If you’re running a small business without a website—whether you provide a service or sell a physical product—you’re leaving potential clients and their revenue on the table. According to a survey of U.S. adults by Pew Research Center, nearly 80 percent of Americans have made a purchase online. If you’re not there for potential customers to find, then they’re making those purchases from one of the 71 percent of small businesses that are.
Fortunately, establishing an internet presence is easy if you choose to work with a company like Name.com. The ICANN-accredited domain name registrar offers everything you need—from domains to hosting and website-building tools to email—to make sure online shoppers will find you when they’re ready to buy.
Committed to Small Business
Founded by Bill Mushkin in 2003 and since acquired by Donuts Inc., a leading domain services company, Name.com has always been committed to helping entrepreneurs, freelancers and other small business owners get their companies online quickly and easily.
“Our customer base ranges from full on developers with a very high level of technical proficiency to beginners who have maybe never created a website in their life and aren’t sure where to start,” Allison Chowdhury, a Name.com representative, recently told RewardExpert.
“I would say that most of our customers tend to be small business owners and entrepreneurs who are using their website to connect with clients and want to bring more customers to their business.”
Chowdhury said that a significant percentage of the company’s customer base is comprised of professionals who switched to Name.com from other providers.
“We sent out a survey recently and a lot of our customers started at some of the other domain name registrars but found they didn’t like the experience,” she continued. “They ended up here because they like our approach, our personality, and that we genuinely care about them and their business.”
Choosing the Right Domain
While Chowdhury said that Name.com offers “pretty much everything that you need to get online” and “makes it easy for people to manage their entire website from one place,” business owners just establishing an online presence should start by purchasing a domain.
“Choosing the right domain name is incredibly important,” she explained. “It’s probably one of the biggest decisions a small business needs to make. Even if you’re a local business with a local following, your website—and your domain name—is one of the best tools you can use to get out there and make sure people are finding your product or service online.”
Chowdhury said there are many best practices to consider when selecting a small business domain name.
“First, we like to recommend that you keep it fairly short,” she continued. “Ideally, your URL shouldn’t have more than 15 to 20 characters. You should also avoid hyphens and special characters, and unless a number is really relevant to your brand or product, you generally shouldn’t use numerals.”
Including keywords in your domain name will help your website rank higher in organic searches.
“If you choose a domain name that has quality keywords that you know people are searching for and are related to your business, that will increase your chances of ranking well and getting more eyes on your website,” Chowdhury added.
However, it’s important to make sure that your domain name is also easy to remember and type into a web browser.
“A good way to test that out is to say your domain name to someone,” she said. “If they can successfully type it into their browser on the first try, you know that you have a good URL. If they can’t, then that’s a good indicator that you may want to choose another domain.”
Finally, Chowdhury encourages small business owners to look beyond the traditional “.com” and “.net” domain extensions when planning their website.
“Back in 2012, ICANN, which is the worldwide organization that monitors the internet and keeps it up and running, decided that they were going to allow new domain extensions to exist,” she explained. “There are now hundreds of domain extension options to choose from.”
These options include domain extensions related to industries and professions, such as .DENTIST, .PLUMBING, .ACTOR and .ENGINEER.
“The new extensions are really great because they allow you to get much more descriptive when it comes to what your business does or where it is located,” Chowdhury said. “For example, if you own a local pizza shop, instead of having to use a long domain name like NicksReallyYummyPizza.com because it’s the only thing available, you can get a short, simple domain name like Nicks.PIZZA instead.”