Q: When coming up with their first domain name, what are three things small business owners should consider? 

A:

  1. Brand Awareness is Paramount – In a sea of companies, customers need to know why your business is the best. To do that, you need to stand out from all of your competitors. Getting a domain name with your company’s name and attaching it to a website will build your brand’s awareness and take your company to the next level.
  2. Think about Your End Goal – Speaking of websites, it’s important that you create and build your presence online. Nowadays, everything is done online, from finding a local eatery to calling a carpenter. And if you’re not a part of that market, you’re hurting your business.
  3. Keeping Your Brand Safe — Not only is it important for you to get a domain and website up and running, it’s unbelievably important to protect your brand online. If you don’t come up with an idea, someone else is going to. If you wait to register your domain name, or if you don’t register multiple domain names, someone else might beat you to the punch.

Q: How would you describe the online naming opportunity for small businesses in today's domains environment? 

A: The market is changing and that’s a really good thing for small businesses. There are a lot of new domain names that are tailored to fit a business’s specific needs. Now, more than ever, you can register a domain name that represents what your company is about, help drive customers to your website, and allow them to make informed decisions—while setting you miles apart from your competition.

Q: The first wave of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) just hit the marketplace. In a nutshell, what is a gTLD and why should a small business owner care? 

A: In a nutshell, the domain is the address that takes you to someone’s website. I like to think about domains as addresses and websites as homes. You can’t invite someone over to your house without first giving them your address.

In the next two years, it’s anticipated that over 700 new domain names will become available to the public. With generic names like .GURU and .MENU to specific gTLDs like .PLUMBING and .CAMERA, you have the power to really market your brand and your customers to your specific product.

Q: What's an example of when a gTLD is the best choice for a small business's online identity? 

To help, let’s give you an idea of when you would want to purchase a new gTLD. Let’s say that I’m a blogger and I write about running. I consider myself the authority on everything from running shoes to the best way to get a runner’s high. I know it all.

As such, I want to get a domain name that appropriately suggests to people that I’m knowledgeable on these topics. So, I would purchase a domain name with the .GURU or maybe a .SHOES extension, preferably with running in the name.

Q: What kind of financial investment is a small business owner looking at to register the perfect domain name? 

A: Registering a domain name doesn’t have to be expensive. Some new gTLDs are available for $24.99. However, if you’re sold on a specific domain name, it could be a solid investment to get exactly what you want, when you want it, which would require a higher price point. The key is to make sure that you’re creating the brand that really represents you and your company. 

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