Telling the truth about SME life today

How to Buy and Register a Business Domain Name

domain names for business

Understanding how to register a domain name is vital for every business owner. The domain name represents the digital identity of the business. It also determines the official URL of your business page. Unfortunately, some business owners still struggle with the basics of buying and registering a business domain name. 

The process could even be more confusing with the presence of so many domain registrars. Therefore, this guide highlights the necessary steps on how to buy and register a business domain name.

Check out the 10 steps to registering a business domain name for your business startup. This article covers everything you need from start to finish.

1. Choose Your Domain Name

As simple as it might sound, choosing a business domain name is the most important step of the registration process. The domain name is the customer’s first perception of the business. Hence, the perfect choice of domain name must be easy to remember, accurately depict the brand’s identity and offer a lasting impression.

For example, a business called “My Pet Grooming” would ideally have “www.mypetgrooming.com” as the perfect domain name because of how it exactly reflects the business name. However, the common challenge with this type of name is the possibility of not being available.

They usually have higher competition and someone else could have that as their domain name because of its excellent fit. In such a case, there is the option to bid for that already chosen name but expect to spend a lot of money.

Popular Business Names

There are also cases of how some people buy popular business domain name inspirations with the hope of reselling to the highest bidder. A great alternative would be going for less competitive domain spaces like “.co” or “.net”. Therefore, the business owner of “My Pet Grooming” can try out an option like “www.mypetgroom.co.uk”.

You might also want to check a few more domain extensions and compare the prices. While the extensions with little competition can cost less, they come with slight demerits. One such instance is customers searching the domain name with a “.com” instead of “.co”.

Consider reaching out to an experienced web developer for helpful advice if you are still confused about selecting a business domain name. An expert is better poised to differentiate what is likely to work and if investing in a more expensive domain is worth it.

2. Choose the Right Domain Registrar

After picking a business domain name, the next challenge of choosing a secure and reliable domain registrar comes up. There are different options available online with varying prices too. Even when a business startup budget is a consideration, you’d still want to evaluate the benefits of each domain registrar.

Another evaluation point is understanding why some domain registrars are priced higher than others. Generally, the more expensive domain registrars are those with more security and reliability. Apart from that, you should examine the available domain registrars for features like fast loading speed, smooth user experience, and customer support options.

Again, we advise you to speak to a web professional if you need clarifications on the stated features of alternative domain registrars. Their wealth of experience in registering many businesses can help you avoid mistakes and determine which registrar services fit your business needs the most.

3. Sign Up for a Web Hosting Service

Getting an excellent web hosting service is the next step for business owners who already have the perfect business domain name and choice of domain registrar. Nevertheless, some hosting service providers offer domain name registration alongside their hosting packages. They could be excellent picks for business owners who love to do their core registration with one service provider.

What is important is subscribing to a web hosting service with the best features like storage capacity, page speed, data security and backup, and a customer support platform. You should also consider the price and compare it with similarly priced alternatives.

Some of the popular web hosting providers are GoDaddy, Bluehost, Dreamhost, and HostGator. You can start your comparison from the above examples. Taking GoDaddy as an example, the provider offers budget-friendly plans with relatively fast loading speeds and 99.9% uptime.

Bluehost is another close alternative with slightly higher costs but a simple user interface, numerous setup tutorials and 24/7 phone support. Similarly, small business startups that prioritise storage space can try Dreamhost. It is also a great pick but without free domain registrations.

Whatever web hosting service provider you decide to choose, confirm the compatibility with your business needs and expectations. A simple comparison of alternatives can save you money.

4. Study Your Domain Name Contract in Detail

The “domain contract” is the legal document that contains all the rights, responsibilities and clauses associated with registering a business name. In some cases, the domain registrar or web hosting service provider can include extra fees that might not have been explicitly discussed before.

That is why you must carefully review the domain name contract to avoid agreeing to terms that might not be convenient. Business owners must also look out for sections that mention the expiry or renewal terms and conditions. Additionally, there should be a section that explains how to cancel your domain name if you later decide to switch web hosting services.

Should you notice any confusing section of the contract details, do not hesitate to contact the domain registrar or web hosting provider. Ask for clarifications and be 100% certain you understand the content of the contract before signing up.

5. Register Your Domain Name

Proceed to register your domain name if you have ticked the boxes for all the previous requirements. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the professional registry in charge of maintaining the overall database of domain names, IP addresses and associated services.

Therefore, you must ensure the web hosting provider is an ICANN-accredited hosting service before signing up. The registration process should be straightforward as long as you provide the correct contact details of the business.

Short-term registration is for businesses that are still in the testing phase for essential website concepts. On the other hand, long-term domain name registration is best for professional branding. It also potentially minimises costs that could have been incurred from short-term renewals.

6. Make Sure You Renew Your Domain Name

Subsequent renewals of your business domain name are best done ahead of the expiry deadline. What happens when a business fails to renew? – they lose their online presence which could be costly. It could cause panic among customers with pending orders and eventually make them switch to “more stable” competitors.

Another consequence of the website going offline is a loss of potential deals from new clients. Top competitors could also take advantage of the opportunity to sell to your customers. That is why it is best to have a renewal plan. Some domain registrars understand the significance of timely renewals and offer an auto-renewal feature for very busy business managers.

Forgetting renewal dates and losing online presence means the business page’s URL gives an error message to anyone searching for it. However, that does not mean the domain name is lost forever. There is usually a grace period to contact the domain registrar support agents for help with their late renewal process.

7. Build Your Business Website

Your business website is an essential part of the overall brand image. It greatly determines the success of your digital marketing strategies and the perception of prospective customers. A well-designed website offers the best experience to page visitors and offers value for money.

On the other hand, a poorly designed website puts a dent in the professional image of the brand. It also makes it difficult for larger organisations with bigger deals to trust the company.

Therefore, designing a good website involves three things:

  1. Identifying the target prospects
  2. Understanding their needs or pain points
  3. Crafting your product benefits to address their interests

Following the listed steps above ensures the business website is providing only useful information about your products and services. It helps to avoid fluffy copy that does not capture the viewers’ interest. Subsequently, that results in higher conversion rates for the business website.

Another component of building a website for a business domain name is deciding the best design route. You can either use a simple content management system that does not require coding like WordPress or outsource to an external designer. However, the designer must understand basic search engine optimization (SEO) principles – both on-page and off-page SEO.

Lastly, set realistic expectations for whoever you outsource the business website project. The set targets must include milestones or deadlines, overall cost estimates, and objectives that align with optimising the ROI.

8. Test Your Website

There are different items to check for before launching the website with the business domain name. The first thing is to verify that all links are fully functional without errors. Broken links affect the perceived professionalism of the business.

The next item to consider is the page loading speed. Check how fast the website loads on different browsers and also compare for desktop and mobile. The latest search engine ranking reports indicate how much significance the loading speed of your website has on its SEO performance. Pages that take too long to load are often punished with lower positions on the intended SERPs.

You should also take the backup of the website’s data seriously as unexpected issues might arise. There could be a server crash, malicious attack or loss of data by personnel’s mistake. Having a database of regularly backed-up data helps to pull out of such unwanted scenarios and minimise business downtime. Experts advise an offline database for backup website information.

9. Track Performance Metrics

Performance metrics refer to the engagement data that reveals how visitors interact with your business page. Some important performance metrics include the number of visits from each geographical region, bounce rates, and most viewed sections of the landing page. Access to these metrics helps to understand what marketing strategies are working, and areas that need improvement.

There are also some paid software that offers more analytics and compares data with top competitors within the same niche. However, new business owners can start with free analytics platforms like Google Analytics or the Google Search Console.

What matters most is having data that provides information on the on-page behaviour of prospects. By understanding the prospective buyers, you can prepare more engaging content and perform more successful targeted campaigns.

10. Build and Link Social Media Pages to Your Business Website

Setting up social media accounts for your business is an effective method to connect to customers and promote the business domain name. While an official website gives the business a professional online image, a social media account allows better interaction with prospects.

You can start by selecting from the popular platforms like Instagram, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn. All these social media networks are effective but often require market research to identify the target audience for the best advertising results.

For example, LinkedIn is the best platform if you are targeting industry professionals while a media-oriented platform like Instagram does the magic for pictorial or video advertising. Similarly, TikTok is great for a business that centres around trending events that short video content could describe.

The social media advertising idea is to generate enough traffic that links to your business website. It is also an opportunity to announce launch dates for upcoming products, showcase the existing ones and interact with potential customers more engagingly.

Final Thoughts

The process of choosing, buying and registering a business domain name is crucial in laying a solid foundation for the company’s growth. The domain name is the identity of the brand and usually must resonate with the website’s name.

However, a business domain name is not all that guarantees success. There are other steps like learning how to register the domain and keeping up with annual/monthly renewal deadlines. This guide also explained promotional strategies to improve the website using performance metrics. With the correct information, anyone can buy, register and manage a business domain.

Trending

Related Stories

Most Read

Trending

If you enjoyed this article,
why not join our newsletter?

We promise only quality content, tailored to suit what our readers like to see!