Below we explore what domain names are and, if you’re a photographer, why you need one.
What is a domain name?
To understand why you need a domain name, you first need to know what a domain name is and how it works.
A domain name is a human-readable web address (e.g. “photoswarm.com”) that points to the IP address of a server – it allows for a name that’s easy to read & remember to be used for a website on the Internet. Domain names have extensions at the end of the URL. For example, “.com”, “.net” and “.org” are the most commonly used domain name extensions and there are also country specific domain name extensions such as “.co.uk” for the United Kingdom.
Why do I need a domain name?
If you’re running a photography business, or looking to take your photography in a more professional direction, domain names are important for a number of reasons:
A well chosen domain name forms part of the overall image of your photography business and helps unify your brand. Whilst your customers may not have difficulty finding you at say “willjennings.photoswarm.com”, they’re going to have much more confidence in your business with a professional domain name like “willjennings.net”. It says you’re smart, competent and that you care about getting things right.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
This is the practice of helping search engines such as Google to list your website in their search results. This matters because the more you can do to get your website into search results, the more traffic your photo portfolio will receive and therefore more leads, enquiries and business. A domain name helps here because search engines are more likely to list websites that have their own domain names. For example, when someone searches for Will Jennings, Google is more likely to list “willjennings.net” in it’s search results than “willjennings.photoswarm.com”.
Professional Email Address
With a domain name comes the fantastic benefit of being able to use professional email address e.g: “firstname.lastname@example.org”. The benefits here are similar to the branding & image benefits above except it’s not limited to just your website, every communication you have with your customers will come across as more professional and together. You’re going to make it much easier for a potential customer to choose your services or purchase from you if your email address is “email@example.com” instead of “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Choosing a Domain Name
Choosing a name can be difficult however below are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a domain name:
- Try and relate it directly to your business name or use keywords that describe your website’s content or industry.
- Try to keep it short, memorable, pronounceable and easy to spell.
- Try to use a “.com” or “.net” name as opposed to “.biz” or “.org”.
Photoswarm “Pro” accounts come with a domain name and email address included, are automatically setup and don’t require any technical knowledge. They’re a very easy way to quickly register the domain name you want and connect it to photo website for your business.
Between 100k – 200k domain names are registered every single day and many of the more popular & memorable names have been taken so it’s important to act quickly to secure the name you want. In doing so, you’re likely to receive more traffic to your website, make it easier for your customers to find you and you’ll add a rewarding level of trust & integrity to your business.
Do you already have a pro domain name? What value has it brought to your photography business? Let us know!.