New Study Finds: When it Comes to Domain Names – Small Business Owners Can't Get No Satisfaction - GO.CO Blog

Wakefield Research

Your domain name is often the first thing people will notice and the last thing they’ll remember when they learn about your business online – so it’s important to get it right.  Unfortunately, many small business owners (“SBOs”) have gotten it all wrong.

According to a new national survey conducted by Wakefield Research, and commissioned by .CO, many SBOs either have no Web presence at all – or are dissatisfied with the one they’ve got. Oftentimes they feel they’ve had to settle for a sub-par domain name, and have lost customers and business as a result.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The survey is filled with interesting (and surprising) findings about how SBOs think about and purchase domain names. You can see the key results of the study summarized in this Slideshare presentation.

Here are just a few of the highlights:

Nearly Half of SBOs Don’t Have an Online Presence

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SBOs know very well that the success of their business often depends on “location, location, location.”  While the benefits of setting up shop on a busy street corner or in a well-trafficked shopping center seem fairly obvious – the value of setting up an online presence is not quite as obvious to SBOs.

An effective Web presence can help just about any business to attract more customers, sell more products and services – and generate more revenue. Yet, incredibly, a whopping 45% of SBOs report that they still don’t have a website or blog set up to promote their business online.

49% of SBOs with a Website or Blog are Not Completely Satisfied with their Web Presence

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Just like a good physical location can impact a small business’ chances of success, its online web address (also known as a domain name or URL), can help to make or break a business. Domain names are considered the “real estate” of the Internet. A good domain name can make it easy for people to find, remember and refer customers to any business – helping to drive growth and revenue. Yet for many SBOs, this is a missed opportunity.

49% of SBOs with a website or blog had to try two or more domain names before settling on their current one. If given the opportunity to change their Web address without consequences, 52% would choose to do so.

Plus, 55% of SBOs believe that settling on a subpar web address has resulted in lost business and customers.

SBOs Think that Finding a Great .COM Domain Name is a Reaaally Hard Thing to Do

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With over 25 years of history and 100 million .com domain names already in use, chances are high that someone else has already snapped up an SBOs top choice .com domain name. In fact, 46% of SBOs believe they are more likely to find a $100 bill on the sidewalk than to find a great .com domain name that hasn’t already been taken!

Now, if I only had a $100 bill for every time I couldn’t find a great .com domain when I needed it – I’d be a very rich lady indeed!

SBOs Lack Critical Knowledge Needed to Make Informed Domain Name Buying Decisions

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It’s no wonder that many SBOs are dissatisfied with their Web presence and frustrated by their choices. Most of them lack critical knowledge necessary to make informed decisions – such as what a domain extension is – and why choosing the right extension can be important to their success.

For those of you who don’t know, a “domain extension” is the suffix at the end of a web address that appears to the right of the dot, such as “www.example.co” (or .com, .org, .me, .biz, etc.). Incredibly, 63% of SBOs do not even consider what’s to “the right of the dot” when choosing their domain name.

The fact is, not all domain extensions are created equally, and SBOs would be well served to understand the pros and cons of each before selecting a domain name. Legacy domain extensions like .com, .net and .org are well-saturated, making it increasingly difficult for SBOs to score short, memorable, high quality domain names. On the other hand, newer domain extension like .co and .me give SBOs far more naming options to choose from, so they don’t have to settle for a subpar domain name (with extra words, silly spellings, and/or hyphens).

If Your Business is Your Baby – Show it Some Love!

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Think of it this way: for many SBOs, their business is their “baby.” Yet, 57% of SBO parents with a website or blog say that finding an available domain name for their business was just as difficult – or even more difficult – than naming their baby.

If you’ve started your own business, you probably love what you do. Don’t give your labor of love a name you don’t absolutely love…

With .CO you can get the name you really want, without having to settle for second best. Beyond simply having more and better domain names available, you get all the benefits of the .CO Membership Program, which include incredible perks and opportunities to help you build and grow your business, plus the support of the entire .CO community.  Just go to go.co and see for yourself why .CO is the domain extension that can give SBOs satisfaction – finally!