Owning your name online is imperative. Discover why a personal domain is important and how you can use custom domains to your benefit here.
Keyword(s): personal domain
Starting a website for your business is critical these days, but if you’re still pretty new to the game, the process of web design and personal domain creation can be intimidating. In addition, many small business owners still rely heavily on social media for their business needs. Still, a website is critical if you want to elevate your company and reach more customers.
In recent years, the number of people who shop online has been steadily increasing with the rise of smartphones, social media, technology, and online marketplaces. That said, if your online presence is non-existent or half-hearted, you could be missing out on a lot of traffic to your website and a lot of potential income.
If you want to learn about making an excellent first impression with a personal domain and learn some tips and tricks about doing it correctly, you’re in the right place! Read on to finally understand the domain name process and figure out what the perfect name could be for your business.
What Is a Domain Name?
A domain name is the string of text that links to your numeric IP address. Every website that is created receives a domain name that attaches to your website. For instance, “google.com” is the domain name for Google.
Domain registries manage domain names. The registries delegate any domain name registries and help website owners create a unique domain for their website.
A domain is also different from a URL (uniform resource locator), sometimes called a web address. Your domain becomes part of your URL, in addition to the transfer information and path content.
What Are the Parts of a Domain Name?
A domain name is generally broken down into two or three different parts separated by a dot. When read, the identifiers from the most general to the most specific, like pouring data through a funnel.
The final section of your name is the TLD (top-level domain). For example, these sections contain generic TLDs or gTLDs such as “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, or “.link”.
Understanding Top-Level Generic Domains (gTLDs) and New Top-Level Domains (TLDs)
In order to fully understand the domain name process, these two new terms can help you stay ahead of the curve. gTLDs and nTLDs are terms used to describe the extensions in your domain name.
The most common and most popular TLD is “.com”, and it’s recognizable and easy to remember for most web users. A list of common domain extensions are:
Some TLD options may have restrictions, like the “.biz” or “.pro” options, which are only assigned to businesses or professionals with specific credentials. Additionally, sponsored TLDs can be given when a sponsor creates certain eligibility requirements for a community.
New nTLDs are released weekly to fill in any gaps left from the limited availability of gTLDs. These options can help users find a targeted niche or geographical location. Some nTLDs are:
Implementing nTLDs can help you create a domain name quickly that creatively describes your brand or niche. The options in this category are vast, and since they are still new to the market, now is a great time to choose from them!
What Is a Personal or Custom Domain?
Unlike a basic domain that you can get from your website host, a personal domain gives you the power to determine how exactly you want your web address read. Creating a personal domain gives you control of your online identity and allows users to find your website easily.
By utilizing a personal domain, your website will look more professional. You will show the world that you fully own your domain name and online presence, and you’ll make a great first impression.
When you choose a personal or custom domain that contains specific keywords, you will also increase your visibility on search engines. Google’s search algorithm rewards well-designed websites, so taking steps to perfect your domain will boost your ranking on the SERP (search engine results page) as well as improve your reputation with users.
The Difference Between a Domain and a Personal Domain
When thinking about the differences between a domain and a personal domain, you can think of it as a public and private domain. When you first develop your website, the domain you receive will be public and won’t have extensive steps taken to protect your business and your information.
While you’re not in any immediate danger by using a public domain, you definitely have more protection and privacy by choosing a private or personal domain. Private domain registration can help reduce the likelihood that your website will be hacked, it will cut back on spam content, and it will help protect you from criminal actions against you overall.
How to Choose a Personal Domain
Understanding what a personal domain is is only half the process. To succeed in this process, you should consider these factors before choosing your name.
Choose the Right Length
Personal web domain names should ideally be short and easy to remember. The length should be around 6-10 characters. You want to create interest, so users click through to your site, not lay it all out for them on the surface level.
If you create a lengthy domain name, there is a greater risk that a user could misspell it and end up on a competitor’s website instead. It’s also a good idea to write down your domain name and play with adding spaces or looking at it as a chain of letters to see if any inappropriate or offensive words jump out at you. You definitely don’t want your domain name making a negative first impression.
Determine If You Should Use Keywords
Keywords in a domain name are a great idea if they’re related to your specific product or service. A lot of business owners believe that using keywords in their personal domain name will drive traffic to their website. Still, some recent algorithm changes on Google are rewarding websites with strong branding over heavy keyword usage.
That said, keywords in your domain can be good from a marketing and branding perspective. When used correctly, you can merge your domain name with many different aspects on your website to create a cohesive experience for your users.
Make It Memorable
Choosing the length of your domain name and determining whether or not to use keywords will only work if your website name is memorable. Depending on your niche, you could have a lot of competition to reach that first page on the SERP results, but even if you earn some conversions, users need to remember your name in order to find you again in the future.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to do a little research with your domain name ideas to see what results you get on the search engine. You may be pleasantly, or maybe not so pleasantly surprised.
What Makes a Stong Domain Name?
When it comes to determining what you want your domain name to be, don’t rush into any decisions. Instead, take some time to do your research and consider testing it out to see what the community thinks of the name before you commit. Additionally, here are some aspects of a solid personal domain name:
- Your domain should add credibility to your website and help you stand out
- It should provide visibility for your brand, create awareness, and attract new customers
- Establish yourself as an industry leader in your niche
- Make yourself more mobile in the event that your change your web host, relocate your business, or any other updates
- Improve your search engine rank position and draw in more users
- Your brand is more marketable and scalable for local or global outreach
- A great domain name can be used for anything, so keep it general enough to be flexible for all future endeavors
The Top Six Reasons You Need a Custom Domain
Now that you understand what a custom or personal domain is, why should you get one? In addition to being more secure and helping keep your information private, these six reasons are something to consider before taking the next step.
1. They’re Easy to Use
You no longer need to stress about choosing a fancy domain name through an arduous process. Instead, you can easily purchase a domain name that represents what you’re passionate about and connect with the users who are searching for your offerings.
2. Gain Credibility
Having a personal domain makes your business look more professional and can help you stand out from your competition. Your website is like a real-time resume of your business’s personality, expertise, and unique perspective. Additionally, it’s the central hub for all of your accomplishments, experiences, and it acts as a chronological archive of what you’ve done.
You need people to trust you to do business with you, and your domain is often the first thing people see. Therefore, presentation is essential, and owning your domain means having a polished and professional representation for each user you interact with along the way.
3. If You Don’t Buy It, Someone Else Could
If you’ve decided on the perfect concise, clear, engaging, and memorable domain name, you should act quickly to purchase it for your business before someone else does. Once the domain is purchased, you can no longer claim it for your business.
If someone has purchased the “.com” version of your domain, you can always consider alternatives like “.org” or “.link.” Additionally, it’s often good practice to purchase alternative domain names for your website for things like slightly different spelling or the variety of endings to make sure you’re covered in case a user mistypes your domain.
4. They’re Inexpensive
Your personal domain name will be among the least expensive things you can buy when it comes to business investments. As a result, you can create a unique vision for your business that will help you stand out and succeed at a cost generally around the price of a couple of fancy coffee drinks.
Because of this low price point, purchasing additional domains can make a significant difference in reaching more users. When the cost of not buying them could mean losing customers, the investment will greatly impact your business in the long haul.
5. Create a Stronger Brand
Owning your personal domain is crucial for creating a cohesive and polished brand online. Your domain is like a calling card that will leave an impression on anyone who interacts with your website. In addition, having a domain name that matches your brand and aesthetic will make it easy to create marketing plans and strategies that will help your business succeed.
6. Increase Visibility
Owning your personal domain name can be invaluable when paired with SEO (search engine optimization) strategies. With Google’s algorithms updating multiple times a year, your domain plays a significant role in where you rank on the SERP.
If someone is searching for your business, having a domain name similar to your business name can help catapult you up towards the top spots in search results. With a majority of users clicking on the results on the first SERP, ranking highly is critical to earning that traffic.
Where to Start
Are you ready to create the perfect personal domain name and see what a difference it can make for your business? Start by making a list of potential domain names and then play around with spacing to ensure it’s safe for public use.
Once you’ve got some top contenders, share them with colleagues, friends, or strangers to see how they’re received. Can they quickly tell what your business is all about? Can they easily repeat the name back to you and spell it correctly?
Choosing a domain name should be fun, so don’t rush through the process to allow you to find your match. Check out our blog for more articles about improving your website and increasing your business performance.