You just bought a domain name. But what are you going to do with it?
If it’s your first time owning a domain name, it’s perfectly normal to feel a little lost.
Your shiny new domain name is the first step to many great things.
It’s the starting point for building your online presence and brand, setting up a branded email address, and dominating Google search results and social media, and much more.
1. Create a website, personal blog, or an online store
Sure, you don’t have to have a website to own a domain name, but you do need to have a domain name if you want to share your site with the world.
Chances are that since you’ve bought a domain, you’re planning to have a site, too.
Your new site could be:
- A landing page to share information about your business to attract new customers and spread your company name
- A blog to keep customers and competitors updated with goings-on
- Or a full online store to sell your products and services directly.
You should always aim to use the name of your brand or business in your domain name. After all, your domain name is what makes up the bulk of your company’s website address.
And the better people can find you online, the more organic traffic you’ll get and the better your brand awareness will be.
You have a few options when it comes to setting up your website, blog, or online store. You could:
- Code it from scratch. This takes time and you should be fluent in programming languages.
- Pay someone else to do it. Opting for a third party to help you out is both time-consuming and expensive.
- Use a website builder. Perfect for those with no prior web development or coding experience.
Build a website with a website builder
Here’s the deal: you don’t need to go and install WordPress and fall down the web development rabbit hole in order to have a stunning site.
We might be a bit biased, but a good website builder:
- Has professionally designed web templates to accommodate all types of websites. You can choose from online storefronts to blogs, portfolios, landing page sites, and everything else in between.
- Has everything under one roof. You won’t have to worry about web hosting, storage, or SSL certificates.
- Is mobile-optimized. Cater to internet users everywhere, and on any device, and be loved by the search engines.
With builders like Zyro, you commonly just pick the template or theme you like and customize it to look and feel like your own.
Once you’re done, you just connect your domain name to your new site and you’re done.
Tip 💡 – You can usually get a free domain with website builders if you opt for annual billing.
2. Connect your domain name to your website
Now that you have your own website ready to go live, it’s time to connect it to your newly registered domain name.
Using a website builder
Since website builders offer an all-inclusive service, you won’t need to worry about getting familiar with different web hosting companies – the hosting package is included in your plan already.
Usually, the domain name connection process ( the process of connecting your new domain name to the hosting server of your website) is simple and straightforward:
- All you need to do is navigate to the control panel or dashboard
- Look for a domain transfer or domain connection section
- Once you’re in the right place, you’ll be prompted to enter your new domain name and the related WHOIS or nameserver information
- If you’re working with top-quality players like Zyro, the moment you submit your new domain name you’re finished and can continue with more important and fun things
Connect your domain name to a web hosting plan
If you’re using a content management system (CMS for short) like WordPress and a hosting company to power your website, the domain connection process is pretty similar.
Usually, if you’re using WordPress, you need to install WordPress (or at least have an account with them) and navigate to your WordPress dashboard to connect your own domain to your website.
In some cases, you might also want to set up the right WordPress plugins and select your favorite one from the WordPress themes before you start customizing your site further.
It may take a little time for whichever hosting service you’re using to fully register your domain on their servers, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing work on your website in the meantime.
The difference between a domain provider and a web host
A web host is effectively the company who offers server space in the form of hosting plans so that you have somewhere to store the website your domain name is connected to.
On the other hand, a domain registrar is a company that manages and rents out domains.
More often than not, web hosts (sometimes also referred to as hosting providers) also act as domain providers and some even include domains in their hosting plans and vice versa.
Remember, if you want your website and online business to grow, you’ll need a hosting plan that can accommodate your expanding domain and site requirements.
While free hosting might sound appealing, if you’re not working with a website builder, you’re probably going to have to upgrade to a shared hosting plan very quickly.
You should always make sure that your web hosting plan also includes SSL protection, or you’re opening your website up for phishing attempts.
3. Get a professional email address
One of the most exciting things about owning a domain name is the level of professionalism it can convey to your company. A big part of this comes from the transformation of your contact information.
Once you’re done setting up your site, the next step is to create a custom email address.
Linking an email service to your domain name gives you the option to have a custom email address. For example, you could end up with an email address in the format of email@example.com.
This is particularly important if you run an eCommerce store and often interact with both old and new customers regarding your products. A custom email is also useful if you’re setting up an email marketing strategy to promote your online store or business.
Tip 💡 – Making a customer-facing email address? It doesn’t have to be formal. Opt for email aliases like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ or ‘email@example.com’. Make it clear, easy, and memorable.
Additionally, a custom email also boosts your brand’s trustworthiness, overall credibility, email open rate, and consequently your conversion rates.
While a free Gmail or Hotmail email account works to get you on your feet, if you’re serious about running email marketing campaigns, for example, you can quickly run into problems with spam filters, shortening your effective email list.
And considering that 14.5 billion spam emails are sent globally every day on the world wide web, having a unique address based around your domain name can improve your overall email deliverability.
4. Develop your online presence
A brand is what separates you from competitors in the same niche – it’s simply a must in the modern marketplace.
And if you’ve bought a domain name, you’re already one step ahead of many.
Establishing a brand is one of the most critical steps to build your online presence, as it’s what people recognize you by in the long run.
Since your domain name generally represents the same company as your site and services, owning one that’s thought through and clearly related to your brand helps you get one step ahead in the process.
Build a brand online
If you’re serious about branding, you need to put the work in to get your name out there and associate your business inextricably with the products or services you offer.
This means it’s time to focus on:
- Producing high-quality content. Never underestimate the value of associating your domain name with great quality content. By giving new visitors a reason to return, you can drive even more traffic to the site. We’re not just talking about your most recent blog post, but video and other kinds of content, too.
- Developing your branding assets. You need to make sure your domain and its appearance fit the theme and aesthetic of your branding. Having a distinctive logo, a tagline, and a brand story make your company stand out from the competition.
- Prioritizing SEO optimization. Years ago, branding was far more one-dimensional. These days, optimizing your website for SEO is one of the best ways to attract organic traffic and increase your chance of climbing the SERP ranking.
- Building a following. The more eyeballs make it to your domain, the better your company will perform. Having a following on a social media platform can help your site and company grow faster. For that, you need to engage with your audience regularly.
- Maintaining a good reputation. You might not think that PR is an integral part of brand-building, but maintaining a good reputation is a vital step to build a branding strategy and develop trust with your audience.
5. Use your domain in your social media accounts
Now that you have bought a domain, created an attractive site, effective landing pages, and have a branding strategy, it’s time to grab the social media handles while they’re still free.
Step 1. Identify the right social media platforms for your business 🔍
Here’s the truth: just because you love Facebook yourself doesn’t necessarily mean that your target audience spends their free time there.
Before you finalize your social media strategy, take the time to understand which platforms work best for the people you’re trying to reach.
Chances are that you’ll get the attention of teens, not middle-aged businessmen, on TikTok.
Step 2. Create your accounts 📝
Once you know where your audience is, it’s time to sign up and create your business accounts.
Usually, you can simply sign up with your new email address and grab the social media handle.
If you’re in a rush, you can always finish setting up your profile later.
Step 3. Keep it together 📊
You need to have a uniform look and message that links all your various locations on the internet together.
Having social media account names that match your domain and company names is key.
Not only will it make it possible for users on the platforms themselves to find you easily in a menu search, but it will also provide you with links that make sense to include on your website, emails, or even business cards.
Tip 💡 – You want your social media handles to be as similar as possible to your domain and brand name. They don’t need to be exact copies of your domain, though: sometimes you might need to include letters, symbols, or numbers in the usernames.
Get the most out of your website (and your domain)
If you want to have a successful website that’s designed for growth, you need to keep track of the popularity of your site. This includes monitoring your site’s performance and traffic growth rate.
You can do so easily using web analytics tools like Google Analytics or Google Search Console. These free Google apps generate valuable data and metrics about your website to inform your decision-making process.
Take it from us – it’s worth taking time to really understand how to use tools like Google Analytics, and read the analytics metrics.
That’s because this kind of data is so important for making decisions about the direction of your business, your branding focus, and your overall marketing strategy.
The types of data it produces include, but not limited to, individual web page performance, visitors’ browsing behavior, and visitor segmentation.
To boost your web traffic and your site’s overall growth, you should pay attention to a couple of things.
The technical 💻
Find the time to regularly audit the technical SEO sections on your site. This will help your content to rank on search engines.
Work towards increasing your site speed by compressing your images – you’ll lose visitors if your site takes too long to load.
You should also focus on further improving the user experience and user flow of your homepage. Always keep an eye out for any page errors and faulty links, they are not just annoying, but hurt your SEO, too.
And lastly, you should be ensuring that your site is totally secure, including using the most up-to-date SSL encryption (usually SSL certificates are included in your plan by your builder or hosting provider).
The creative 🎨
Make sure you’re creating new content (including blogs, videos, podcasts, or other updates) that is relevant to the kind of people you’re trying to attract to your website.
It’s also important to keep updating existing content or deleting content that is no longer relevant, accurate, or useful for your visitors.
This way, you won’t look outdated or out of touch in your field – instead, you’ll be a thought leader.
Bonus tip: How to get a free domain name
Maybe you bought a domain name, but wonder if there’s a way to get your next online project a free one?
If you’re planning on using a website builder, you can grab a domain with any annual plan for no extra costs at Zyro.
With plenty of different TLDs to choose from, it’s never been easier to realize your next online dream.