How To Buy The Right Domain Name
In the online world, our website is your shop front, and your domain name is the cornerstone of your brand. For Aussie small business owners looking to establish a strong online presence, securing the right domain name is a crucial first step. In this blog, we'll walk you through everything you need to know, from the basics of domain name ownership to creative ways to generate a unique one.
What is a Domain Name?
Before diving into the nitty-gritty of choosing a domain name, let's start with the basics. A domain name is your website's address on the internet. It's the unique identifier that users type into their browsers to find your online space. Think of it as the signpost leading people to your virtual store.
The structure of a domain name includes the actual name (e.g., Thriday) and the domain extension (e.g. com.au). Together, they form your URL (Uniform Resource Locator), guiding visitors to your website.
How to Purchase a Domain Name
Now that we understand what a domain name is let's explore the steps to purchasing one for your Aussie small business.
1. Choose a Reliable Domain Registrar
Start by selecting a trustworthy domain registrar. Several popular options exist in Australia, such as Crazy Domains, VentraIP, and global powerhouse GoDaddy. Ensure the registrar offers good customer support, security features, and competitive pricing.
2. Check Domain Name Availability
Your business name might be unique, but is the corresponding domain available? Use the registrar's search tool to check domain name availability. Please keep it simple, memorable, and relevant to your business. Avoid hyphens and complex spellings that could confuse potential visitors.
3. Select Domain Extensions
Consider the domain extension carefully. While .com is widely recognised, Aussie businesses can benefit from local extensions like .com.au or .net.au for a stronger regional identity. There are also popular new domains like .io, .au or .link that you can consider. The choice depends on your target audience and the nature of your business.
When to Purchase a Domain Name
Timing is everything, and this holds true for domain name purchases. Securing your domain name as early as possible is advisable, ideally during the business planning phase. Why? Because a solid online presence is integral to a business's success, and having a memorable domain name is a significant part of that presence.
Securing your domain early avoids potential trademark issues and ensures your chosen name is available. This consistent online presence from the beginning can contribute to brand recognition and customer trust.
How Much Does a Domain Name Cost?
One of the common questions small business owners have is, "How much does a domain name cost?" Purchasing a new domain is generally very affordable. Prices can range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, depending on factors like the domain extension and whether it's a premium domain.
On the other hand, purchasing an existing domain is when things can get very expensive. If you want to buy a domain for a keyword such as Happy.com, you are looking at paying hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Regular spelled domain names, especially .com domains, are worth a fortune.
It's essential to factor in ongoing renewal fees. Some registrars might offer low initial registration costs but have higher renewal fees. Be aware of these details to budget effectively for your online presence.
How Do I Buy an Existing Domain?
It's not uncommon to find that your dream domain name is already owned by someone else. While it might seem like a roadblock, strategic ways exist to navigate this situation.
- Contacting Current Owners: When contacting the current owner, maintain a professional and respectful tone. Clearly express your interest in acquiring the domain and inquire about the possibility of a sale. Please explain how the domain aligns with your business and why it's crucial for your online identity. Demonstrating the domain's value to your brand might positively influence the negotiation process.
- Exploring Domain Marketplaces: Utilise specialised domain marketplaces such as Sedo, Flippa, or GoDaddy Auctions. These platforms facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers, providing a structured environment for domain acquisitions.
- Research and Due Diligence: Before engaging in any transactions, thoroughly research the domain's history, including its past uses and potential legal concerns. This due diligence ensures a smoother purchasing process.
- Negotiate With Data: Determine a budget for the domain acquisition. This budget should consider the domain's value to your business and industry standards for similar transactions. Negotiations may take time, and it's essential to be patient. Be open to compromise and explore different terms that could benefit both parties.
Remember, acquiring an existing domain requires a strategic approach. Combining professionalism, research, and patience increases your chances of securing the domain that aligns perfectly with your business.
Creative Ways to Generate a Unique Domain Name
Crafting a unique and memorable domain name is an art that involves a blend of creativity and strategic thinking. Here are some detailed strategies to help you generate a domain name that stands out in the crowded digital space.
- Brainstorming Sessions: Gather your team for a brainstorming session. Different perspectives can lead to unique insights. Encourage open communication and jot down every idea, no matter how unconventional.
- Mind Mapping: Create a mind map with keywords related to your business. Explore different combinations and associations. This visual approach can unveil unexpected connections.
- Define Your Business: Clearly define your company, its values, and its unique selling points. Use descriptive words that reflect these aspects. This makes the domain memorable and communicates a strong brand message.
- Name Generators: Leverage online tools like NameMesh, DomainWheel, and Lean Domain Search. These tools use algorithms to generate domain name suggestions based on your input.
- Phonetic Spelling: Experiment with different spelling of common words and find the perfect match. For example, instead of Together.com, you could discover Twogetha.com is available.
- Thesaurus Exploration: Expand your vocabulary by using a thesaurus. Look for synonyms or related terms to your business name. This can lead to fresh and innovative combinations.
- Stay Relevant: Stay informed about industry trends and incorporate relevant terms into your domain name. This not only ensures that your business stays current but also helps in targeting the right audience.
- Consistency Across Platforms: Ensure your chosen domain name aligns with your social media handles. Consistency across platforms enhances brand recognition and makes it easier for customers to find and connect with you.
- Feedback from Peers: Once you have a list of potential domain names, seek input from friends, family, or industry peers. External perspectives can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.
The process of generating and buying a unique domain name is iterative. Be bold and revisit and refine your ideas once you find the perfect fit for your Aussie small business. Your domain name is a crucial choice you want to get right, so it pays off in the long run if you invest the right time in it upfront.