Small Business Talk
The Podcast to Grow your Business Faster
Your Most Important Business Asset
Let’s talk about Domain Names. Your domain name is one of the most value assets you have in your business yet a lot of owners treat it with such disrespect.
Your domain name is where your website lives and your emails should live. You can change your digital providers for both your website and emails but your domain name to the outside world should never change.
How Google Finds Your Website
Your domain name is how Google and search engines find your website. It is how Google knows where to send their customers in search to your website as a possible solution for the query they are asking.
For Search and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), the results are based on the trust that the website and the information that is on it. The main factor for search is the trust or perceived trust. Old or existing domain name often carries a high level of trust. That is why, sometimes, you see really old and badly formatted websites doing well on search because they have an old domain and traffic. People tend to stay a while at these websites because they can’t find what they are looking for but leave frustrated and then do another search. However, Google doesn’t see the frustration, just the time spent on the page.
Where You Register Your Domain
As you can see, domains are really important and where you registered then can be too.
Late last year, I had a client that was notified that their domain was due for renewing in 30 days. This is standard practice. In fact, some companies start at 90 days with their notifications. Then a few days later, they got another notification that if the domain was not renewed within 24 hours, the domain would be unrecoverable. Now, this is still over 3 weeks before the renewed date. The client was on holidays and didn’t see the email until 23 hours later. They immediately went to renew and was advised there was no money in the account. They added money and went to renew. It was now after the 24 hours period and they couldn’t renew.
Two days later, their website and emails stopped working. That was when I was brought in. I immediately contacted the domain reseller and was told they no longer had the rights to the domain and even though the current registration hadn’t run out, we couldn’t access the domain and we would have to wait until it was released and came back on the open market which would be 90 – 120 days.
Can you imagine not being able to access your business domain name for up to 120 days? Absolutely crazy.
After 5 days of chasing 5 different countries support that I could only access for 2 hours a day in the early hours of my morning due to the time difference, 3 different resellers I was eventually able to get control of the domain again. Phew!
Registering Your Domain within a Platform
Another situation is when you register your domain inside of a platform eg Wix, Squarespice, Shopify, you may not be able to transfer the domain name out if you ever decide not to continue using their platform.
Wix in particular disconnect your website as soon as the transfer is set in motion. Most transfers take 7 days. What this means is you won’t have a website or emails for 7 days even if you have set up a new one somewhere else. You can’t change the name servers, the direction of your domain from within these platforms.
Make sure you use a good quality, reputable, domain hosting company that a good sense of security and that you always have control of your own domain name.
What Your Domain Name Should Be
You need to think carefully about what your domain name should be and you have 4 options:
- Business Name
- Shortened Business Name
- What You Do
- Your Own Name
Over the years, there has been lots of debate over domain names and what they should be. There have been some cases where people immediately bought the domain name of famous people’s babies’ names. Some have then sold them back to the couple for large sums of money – not a nice thing to do.
It really depends on your business however as domain names are relatively cheap, I would generally say yes.
351.8 million Domains registered in 2019.
There are a lot of domain names that are registered and not used. Also, a lot of websites have more than 1 domain name pointing to it.
In the past, having what you did as a domain name was considered very important.
Eg. Web Design Bunbury
And shorted domain names were sought after
In preference to CATCOEnterprises.com.au
In 2021, it is more important to have your branding correct so your domain name should generally be your business name. If your business name is long or hard to spell, yes, look for a shorter version. Make sure it makes sense.
Changing Your Domain Name
Should you change your domain name? No.
Unless your name a very very good reason to do so and then if at all possible, still keep the old domain pointing to your website.
One of Google main ranking metrics is the age of your domain name. All things equal and often not equal an old domain name will always trump a well build site on a brand new domain name.
Domain Name Scams
There are lots of domain name scams. This is where you get a letter in the post, email or even SMS saying that your domain is about to run out and you must renew it now. These scams often have inflated prices much more than you would normally pay. Read the email/letter carefully. Most often, the domain they are asking you to register is the guise of a reregistering is not yours at all. It is in fact, a new domain name that is very close to you but not actually yours.
Important Business Asset
Your domain name is a really important business asset so make sure you renew it early and keep it active. Look after your domain name because it can be an expensive exercise to get back or if someone else registers it, you may never get it back.
Listen to Small Business Talk Episode 105 for the full episode.
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