Debating on whether to make the move online but not sure where to start?

Here’s your why-to/how-to guide.

Debating on whether to make the move online but not sure where to start? Here’s five ways registering a domain name will help grow your small business.

1. Be where your customers are

As technology becomes more efficient, consumers start to expect more from brands. We want communication to be seamless and information to be at our fingertips, which is usually provided by a website. Reach your customers and find new ones by building your online presence. Everyone is different, so we suggest catering to as many needs as you possibly can. By this we mean cover all channels of communication because if your customer can’t reach you when or how they want to, you’ve already lost the battle.

2. Target the right customer

It is essential to understand how to find a domain that suits your individual needs. If your brand is in a saturated industry you might want to go with one of the New Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) to stand out. If you’re looking to expand your brand into a foreign market you might want to go with a Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) to gain the trust of locals and rank higher in their search results. Also consider looking into geo-targeted domains for example NewYorkRealEstate.com. Though these might cost a pretty penny, you’ll be the only person in the entire city that can own that name. Having a custom domain name can help your business’s exposure, and choosing the right domain name can have an effect on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Regardless of which direction you choose, simply venturing online will help you stay ahead of the trends and better understand your market as well as your customers.

3. Create a branding strategy

Have you ever liked someone’s picture on Instagram, not because it was that great of a photo but because you liked their caption or just genuinely like them as a person? The same thing goes for branding. Sometimes customers just buy into the brand rather than the actual product or service. The key is to keep your brand consistent. Say your brand’s name is Delicious Donuts you can register the domain DeliciousDonuts.com, and then use a custom email address such as [email protected] This gives your brand an all-around polished look while increasing trust and credibility, as compared to a customer contacting Delicious Donuts at [email protected]

4. Get ahead of the competition

Amazingly enough there are still brands who aren’t online. You being here, reading this article shows that you’re already ahead of the game. Seen these Yelp stickers around lately?

So how do you get people to talk about your brand? Offer your customers a service and experience around your brand that is so amazing and special they will have no choice but to rave about you online. Be the brand that goes above and beyond to please your customers and they will in turn become brand advocates for you.

5. Grow your business

Let’s say you have a store-front but you decide to expand your brand online so you can share some basic store information. Any step forward is a good step. Now people can find you, research your products and services, get to know a little more about your brand, and have a place to get their questions answered. Maybe you haven’t thought of it before because it seemed like an impossible feat, but now you’re entertaining the thought of selling your products online. It doesn’t have to be hard. It’s as easy as finding the right website builder that supplies you with the tools to be your own web designer.

Let’s recap.

You know how to find a domain that is right for you. You’re available and reaching the right customers. You have a branded email address that communicates the legitimacy of your business. You built an E-commerce store for your website. The world is in your hands, what are you waiting for?