This is a question that many can ask when creating a website. It is indeed important to well understand what is a domain name and what are its stakes in order to build and master its digital strategy.
These first steps towards your internet visibility are not as complex as they may seem, when they are well explained. Are you ready?
Domain name definition and structure
To answer the question “what is a domain name?”, let’s start with a simple picture: it is simply the equivalent of your postal address on internet, the first way to identify and find your website.
From a technical point of view, the domain name is an internet domain identifier that groups together a set of servers linked to the same IP address. This one consists of a digit’s sequence to identify each computer connected to the internet. To make things simple, it was agreed to link a different name to each IP address: the domain name, and the Domain Name System (DNS) server, will match the domain name to the IP address.
To take a new image, it is necessary to consider that the domain name is in fact a sort of mask on an IP address, which makes it possible to store and communicate the address of a set of servers (website, e-mail, FTP). And yes, it is much easier to remember a domain name than a sequence of numbers!
But then, what is a domain name or rather, what does it look like?
It follows the prefix “www” (World Wide Web) and is composed by a chain of alphanumeric characters and may contain dashes. The name is often a brand, a company, a person, …etc. It’s suffix, also called extension corresponds to the domain classification according to its geographical origin (.fr, .uk, .us …etc.) and its activity (.org for a non-profit organization or .com for a trade company for example). It will be unique and exclusive for its holder during the subscription period.
From a legal standpoint, if the domain name protects your identity or brand, it does not amount to an intellectual and industrial property title.
What is domain name? What is it used for?
Now that you know how a domain name is built and structured, let’s try to understand its stakes.
Whether it is a brand-new domain or an expired domain, the stakes and objectives of its acquisition are multiple.
First of all, what is a domain name if not a way to take care and master one’s image on Internet?
Your domain name is indeed, the proper identity of your website, that will allow your audience to memorize it and find it on the internet, but also to give it a first signal of credibility and professionalism, well before the design and content for example.
With a mail address and a personalized website thanks to your domain name, you can build the first step of your digital presence. Also, in the actual context where everyone can become the holder of a domain name (“first come, first served”), this one can be a way to secure and protect your own brand or identity.
Finally, acquiring a custom domain name plays an extremely important role from an SEO point of view.
In fact, a relevant domain name will be easily and efficiently indexed by the search engines. With a maximum length of 69 characters, a domain name can include strategic keywords that will increase your website chances to have a good position, and thus its visibility potential. It is important to note that the search engines take into account the dashes in your domain name as keyword separators and thus perform an independent indexing for each of them.
You should also consider the choice of your domain name as a first instrument to use for your SEO strategy.
Domain name: definition, stakes and methodology, you are now perfectly armed to start your digital adventure in the best conditions!