Registering a domain name should be one of the first steps to starting a new business. That’s because whatever domain name you choose will, by extension, become the web address for your business. Not only will this represent your business’s online presence on the internet, it could possibly be a customer’s first impression of your business.
Once registered, you may actually start using your domain name right away to begin marketing your business. Here are three ways to do so.
Did you know a domain name can also be used to create your email address? A branded email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) can help give you and your employees a more professional-looking channel for communication with customers. In addition, it could help with gaining their trust. In a 2019-2020 survey, 82% of respondents indicated that they are more likely to respond to an email from a small business using a branded email address than one using a free email account.1 To make it quicker and easier for you, check to see if the provider registering your domain name can set up your business’s branded email address inexpensively.
A website can help drive new business and boost your business’s credibility. In a 2019-2020 survey, 66% of respondents agreed that a business with its own website (e.g. example.com) is more credible than one without.1
You can start with a simple, one-page website and scale it as you grow. Many website building platfroms offer easy, do-it-yourself tools to allow business owners to create their own websites. When deciding which platform is right for you, consider if you’ll need additional services as well (such as web hosting and domain services).
As you build your website, you should also consider how many web pages you’ll need. Much of the information about your business may be covered in no more than four web pages. This could include, for example, a page for general information, a page for product/service information, a page for contact information, and a page for customer testimonials, plus any social media icons and links you wish to add.
If you plan to open an online store, or your business requires showing videos or other multimedia, then a more robust website may be needed. For example, you can add e-commerce capabilities to your website so you can take orders, process payments and provide customer support. Certain do-it-yourself website builders also have packages that you can add on at any time, or a web developer can integrate the functionality for you.
Even if you don’t plan to sell products online through e-commerce functionality on your website, you can enable lead-capturing and processing, such as an email subscription list, on your website. This can help you to collect prospect information for potential sales in the future.
If your main business page is currently on a social media site, chances are the web address for your page is branded to the specific platform and not for your business. These URLs can be complex and hard to remember, making it difficult to market your page to customers. You can change that by using your own domain name as the web address for your social media business page. This is called domain forwarding, and it’s a lot like forwarding mail. You’re simply creating a rule that tells your domain name registrar or reseller to send everyone who types in your custom web address to the web location of your choice (like your social media page). It gives you an easy-to-remember online address to use in your marketing efforts and to help customers find you.
To start forwarding your domain name, check to see if your registrar has an easy-to-follow guide to help you start. Oftentimes, the provider you registered your domain name with can also help you forward it.
You can start promoting your business’s online presence with the domain name you registered right away. Start adding it to your posts and profiles of the social media platforms and online directories where your business is listed. That way, no matter where your customers find you online, you can always direct them back to your main online presence.
Likewise, include your domain name on your business cards, ads, email signatures, uniforms, brochures, newsletters and other collateral you give to customers. This is a great way to promote your online presence offline, and gives potential customers an easy way to learn more about, and connect with, your business online. Why does this matter? In a 2019-2020 survey, all of the online consumers surveyed indicated at least some of their purchases involve the internet for at least one step (e.g. researching products, comparing prices, ordering, or customer support), and 80% say they use it, at least in part, for most or all of their purchases.
In today’s internet-centric world, people all over the globe use the web to look for and research products or services. The web address your customers associate with your business is an important step to building your online presence.
1 Websites, Branded Email Remain Key to SMB Internet Services, Black & White Paper Commissioned by Verisign® and prepared by 451 Research (July 2020).