Note: If you don’t have a website, you should read the following article first: Why You and Your Business Need a Website
I’m sick and disgusted of watching “professionals” promoting their businesses through free domain names.
Because it’s so hard to respect.
If you don’t have your own domain name, do yourself a favor and get one now. Else, I, and many other people will just assume you are either too cheap or too lazy, or worse, cheap and lazy.
And this does not apply only to websites. Your email addresses should be in the format of department@YourBusinessName.com or similar.
Instead, what many are doing is using free email addresses from free email services.
This results in oddities such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a branding disaster. Not only does your email look awful, you are not taking the opportunity of promoting your domain name along with it.
To give you some perspective, I urge you to realize how you are promoting your domain name with the same extension that other people will use to register email addresses such as email@example.com.
Do you want to associate yourself with the general nature of free email address domains?
I’m sorry, but if you are doing this you look amateurish and just like anyone else.
So what should you do?
It should be obvious by now.
REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN NAME NOW!
Ideally, you should register your domain name even before you start promoting your business.
Because if you don’t, someone else will, especially if your business becomes popular. And when that happens, the domain name of your choice won’t be available.
Get the Right Extension
Think first about which TLD you want for your address, the TLD – Top Level Domain – is the extension of your domain name. For example, .com, .net, .org etc.
.com is still King.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider other options if it seems appropriate. Still, I personally recommend that you choose at least one of these 3 generic TLDs:
- .com – Recommended
- .net – Generally used when the .com version is not available
- .org – Typically used by not for profit organizations
Get the Right (key)Words
Your domain name should be descriptive.
Your domain should preferably be in one of the following formats:
- YourBusinessName + Keywords.com
Things to avoid if possible:
- Hyphenation – Don’t separate the words that compose your domain name by hyphens, it’s harder for humans to remember.
- Alternative Spellings – Try not to use things such as “4you” instead of “foryou”, it will create for your visitors.
- Hard to Pronounce – If people can’t easily pronounce or comprehend your domain name then you are going to lose on that sweet viral word of mouth effect.
Now that you have considered the right terms to use in your domain, this naturally brings us to the next topic…
Get Found – Search Engines Love Domains
This should also be part of your consideration, and this is also why keywords in your domain name may help you rank higher on search engines.
So this can be part of your SEO strategy, but still, I believe having a short human readable, easy to remember and easy to type domain name is a much more important consideration.
So, prioritize humans before search engines.
Extra: Personal Domain Names – A Case for Self Branding
Everyone should consider registering their own domain name and become a pro on the Internet instantly.
It’s just so easy and affordable.
You could have something like YourName.com/.me/.net.
Or even YourNameKeyword.com, where Keyword could be your trade, business, profession, service you provide or even a hobby if you like. This will help you get ranked for that word on search engines.
Become a Professional Instantly
Impress your clients or future employer with your own website and personalized email.
Now you can tell your clients to email you to firstname.lastname@example.org.
They’ll be impressed and look at you as a professional, and even visit your website to see what else you have in offer for them.
Manage Your Reputation
Have you ever Googled your name?
What shows up?
Odds are that you will find:
- Someone else with the same or similar name
- Photos of you drunk and passed out that your buddy took at that party you forgot about
Maybe it’s not what you want people to see.
With your own domain name you can properly manage your reputation on the Internet, and chances are next time someone Googles you, they will find your website, and not one of the options above.
Get the power to manage your online reputation.
Save your clients or future employers from being exposed to all the confusing stuff on the Internet, and save yourself a ton of potential judgement based on your digital trail.
Some Ideas for Your Personal Website
- Host your resume
- Create a personal blog
- Publish your portfolio
Congratulations, You Just Became a Pro