4 tips for registering a domain name for your small businessIf you’re a small business owner, one of the best investments you can make is registering a domain name for your business. Studies show that most US consumers (85%) use the Web to shop, find information about businesses and research purchases before they buy. Ironically, only 25% of businesses have active websites. That means that businesses that are on the Web get three times as much notice from consumers than businesses that don’t have an online presence. Here are four things you should know about registering a domain name.

Why you should consider registering a domain name

Short and simple beats everything. Short, simple domain names work best for consumers, but the domain name should reflect your business name when possible. This helps the consumer remember your website, avoids confusion, and supports your brand. Alphabetic, numeric and a small number of symbols are allowed in domain names, but you should avoid using anything but letters when registering a domain name. If your business name is long, try selecting a shorter name that includes your business location or the type of business you operate. (e.g., use ClevelandPlumber.com or SmithPlumbing.com instead of JohnSmithAndSonsPlumbingHeatingAndCooling.com)

Consumers will find your business faster. Some businesses spend a lot of time and money on phone directory-type listings that include a one-size-fits-all webpage. This really isn’t the same thing as registering a domain name and having a business website. It also doesn’t offer you options when it comes to expanding your website presence, making changes to your site and establishing your brand identity. Worst of all, you’ll spend more money on these kinds of “services” than you would on registering a domain name and having your own website. Consumers no longer turn to the phone directory to search for local businesses. If you’re spending your advertising dollars on phone directory listings, you’re missing out on the exposure you could be getting from registering a domain name and building your own website.

You’ll have a business email address that reflects your business. Everyone uses email, but do you need your own business email address? After all, you can get a Gmail or Yahoo! account for free, right? In this case, you need to think about the impression that leaves on your customers. Instead of advertising Gmail or Yahoo!, wouldn’t you rather be advertising your own business instead? Registering a domain name for your business is part of your brand identity, and if “your” domain includes a Yahoo! or Gmail email address or webpage in someone else’s domain, you’re telling the 85% of consumers who use the Web that your business isn’t big enough to have its own domain. Is that really the impression you want to leave for your customers?

You’ll save money. Registering a domain name is about as inexpensive as it gets. You can find competent domain registration services for about $12-$15 per year. You can also find exceptional Web hosting services for less than $15 per month. Having a completely customized website that supports your brand, interacts with visitors, is easily updated, and draws customers to your business is invaluable.

Grantstreet Creative offers highly affordable logo and website design and web hosting services for businesses of any size. Contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell, or call Dave at (330) 243-0651 for a consultation and more information about registering a domain name. Grantstreet can help you register your domain and set up a professional, attractive business website quickly and easily!

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