A domain name is your business address on the Internet. For most businesses, their domain names are their business names.  For example, our domain is vettersoftware.com.  The task of setting up and managing a domain name may seem daunting, but the value is well worth the effort.  In this article we’ll discuss three reasons to have your own domain name.  Next week, we’ll walk through how to set up and manage your own domain.

Reason 1: Get found

These days everyone expects to find your practice online.  The first step to making sure that they find you is to have your own domain name.  Having a domain name for your practice give you an obvious place to build a website, even if it’s a simple page that provides your contact information.  Search engines such as Google and Bing will also index your website in their search directories, which will make it even easier for people to find you when they search online.

Reason 2: Build your brand

It's easy to improve your brand by maintaining a consistent web presence.  In other words, people will be more likely to remember your practice name when it shows up in your domain.  In fact, you should also use your domain name for your business email addresses to reinforce your brand and drive more people to your website.  Lastly, branded emails look more professional, and they help draw a clear distinction between personal and business communications.

Reason 3: Control your destiny

Owning your own domain means that you have more control over what information is communicated about your practice, and it allows you to take steps to maximize the likelihood that your emails reach your clients and prospects.  Your website should be the first place people visit to learn about your practice, and it is much easier for search engines to find you when you can control the content in that website.  In addition, sending email with your domain name allows you to “sign” your emails as having come from a legitimate sender (known as DKIM signatures), which improves your deliverability rates (and minimizes the risk that your messages land in spam folders).  The major email providers regularly tighten their requirements to deliver emails. If your business doesn't send email from a domain that you own, it may not reach all of your customers, or worse, it may be blocked completely.  Lastly, it’s important to emphasize that business email accounts are owned and managed by your - not your employees.  This provides you with the ability to define rules for how business email is used, and allows you to retain those emails after an employee leaves.

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