Many of our users are creating beautiful websites but decide to keep their website on the default URL we provide them under our brother-site i-m.co. This usually looks like i-m.co/myusername/mywebsite.
Although we enjoy the free promotion from these sites, when doing so, many of them don’t realize how many benefits connecting their own domain might have. IMC users are not unique by that way at all. Many bloggers still use a .blogspot.com URL (mysite.blogspot.com) or a .wordpress.com URL.
What you can gain by getting your own domain:
1) Increase search engine traffic
No matter how SEO-friendly your website is if you don’t have your own domain you will not be taken seriously. Having your own domain indicate to Google and other search engines that you are serious about your business. Try to remember when was the last time you saw these kinds of URLs in the search results?
Another reason for this, especially in Blogspot, is that it is used by many low quality blogs. Some of them are used to manipulate search engines. For that reason search engines devalues these sorts of URLs.
Google is also known to favor brands, and actually all the SEO game is moving towards that as well.
There are many more reasons for Google to favor top-level domains but I will don’t want to make it a post about SEO.
2) Building your brand and increase credibility
Your domain is likely to be your brand name and you can’t really build your own brand under a brand of a different, well-known company. That never worked and never will. Users see it in the same way as search engines and they like to match a unique name to a business or product.
Let’s say you walk down the street and suddenly you are dying for some pizza. You look around and see 2 pizza places; one has its own place, and the second is inside a Volvo dealer’s place. Which one will you choose?
3) Increase non-Google traffic
Subdomains hardly ever go viral. Not in social media and not via word-of-mouth. That’s just the way it is. Even many Facebook pages with tons of likes know that and eventually go and build their own website.
4) More revenues!
More traffic, a better brand name and more credibility will automatically increase your bottom line. Even if you are not selling anything, and not even showing ads, the more people find you, the more people know about you, the more you will gain from your awesome website.
Even if you don’t have your own business, your name is your brand name. Thousands of domains are registered each day (!) and registering your domain ASAP can prevent from cases in which other sites (could be really weird ones) are showing on your name.
Full disclosure: My boss promised me he’ll buy me a beer for each one that decides to connect a domain after reading this article. That doesn’t make any of the above less true. So go ahead…get me drunk!:)