesses have invested in their online presence to target this ever-growing market.

A website should be a virtual necessity for any small business. It serves as a digital version of your brick-and-mortar store. However, building a business website won’t automatically attract prospective clients to your company. 

Take a closer look at some of the popular brands. One thing they have in common is an easy-to-read and memorable name. The same applies to your enterprise. You’ll need a domain name that’s easier for the customers to remember. This can greatly influence your search engine ranking, which is vital for your online presence.

So, how do you come up with a domain name that’ll boost your brand’s success? This article will help you get started with this crucial part of your digital marketing strategy.

What Is A Domain Name?

A domain name is the name of your website. It refers to the string of characters that precede extensions such as ‘.com’ and ‘.org.’ A domain name can have a maximum of 63 characters, although most are always way below that number.

Because this is what one would use to find your site on the World Wide Web, it has to resemble your business name. However, given that billions of domain names are registered today, there are chances that what you have in mind might be a name of an already registered website. 

Therefore, you’ll need to search a registry site for different domains to confirm availability. This way, you’ll be sure that the name you’ve created and planning to purchase is unique.

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Important Tips To Setting Up A Domain Name

Registering the right domain name will greatly impact how prospective customers engage with your brand. Here are some important things to consider in the process:

guide list on how to set up domain name

1. Find The Right Name

The first step is to find a domain name that exemplifies your business and is memorable. This is the most challenging part because what you think is unique might be unavailable for purchase. Therefore, you’ll need to come up with more than one option before visiting a domain registrar.

The best way to get a domain name that suits your business is to bounce ideas off real people. Ask your friends what they have in mind or think about what you’ve chosen. 

Once you’ve settled on a name, head to Google and search for it. See if there is another business using the same or a similar domain name. Remember, close similarities could confuse customers and lose your business. For instance, if an entity operates under the domain name Saramarketplace.com, choosing Sarahmarketplace.com might not be a good idea. 

A good domain name should meet all the following requirements:

  • Clear and concise: Use a language that’s common to your target audience.

  • Exemplifies your business: It should include common industry keywords and part or whole name of your brand.

  • Short and simple: Use a short string of characters – preferably letters. Avoid unnecessary hyphens and numbers.

  • Prioritize uniqueness: Make sure it’s not similar to any of your competitors’ names to avoid confusion.  

2. Check Availability

After listing all the possible options, your next task will be to check if they’re available for purchase. You can do this by visiting a registrar website and doing a domain search. If a name has already been claimed, it’ll be tagged as ‘unavailable.’ Do this for all the options and see which ones have not been purchased. 

While at it, you’ll also be required to choose a domain extension. Most businesses prefer top-level domains (TLDs) such as ‘.com’, ‘.org’, and ‘.NET.’ Country code, infrastructural, and sponsored TLDs are also great options.

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Almost half of all registered domain names use the .com extension. Therefore, it’s highly likely that your first choice may already be taken. Of course, you can opt for other available domain extensions, but make sure they relate to your business.

For instance, a ‘.engineering’ domain extension will only work best for an engineering-based company. Be sure to do your due diligence to avoid confusion with a brand that has already registered the same name using a different extension. 

Finger pushing a button on a conceptual dashboard with domain extensions. Composite image between a finger photography and a 3D background.

3. Pay The Registration Fee

The final step is quite straightforward as you only need to submit your billing details and select anything else you’d want to add to your cart. But before you finalize things, it’s important to consider the purchasing terms. In fact, this should be one of the main things to keep in mind when choosing a domain registrar.

Depending on the registrar, your initial purchase could be on terms longer than one year. Be sure to evaluate your business goals before committing to such terms. For instance, if you’re planning to change your set-up within the next five years, signing a 10-year commitment may not be a sensible idea. 

It’s worth noting that the prices vary depending on the registrar, the domain name, and the extension you choose. Some TLDs will cost less than USD$40, while others will demand thousands of dollars. Also, additional products and services like domain privacy can contribute to the expenses.

Conclusion

A website is a vital requirement for every small business in this day and age. To enhance your online presence, you’ll need a proper domain name.

Therefore, you must carefully select a name that is both catchy and exemplifies your business. Once you have your preferred name, you can check for its availability and pay the registration fee. 

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