If you’re asking yourself the question from the title of this text, you might as well be asking yourself “how important is my personal address?” Not at all, unless you want to be easily found. The same goes for your business. Without a proper domain name, your business will be considerably harder to find via an internet search. On the other hand, a professional domain name communicates trustworthiness and reliability to your visitors. Even if your business does not sell services or products online, chances are that the first thing your customers are going to do if they want to find your business types it into Google. Unless they are sure that the website is authentically yours, you are letting free traffic slip through your hands. Though an original domain name can seem pricey at first, it pays dividends in the long run.
Choosing the right domain name and extension
When choosing the perfect domain name for your business, you’ll want to avoid words that are easily misspelled or do not clearly communicate the business. Keep it simple and easily memorable and you’ll be on the right track to using your domain name to your advantage. If possible, try using top-ranking keywords in your industry to give you an extra boost in those Google searches. If that is not possible, use names that easily explain what your business is all about, and chances are whoever is searching will find you. You might be tempted to opt for a subdomain based on pricing alone, but anything ending in something along the lines of .wix.com is not only going to look abysmal on business cards, but it’s also going to be harder to find and potentially damage the authenticity of your brand. But your website doesn’t have to end with .com either. Imagine how cool it would look if the address of your business had the interesting .me domain. Keep in mind, also, that it’s not only the visitors to your website who prefer original and trustworthy business addresses. Google’s ranking algorithm also has a preference for authentic domains.
Be the ruler of your domain
Having an authentic domain name is not only a cosmetic addition to your business. It allows for a level of control unmatched by any subdomain. Working with companies like Etsy, Facebook or Wix is good, but there is no guarantee that any of those companies will continue to exist or that they will not change their policies and drive your business into the ground in the process. Your own domain is yours to control, and as long as you pay the expenses of registering the domain, there’s nothing to fear. A domain name lets you control how and where you redirect visitors to your website.
Let your brand have a name
As was already mentioned, an original domain name builds trust with your customers. But that’s not the only pro in registering. Forget emails ending with something like @gmail.com as practical. It’s unprofessional and, what you save through using a free subdomain, you will lose through the damage done to your brand. Investing in a custom domain will let you send custom emails ending with the same domain and market your brand name as trustworthy and professional. Still don’t think a domain is all that important? Think again, this time from the perspective of your customers. What opinion are you letting them form about your company and products if they notice that you were not ready and able to invest in something as affordable as a domain name? Do you aim to provide value and service to your customers or are you also going to second guess your investments when it comes to the quality of your products? Build your brand with care, and your brand will provide ample revenue in return.
All in all, a business can stay afloat without a custom domain, but the benefits of having one are clear as day, and with the affordability of registering a domain name yourself or with the help of a hosting provider, there really is no reason not to do it. Some hosting services even provide registration free of charge once you purchase a hosting package.