by Greg Zuckerman | November 9 2016

Why is a Domain Name So Important to a Business’s Credibility?

One of the most important reasons why every business should have an Internet domain name is the credibility factor. But if you're a first-time domain buyer, you may be skeptical at just how powerful a domain can be – especially if your business "has done just fine" without one so far.

So, how exactly does a domain name make a business more credible? What are the actual real risks of not having one? Let's take a closer look.

It's 2016. Your business needs a website.
Let's start with the basics. These days, it's critical for every business to have a website. If you're just starting out and figuring out how to build a site, then you at least need to setup a Facebook business page, which is free and only takes a minute.

Even if you operate a traditional brick-and-mortar store, your prospective customers (especially Millennials and younger shoppers) are searching for you online. Having a website looks professional and credible. It instantly builds trust on a subconscious level, because it shows the business has put time, effort and money into creating a site. It shows that your business is legitimate. It shows that you actually care about the people who are going online to look for you and that you're helping to make their lives easier by providing helpful information online.

A good domain name makes your website even more legitimate.
Your Internet domain carries about as much weight as the actual name of your business. It's extremely important. A short, catchy domain is easy to remember. But also, it looks professional. Shorter phrases are increasingly difficult to find, unless you're purchasing a premium domain. So today's Internet users generally have a good sense of the quality of your domain when they first visit your site. Having a short, catchy name once again shows you've properly invested in your business's online presence.

Long, weird domains look really bad.
In contrast to good domains, bad domains can actually hurt your credibility among first-time visitors to your website. If your domain looks something like this: JohnJoePlumbingIncUSA.com – then you're in trouble. First of all, nobody will remember that domain. But also, some visitors may wonder why you didn't try harder to get a better, more memorable domain. Meanwhile, your competitor has JohnsPlumbing.com, which looks cleaner and a whole lot more professional.

Not having ANY domain or website looks even worse.
Above, we showed how having a website can add credibility to your business. But in reality, the negative effects of not having one are probably even greater than the benefits of having one. In simplest terms: it looks really bad when your prospective customers can't find you online.

Consider a 32-year-old customer who has heard good things about your auto body shop. She needs work done on her car, so she looks you up online first. To her surprise, there's no website. No hours. No phone number. No information on what kind of auto body work you do. Maybe her friend gave her the wrong name? Maybe the shop is no longer in business? She begins to have doubt.

As she's searching for you, she stumbles across another auto body shop's website. They have a really helpful website, and the shop is right down the street. Case settled: she takes her car to them, not you.

Even if she finds out later that your shop is in business, but simply doesn't have a website, why would she switch? A business with a professional website and domain name will always look more credible than a competitor that doesn't have one.