What’s in a name? Well, a lot actually. The name of your website defines its character and can also define its purpose. Imagine, going to this website and seeing a bunch of stories about celebrities. Don’t worry, that won’t ever happen, but wouldn’t that be just strange?
Before even visiting the site your brain has already adopted an opinion on what the site should be generally about.
Have you ever gone to a domain and have been completely surprised at what you find? Well, sometimes you visit a domain and it doesn’t really match the content on the site, and other times it is exactly as expected. This isn’t by accident.
A lot of research goes into choosing a name a business. It’s a very important first step and should never be overlooked. But this article isn’t about a name for a business. No.
This article is really about you and your name. Your name is arguably the most important asset you can own.
It defines you. It’s your character. It’s you.
Wouldn’t you like to own it?
What is a Name Domain?
A name domain is simply a domain with your name on it. It could be your FirstNameLastName.com, FirstName-LastName.com FirstNameMiddleInitialLastName.com, etc. You get the idea. A name domain is YourName.com
A lot of them are already spoken for and it’s becoming an increasing trend across the web. Similar to owning your own name on Facebook, @gmail address, twitter and so on, your own website is the ultimate expression of your identity on the web.
You don’t necessarily need to do anything with the domain, but owning it gives you the confidence to craft your own image and create a living resume. Owning it gives full control over your identity on the web.
If someone else owns it, well…then they have full control over your identity on the web.
What’s the Point of Owning Your Name Domain?
You may eventually want to do something with your domain, and having it available for future use is very important.
When Donald Trump and Jeb Bush were competing for the Republican nomination for president, Trump purchased JebBush.com and was able to redirect Jeb’s visitors to Trump’s own site. That’s powerful.
Eventually, I’m sure Trump let it go, but this demonstrates the importance of owning your own identity on the web. Even though, you may not think it’s important now, if you consider yourself to have any value, one day it may be very important for you.
Even if you don’t have any plans to develop the site, you can use it as a living resume. For people who are not interested in being entrepreneurs, use it as a personal blog or living resume allowing all of your other web identities coalesce.
Either way there are a lot of different reasons that you should own your own domain name
6 Reasons to Own Your Name Domain
1. Personal Blog
Even if you don’t actively participate in content generation or blogging, undoubtably you curate some content on the web. Whether it’s on social media or just commenting on other’s posts, you are participating in the internet’s content.
Sometimes you may read something that will really get on your nerves and you want to get it off your chest. What a better way than a personal blog. This gives you full control of the content you want expressed the way you want it.
Furthermore, you don’t have to risk anyone taking you out because of your opinions. You own it and you take ownership of anything else that you write on it.
2. Living Resume
Having a living resume online would be an important step if you plan on getting hired at any company. This would give you that edge in addition to LinkedIn, to show off your portfolio to would be employers.
You can even add a personal video on there for employers to see. This offers an immense difference than just applying the traditional route. It also gives you a way to show your employer some of the work you are capable of.
By displaying your work on an ongoing basis, you are able to show your employer that you know what you’re talking about, not just talk about it.
3. Personal Brand
Do you have a loyal following on Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest? What if you were able to transfer that following to a website, collect emails and start a real marketing campaign from that list of loyal followers?
This it the general idea of a personal brand. It gives you the opportunity to market to a loyal following however you’d like.
4. Social Media Hub
You can house all your Tweets, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook posts all on your own personal website. And even, you can link out from there allowing all your information to stay in one place.
5. Identity Protection
Have you ever been concerned about your identity and online reputation. Just for kicks, go ahead and Google your name. What comes up. Is it what you want to come up?
Look, there are a lot of internet trolls out there just trying to get a ruse out of ruining your day. Posting negative information about you or your brand is commonplace and is something that should be accepted by the online community.
But, what if you are associated with a fraud, scam or something very negative like that? This is certainly something that can ruin your image. Owning your own name domain gives you the opportunity to challenge others’ opinions about you and allow you to craft your own image and identity.
You have the ability to craft yourself how you see fit. This is hugely important if you are trying to maintain an image. This also goes a long way in protecting yourself down the road giving you an even footing to dispute certain claims if necessary.
Your name domain is the ultimate social profile. From an SEO standpoint, your name domain can rank above any other social media page on the web. It has the most relevance to you.
Your name domain will rank above anything else when you Google your name. Even if your domain has absolutely no content, you can rank above others simply by having the right name in the search engines.
Also, you want to rank above the other John Does out there, right? You want to be the first one displayed when someone is actually Googling you and not someone else.
This happens a lot with celebrities. If you have a more common name, your name can actually be shared with someone with more influence and alas, you’ll never appear in the search results.
This is especially true if they already own the name domain that is shared with you.
The bottom line is that you will have a lot more SEO power with your name when someone Googles you, if you actually own the domain.
What domain should you purchase?
I often have clients ask me what type of domain should they purchase? The answer to this question is relative and it really comes down to what’s available.
If the .com is available, that is an obvious first choice. The .com TLDs still dominate the search results and very few .co, .net, .biz and other TLDs actually get recognized. If the .com is available, choose that one and you don’t really have to have a plan for building it out.
Purchasing it will give you that asset in the future if it requires you. The other TLDs aren’t nearly as important. If you choose to purchase the other TLDs, make sure you actually build something with that name domain.
Don’t just sit on it because it’s really not competitive enough to worry. Frankly, nobody cares.
However, if you are unable to purchase the .com version of your name domain, look for something else. Something that is still relevant like .net, .co, or .io.
From my experience, TLDs have little impact on SEO, but they do with people’s memory and email. People will still email the .com and attach .com to any TLD for an email out of confusion. Regardless, of your choice, owning your name in some capacity is important, though I would give more “weight” to the .com.
So what are you waiting for? Go on and purchase your name domain.
What’s your experience with name domains? Have they helped you in the past? Please comment below.