Imagine a place where every brick-and-mortar shop puts as much consideration and care into their digital presence as they do their physical storefront. A place where business domains flourish like well-watered window boxes, beckoning to potential customers on the web like sales-filled sandwich boards on the sidewalk.
I like to call this magical place “Innovative Namesville.”
The small business owners who ply their trades there understand the synergy between street and web — how effective business domains connected to professional email addresses and websites can drive foot traffic to their stores. They’re not afraid to think beyond .com. They embrace the new industry-specific domain name extensions that make it easier than ever before to snag a short and memorable domain name that perfectly represents their unique business.
You won’t find Innovative Namesville on any real map, but you can take a cue from its savvy small business owners to put effective business domains to work for your brick-and-mortar shop. Here’s how.
1. Register smart business domains.
The most common way people remember your brand online is by recalling your domain name. Your domain is your business’s nameplate on the web, so it’s important to choose at least one domain name that represents your business and is easy to remember.
If possible, check domain availability while you’re brainstorming business name ideas. Go ahead … try it now:
Look at Namesville’s Creekside Coffeehouse. Say its owner had hoped to register creeksidecoffeehouse.com, but someone else had already registered that domain. Instead of settling for a long and unwieldy .com such as creeksidecoffeehousenamesville.com, she secured the shorter, more representative creekside.coffee. Smart.
Whatever your industry, you’ve got plenty of innovative domain naming options. Check out:
- Great domains for accountants, attorneys and other professional services
- Great domains for designers, developers and other web pros
- Great domains for restaurateurs and others in the food and hospitality industry
- Great domains for builders, real estate agents and other property services pros
- Great domains for artists, designers, writers and other creative types
- Great domains for salons, spas and other businesses that make us look and feel better
Once you’ve generated a handful of ideas, do a quick appraisal of your options. With GoDaddy Domain Appraisals, you can get the most accurate and comprehensive domain pricing estimates available. We use an exclusive algorithm that relies on both machine learning and real market sales data to estimate domain values, which means you could end up with a truly remarkable (and valuable) domain.
2. Set up domain-based email.
In a recent GoDaddy survey, 75 percent of the U.S. small business eCommerce customers we polled believe that having an email address that matches your business’s website address — such as firstname.lastname@example.org — is key to building trust.
Many consumers shy away from sharing their personal and credit card information with businesses that send email from generic accounts like Gmail and Yahoo! email addresses.
Get a domain-based email address to send professional email. It’s quick and affordable. And it can mean the difference between your email getting opened and read or deleted without a second glance.
3. Connect your domain and website.
Once you’ve secured the right domain name, you’ll also want to make it your business’s website address. In our fictional Namesville, for example, Unclogged Plumbing directs customers and prospects to the business’s website at www.unclogged.plumbing to learn more about the company’s products and services, set up appointments, and sign up for the Get Unclogged email newsletter.
If you’ve already got a domain name for your business — especially a domain you settled for because the name you wanted wasn’t available — you can register secondary domains and redirect them to your primary website address, Facebook page and other online properties. It’s easy.
No matter where you do business, effective business domains can help bring more customers through the doors of your brick-and-mortar shop. Register strategic domain names, use them to set up professional email, and connect them to your business website and other online properties. Then watch your business grow.
Also published on Medium.