On a practical level, a domain name is a way of categorizing different addresses so that they can be found amidst every other website on the Internet. It is a unique marker for identifying your slice of cyberspace. It's similar to owning a physical piece of land at a material address, and that goes for value as well. While a large house in a prime location might be worth a few million, you might be surprised to learn that the value of some domain names well exceed that.
However, if you're a business owner or someone who's looking to draw traffic to your website, a memorable domain name is sometimes worth more than hard cash alone, as it allows your business to stand out in a competitive environment. Sanmay Ashwin understood this when he accidentally bought and owned Google.com for a mere $12. Unfortunately he had to give it back and settle for something slightly more modest.
It's about more than visibility, though. For a business owner, having a domain name also enhances brand credibility and makes your website look professional. Granted, there are a number of free platforms out there for creating your own website, such as WordPress or Wix, which are attractive for ease of use. However, if you publish it this way your domain name will always end with the suffix of that service provider – ‘www.yoursite.wordpress.com’, for example. An address like this is too generic and is unlikely to inspire confidence in customers or generate credibility for your brand. A domain name that is aimed at your target market is more likely to appeal to a larger audience, so it’s a much better strategy to purchase your own individual domain name. One way to achieve this is with a country-specific domain such as .in (India); by registering this option and combining it with your brand name, you’ll be much better placed to target your local region.
A unique domain name also gives you the opportunity to build your brand name and enhance your brand value. When potential customers are seeing your organization in the name of your domain all over the internet, it vastly increases awareness. And when they do visit your site, they're likely to remember the name and visit in the future. A personalized domain name will also allow search engines such as Google to find and track your website more easily; they give preference to sites that have unique domain names, as opposed to subdomains of free web hosts for example. This is important as it will allow new customers to find you and distinguish you from other sites under the umbrella of a free web hosts.
To conclude, acquiring a unique domain name is a lot cheaper than it used to be, and the benefits are plentiful. To be taken seriously and seen as a professional, having a unique, personalized domain name for your business is extremely important.