By Sharon Hassler—The primary benefit of having your own domain name is you can choose something that's easy to remember and easy to share with others. Set it up so it forwards to your GoGetNotary listing or website profile and you're ready to start announcing it to the world. Use it on your business cards, brochures, car magnets, ads and flyers. Include it in your email signature, other online directory listings and forum postings so potential customers can click on it and go directly to your GGN website.
Another benefit of your own domain name is as a portable "permanent address." If you decide in the future you want to add a separate full web site to your Internet marketing efforts, you can "point" the domain name from your GGN profile site to your new separate website. That way you don't have to go back and change any of the links you've already posted in other directories. Later, if you decide you aren't happy with your standalone website and want to drop it, simply forward your domain name back to your GGN website.
Domain names probably cost much less than you think if you shop around, $12 to $20, but beware of hidden conditions. We had our own bad experience years ago: We bought a domain name and discovered 30 days later that it included $499.00 for a hosting fee (which should only cost around $100 anyway)! It wasn't mentioned anywhere in the description of the domain name or during the purchase. It was buried in the tiny type on page 6 of their 11-page contract which you had to know to look for before purchasing anything. (When's the last time you printed out a contract and read every word?!) Fortunately for us, our credit card company thought that was a "fraudulent and deceptive practice" and refunded our money. That domain name company, incidentally, is still in business and keeps resurfacing online with a new public "aka" name.
Visit GoGetDomainName.com and do a name search to see what's available. Experiment with several names. Try your business name or your first or last name plus notary, signingagent, notaryservices, etc. We suggest you stick with the .com extension. You want this to be easy to remember and that means using .com NOT .net, .info, .us and so on. When you find a name you like, follow the instructions to purchase it. (You don't need to get multiple domains like .net, .biz, .info, etc., or pay for "Privacy." Unless you want to buy your own template website, select "no, thanks" when other offers appear.)
Forwarding: This will vary depending on where you buy your domain name. Usually, you open Domain Names in your account, select your domain name, then select Forward either in the top menu on one of the side columns. If you have the option of "301 Moved Permanently," you want that set to "yes." Then you simply enter the address of your GGN profile and save it.
Now your domain name is set to forward and will start forwarding to your GGN profile website within 24 hours (usually within just a few hours) and you can start marketing it everywhere to everyone! This is the web address you'll post online and use on your business cards, invoices and all your marketing materials.