If you’ve ever decided to start a new business, blog, or any number of things that need a website, you know how hard it is to get the right domain name for your site. As the world of the web grows exponentially every day, it’s getting harder and harder to find the right domain name for your site.
According to Verisign’s 2019 Q1 report, a whopping 351.8 million domains were registered in Q1 of 2019, up 3 million from Q4 in 2018.
In order to grow a credible business or site, you need the right domain name. For example, if your photography business is called “Genuine Photography,” your domain name needs to be pretty close to ‘genuinephotography.com.’
Unfortunately, a quick search on 101domain.com shows that the cost of that domain is $4,000. Domains can either be “premium domains” (commonly used words or short, popular phrases), or they can be owned by someone else looking for a pretty penny to buy if from them.
You may have to cycle through dozens of different variations before you can find a .com domain that is available. Unfortunately, spelling modifications, putting dashes or underscores between words, and word substitutes aren’t going to cut it when it comes to building a credible business.
But good news, hope isn’t lost. All these problems and more have led to the exponential growth of different Top-Level Domains (TLDs). TLDs are the letters that come after the dot (.) on a website, such as .com, .ai, or in our example .photography.
You can purchase ‘genuine.photography’ for 19.99 from 101domain. If you’re still unsure about whether or not to try out a different TLD besides .com, here are three reasons you should:
Credible, growing companies do not have the option to compromise their domain name simply because of how important branding is. In a saturated world, branding is a vital element of standing out in a crowd and creating sustainable growth. Any branding expert will tell you that the key to a great brand is consistency. This means, anytime a customer thinks, sees, hears, or searches your brand, the same brand needs to come up to avoid confusion.
Let’s take our photography business as an example. Say you do a senior portrait session for Susie and she decides to tell her three best friends how great of a job Genuine Photography did.
If they have trouble finding your site due to a poor domain choice or because it doesn’t directly match the name of your company, you could potentially lose out on a serious amount of revenue (or worse, imagine having the domain genuine-photography.com and having Susie’s friends accidentally visit your competitor, genuinephotography.com!).
Having a domain that directly matches your brand is vital. Having the right domain for your website is vital, especially when you consider all the places your site will be listed such as business cards, ads, emails, presentations, links, and reviews.
The Google algorithm can be indirectly influenced through a domain name. In a recent interview, SEO strategist Steve Wiideman said,
“Google’s algorithm still looks at the anchor text linking to your page, so if you have a keyword search term that has an exact match with your URL, you could rank better for that keyword.”
For example, when the site home.loans launched, they beat out several of the major banks in the Google search for ‘home loans’ due to how close their domain matched that search.
If what Steve Wiideman says is true, it’s likely due to the fact that when people linked to “home.loans,” the anchor text people linked to the site was interpreted by Google as “home loans.” Back to our example again, ‘genuine.photography’ will have more SEO value for keywords pertaining to “genuine photography” than another version containing different or added characters.
3. Thought Leader
Finally, having a domain extension like ‘.photography’ is beneficial in the sense that it establishes a certain level of authority to your domain as an early adopter of a photography-specific domain and leader in the industry.
If you were to come across two identical sites with the first domain being ‘yourgenuinephotography.com’ versus ‘genuine.photography,’ which would establish a higher level of authority simply based off the domain? In my opinion, the second does because they were able to get ahold of a simpler and more memorable domain.
In branding, SEO, and authority, the devil’s in the details. You may be able to hobble along by making it work with long and hard-to-remember .com domain, but no one else who is established and authoritative is. In a world of expanding TLDs, keeping up and staking your claim in the virtual frontier that we all make money from is absolutely vital.