A domain name can have a huge impact on businesses of any size but getting the right web address is a lot harder for small businesses.
Just like finding the right company name could take months (or even years), coming up with a domain name is a process. And it is one that sees more and more small businesses struggling.
New data from Wakefield Research shows that nearly half of all small business owners in the US are unhappy with their current domain names.
More specifically, the survey, which was commissioned by .CO and conducted among 500 small business owners (companies with 100 or fewer employees), indicated that 49% of small business owners tried more than one domain name before settling on their current one.
Over half of the companies surveyed (55%) also believed they have lost business by not having their first choice domain name, and 52% would change their current domain name given the opportunity.
But with hundreds of millions of websites already online, Wakefield Research said that there is a good chance someone else has already snapped up a small business owner’s first choice domain name.
Making Names Your Domain
While this research is US specific, some of the results apply just as much to Australian small businesses as those anywhere else in the world.
One of the most important factors highlighted by this survey, for instance, is the fact that small businesses are at a disadvantage when it comes to investing in the ideal domain name.
But as well as having dissatisfaction with their current domain names, the survey shows that the vast majority of small business owners lack the knowledge necessary to make informed domain name buying decisions.
When choosing a domain name, 63% of small business owners failed to even consider the domain name’s “extension” – the letters that come to the right of the dot, like .org, .com, .co and so on.
Co-founder and VP at .CO Lori Anne Wardi also noted that more than 80% of people do not consider the name’s potential impact on critical business drivers like social and mobile media.
“The right web address, built on a global, credible domain extension, can make it easy for people to find, remember and refer you customers – and to drive your business forward,” Wardi said.
In the next year, the internet is expected to change dramatically, with hundreds of new domain extensions launching, such as .nyc, .green, .app, .movie and even .melbourne
Short of buying the preferred domain name at a higher rate (particularly if the owner is in the business of selling names), Wardi said the other option is to consider creative alternatives that make use of these extensions.
“Small business owners who understand the distinctions among the different domain extensions, and can make the most informed choices, will be best positioned to survive and thrive online.”