If you’re not sure what a domain extension is or whether it is important for your business, read on. The domain extension is directly related to the type of business you wish to operate. It also indicates to the public what type of business you’re in, and it is important to align your domain extension and domain level with what your business offers.
A simple example is that a .com extension refers to a profit-making business whereas a .org extension typically indicates non-profit organizations or NGOs. It is easy to see why the use of the domain extension is important. Here are several guidelines to help navigate your way through domain extensions and why it is important for your business vision and activities.
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The first thing that you should do when starting an online business is to check whether the domain name you want is available. You can use something like Hostinger’s tool – a domain checker to determine the availability of your desired business domain. Simply type the name you want into the search bar of this tool, press enter, and wait for the results. If your desired domain is taken, you’ll get some helpful suggestions for alternatives too.
Experiment with this tool to see what domain names are available, what extensions you could potentially use, and their respective prices. One of the main goals of using this type of tool is to help you find the right option, and to secure ASAP, along with alternative extensions for locales, or to prevent fraud. By buying up extensions, you prevent others from attempting to use your online business idea as their own under another type of extension.
Purchasing several domain extensions helps to protect you, your business idea, and your business reputation as it grows from strength to strength. Using a domain checker is essential when starting a new business in the online arena. It provides clarity for your business, it’s vision and direction. Once you have determined that your business name is available with the desired extension, a quick online purchase guarantees you ownership for a year or longer, as required.
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What Are the Most Popular Domain Extensions?
As an entrepreneur, you will want to make a good impression. Choosing the right domain extension can help you achieve this goal. A TLD or top-level domain extension is also a factor that needs to be considered when using your domain checker to select the best option. Here are some domain extensions and what they mean to help you with your journey.
- com is the most recognizable TLD. This extension was originally selected as a designation for commercial enterprises but is used by a variety of enterprise types today.
- biz has now become an acceptable domain extension to indicate an online business operation.
- org was initially intended to denote a non-profit organization but has since become the domain extension for a variety of online operations.
- net was also created for the use of groups that used networks, such as Cox Cable. This extension has also now been applied by different business types on the internet.
- gov is the only domain extension that has been exclusively assigned for use by official government organizations and no other organizations may use this extension.
Less common domain extensions indicate expertise such as dot.space or business that creatively uses the extension as part of its name. An example of this is Nichebreweries.beer. No matter your name choice, a domain checker is a key to establishing its availability for purchase.
How Domain Extensions Influence SEO?
A domain extension doesn’t impact your online operations, but it will have a small impact on search engine optimization (SEO) and ranking, for example. Other than some minor issues related to these two factors, it is recommended that your domain reflect your business vision and purpose.
Google uses a complex algorithm to provide website rankings that are based on approximately 200 features. Because the domain extension forms such a minor part of this ranking calculation, it has little influence on the SEO of your website.
Despite this minimum impact, it is important to consider three essential factors when selecting your extension on the domain checker. These three factors include managing the reputation of your website, the relevancy of the extension, and its audience reach.
The important concept here is to align your website operations with your business vision. Then choose a domain extension that reflects this vision, which is part of reputation management. The extension should relate to your website’s operations. So either select a dot.com, dot.biz, or niche extension like dot.coffee to focus SEO and rankings for your niche audience.
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Choosing an Extension that Grows with You
Online business growth is closely linked with SEO, especially if you intend to open a commercial business online. My personal experience is that business growth is directly linked to your overriding business vision. In turn, I find that using a domain checker to find the right extension for your business is critical to maintaining reputation and direction.
If you have chosen to name your business ‘Ultimate socks’ for example, but this domain name is only available as a dot.org extension, then I strongly suggest you change your name or reach out to the current domain owner to see if you can buy it. Unless your online business can get a dot.com, dot.biz, or dot.niche (with your industry name), then it needs to change.
Managing business reputation includes alignment of all branding, which indicates how serious you are about what you do. Likewise, this attitude is carried over to the potential customer. If they see discrepancies in your business name and operations, they will become suspicious and move to another site that looks like the owner knows what they’re doing.
In other words, business growth depends on good SEO and alignment of many business factors that make you and your operations look professional. None of these are strongly linked with your domain extension in relation to Google rankings but remain important for building your online reputation.
I strongly recommend that you use a domain checker to choose a name for your online operations before making too many other plans related to your website. Almost everything else will be linked with the domain extension, and be dependent on it, including your business operations and reputation.