Within the last few years, reports have shown a rapid surge in online business growth and strong branding is a large contributor. It’s an absolute must for fledgling businesses to survive (and thrive) in this burgeoning market, which is why a memorable .online domain name can help set you apart and draw in new customers.
Sure, it may seem like a simple string of words. But the .online domain name is actually a powerful branding tool in the hands of online businesses. Combine that with a high-quality user experience (UX) and you’ll notice a rising peak in visitor engagement on your site.
So, wondering what the best business names are for a .online domain? We’ve got you covered. But first, we must understand the role a domain name plays in business branding.
The domain name: Your customer’s first touchpoint
Your brand’s domain name is the first touchpoint between your business and clients. Every business needs a domain name that creates the right first impression. It should be meaningful and unique enough to give potential customers an alluring summary of what your brand has to offer.
Many new websites are born daily, which means choosing the right domain name won’t be as simple as adding a .com to your company’s name.
Since the internet space is saturated with legacy .com domain extensions, it’s now crucial for new businesses to consider alternate domain names. The benefit of an alternate domain is that there are a bevy of options to choose from. Businesses are almost spoiled for choices when searching for the most relevant and best suited for their brand.
Additionally, the best domains for an online business are those that are an exact match to the brand name. This is what makes a .online domain extension such an ideal match.
Why .online domains are perfect for online businesses
The .online domain extensions are frontrunners when it comes to alternate domain names for new businesses. Here are a few reasons why this domain extension could be the right choice for your business.
1. Amplifies your business branding
Finding an exact-match domain name for your business can be challenging. As a new business trying to get noticed online, you most likely have already experienced this challenge firsthand.
The most popular domain extensions like .com and .net have been around for decades. But with the .online domain extension being relatively new, you’ll likely find an exact match without having to spend crazy dollars. There’s no need to make a compromise for anything else.
For instance, Princeton-based bakery, Milk & Cookies, found its exact-match domain name using a .onlinedomain. Their working URL is milkncookies.online and you can see how professional, yet simple it is for online users to notice and remember them by.
2. Saves your marketing dollars
Locating an exact-match domain name with a traditional extension is not only challenging but can also be expensive.
Domain names are like real estate.
Premium properties (aka domain names) can sell for high prices, sometimes even tens of thousands of dollars.
But spending that much money up front won’t make sense for a small business. It’s much better to go with a .online domain name because it’s:
- Easier to brand
As a bonus, you can invest the extra money in an area of business that needs it more.
3. Has better global appeal
The word “online” is understood in over 24 different languages. If your business deals with (or will scale to) international clients, a .online domain name is perfect for you.
Why? Because global customers will easily understand it.
Wherever your business is based from, you can secure a universal domain name for your online business on the .online extension. For instance, Singapore-based lifestyle brand, Klosh, goes by klosh.online and ships internationally.
4. Ensures your business is future-proof
The .online domain extension has universal appeal and is also versatile in other ways. Since it is not niche, it can be relevant for an online organization of any nature. This makes it a risk-free and future-proof choice.
Whenever you diversify your online presence, you won’t have to worry about your domain name becoming obsolete or irrelevant. You can continue to grow by leaps and bounds with your .online domain name.
5. Create something meaningful
What better way to tell the world you’re online than by adding the word in your domain name?
A .online domain name helps shine a spotlight on the online aspect of your company. It doesn’t matter if you’re:
- A new online business
- An existing business launching an online division
- A small business going entirely online
Your .online domain also signifies a sense of tech savviness that boosts trust with your customers or clients.
6. Establishes a more memorable connection
When it comes to memorable domain names, less is always more. A high-quality domain name should be:
- Short and easy to brand
- Simple enough to remember easily
- Creative and eye-catching enough to stand out
A .online domain checks all of these boxes. They provide the opportunity to secure a short and sweet domain name that clearly communicates your branding.
For instance, carrentals.online has better visibility and is memorable than carrentalsonline.com.
Moreover, .online is novel enough to make your domain name draw extra attention when pitted against your competitors.
7. Popularity for this extension is on the rise
If you’re still undecided about going with a .online domain, let the numbers speak for themselves.
Over 1.8 million .online domain names have already been registered — despite how relatively new this extension has been available for.
This makes it one of the most popular extensions for alternate domain names in the world. It’s currently the third most registered domain extension in the world.
Additionally, both international and local businesses are using the .online domain to build a robust presence on the web. Many of these domains span across various industries like hospitality, fashion, media and more. Take a peek at these examples, for instance:
Each of these websites are part of the growing number of .online domains being registered daily, making now a good time for your business to jump in on the action.
How the right domain name can help your online branding
Let’s dive a little deeper into why domain names are important for your online branding.
1. Easier online visibility
Search engines essentially made the Yellow Pages obsolete – and with good reason too. The convenience of searching for businesses online is just too much to pass up. But that convenience only proves how important your domain name is.
Online searches play a massive part in connecting customers to businesses.
A website and a domain name ensure that people can find you quickly and help you stay in the competition. This is especially vital for small businesses that are not well-known or would like to compete with bigger counterparts within their region.
And while your business will take some time to rank on the first page of most search engines, an exact match will help you get more traction.
2. Greater market access
A domain name opens a two-way street between you and your customers. While it makes you more searchable, it also allows you to reach a wider audience than traditional offline marketing.
So instead of using a billboard or flyer (both of which are also more expensive), you are armed with a branded domain name that allows you to market outside of your local area. This means you can target new cities or even other countries to find customers on a global scale.
Additionally, a .online domain elevates your chances for online visibility in these new markets – meaning you can offer products or services to a clientele you may have not considered before.
3. Makes the right impression
A small business that has its own website and domain name makes the right first impression on customers—one of a digitally-savvy, forward-thinking business.
A relevant domain name adds to the unique appeal and suggests you are part of the big leagues to online consumers. It’s often the first step in offering your patrons a seamless user experience.
4. Smarter online branding
Exact-match domain names and those with relevant domain extensions, such as .online domains, gets you noticed more easily. They reinforce your brand every time people come across your domain name and make your small business easily recognizable.
Additionally, a relevant domain extension communicates what you do and helps you attract the right customers.
Does it matter if your domain name is different from your business name?
Short answer, yes.
While it may seem inconsequential at first, an off-brand domain name can have serious long-term consequences. The most obvious is the disconnect it creates between your business and your website.
In most of these cases, people won’t know that the off-brand domain name they see in search results belongs to your business – some won’t even take the extra step to click on it. They want as much relevant information as they can while still on the search engine page.
But as we mentioned earlier, securing an exact-match domain isn’t always easy to do – and there’s one thing you need to keep in mind:
Stay clear of domain name modifications .
Modifying your business name for the sake of a domain is a big no-no. And even though it can be disheartening to miss out on a specific name you had planned for, it’s best not to switch-up your business name with spelling or numeral variations.
For instance, let’s say you want to secure the domain name for finedesign.com and find it has been taken. Avoid opting for variations like:
While they are only slightly different from your actual business name, they are harder to communicate – oftentimes making it more likely for online users to mistype your URL.
In other cases, it may come across as illegitimate and complicated. Someone might think twice before clicking on them out of fear of getting spammed.
What to do when the domain name you want is taken
The internet has been around for decades and that inevitably means that your first domain name preference on the interwebs is likely taken. So what do you do when the domain name you want is taken?
Fortunately, you don’t have to settle for an off-brand domain that potentially drives people away.
Over the last decade, at least 1,200 new domain extensions have emerged that allow new businesses to maneuver the overcrowded internet namespace. These new extensions present unique branding opportunities with alternate domain names.
For instance, let’s say you want to start a bakery business from your home called Sweet Somethings. If the domain name sweetsomethings.com is already taken, you may get lucky with sweetsomethings.online.
That way, you not only secure an exact-match domain name, but you’re also highlighting the online aspect of your business with a relevant domain extension.
Choosing the right domain extension for your online business
The best domain names for online businesses are ones that communicate something valuable about your company, like
A great idea deserves a brilliant online presence. And this presence must align with your offline persona.
A generic domain name can become a lot more meaningful with the right domain extension.
With a .online domain, you have the chance to make your online identity a lot more relevant and impressive. And because of its generic nature, it can be applied to a wide variety of industries and organizations like:
- Offline businesses looking to venture online
- Solopreneurs (think designers, artists, consultants and instructors)
- Creative portfolios for personal profiles and content creators
- New businesses and local small business
- Side hustlers and freelancers
- Digital agencies
There are so many opportunities to explore with a .online domain and now is the perfect time to take advantage of them for your next venture.
Brand your online business effectively
When it comes to the best domain names for online business, the .online domain extension is the most versatile and unique. Building your online presence with this option is a smart choice that will benefit you greatly – now and in the future. Remember to secure your exact-match for a memorable and meaningful branding opportunity.
Ready to get started? Check out GoDaddy’s search tool to register and buy the domain name of your choice.