70% of small to mid-size businesses are increasing investments in their digital presence.

And they have a point: the pandemic and post-pandemic era has revealed the importance of digitization and accelerated consumer activity towards online platforms.

However, establishing an online business does not happen overnight. For starters, you need an amazing domain name to lay a solid foundation for your business. And of course – you need a website, strategically optimized to convert and engage.

In this article, we will list top website marketplaces and domain registrars to kickstart your online business.

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10 Domain Registrars And Marketplaces To Start Your Business Online

The very first thing you need to launch and nurture your online business is a domain and a website. Listed below are the best places where you can acquire both.

1. NameCheap

NameCheap domain registrar
[Source: NameCheap]

NameCheap is an online service for registering new and transferring old website domains. Here, you can buy domains with any extension (from .com to .net and everything in-between.) Also, the website provides numerous other products such as:

  • Managed or shared WordPress hosting
  • Various standard hosting plans
  • Security products
  • Various apps including VPNs, site makers, logo makers, etc.

To help clients make their mark with their online business, NameCheap has recently introduced another product: a professional business email address. These emails provide solid customization options, easy networking, collaboration tools and other features to help you reach your customers and audience professionally.

2. GoDaddy

[Source: GoDaddy]

One of the world’s most famous domain registrars, GoDaddy, is also a long-standing authority on all things hosting. Their blog section provides an array of insightful articles on topics related to business growth and improving the sales funnel.

GoDaddy offers a range of services in three main categories:

  • Domain Names
  • Websites
  • Marketing Tools

This company offers various packages that combine different services, for example, domain + professional email or a professional website + AI-powered marketing tools such as GoDaddy Insights – just the thing businesses looking to build their online presence need.

3. Shift4Shop

[Source: Shift4Shop]

Shift4Shop is a turnkey eCommerce solution for enterprises of all sizes. Its main value proposition is that it “makes it easy to build a website and grow a business,” making it particularly suitable for startups and new businesses.

The solutions they offer include:

  • Shopping Cart Software
  • Enterprise eCommerce
  • B2B eCommerce
  • eCommerce Automation
  • Point of Sale (POS)
  • Buy Button
  • Subscription Software

Shift4Shop’s eCommerce Builder consists of features such as Core Theme editor, marketing and SEO add-ons, customer support and mobile eCommerce.

4. Sedo

[Source: Sedo]

Sedo is a website domain marketplace offering domain buying, selling and parking services, among many others. It also provides individual consultations, ideal for new businesses that need a guiding hand when buying their first domain.

Sedo brings the following values to first-time domain buyers:

  • The staff can help you find an ideal web address
  • You can build your online presence for an array of products
  • Concise internet domains for specific marketing campaigns are available

Sedo also offers a Domain Appraisal service that can help you find out your domain’s true value in case you may consider selling it in the future.

5. Dan.com

[Source: Dan.com]

Dan.com differs from other domain marketplaces on this list by having an exceptionally to-the-point website that communicates its offerings and benefits in very simple terms.

Users can either buy, sell or transfer a domain. They can use the standard domain search engine for looking up their own domain ideas or browse premium domain names or any other category that groups domains according to certain criteria.

This domain marketplace boasts the following defining qualities:

  • Transparency of buying/selling process
  • Effortless domain trading
  • Transaction monitoring and security
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6. Flippa

[Source: Flippa]

Flippa is an online marketplace for buying and selling entire websites, blogs, apps, Shopify stores and online businesses in general. It is a one-stop-shop where interested parties can browse hundreds of ready-made, existing digital products and “invest in digital real estate.”

With over 100,000 businesses sold so far, the website boasts a wide array of different types of websites and apps for:

  • SaaS
  • eCommerce
  • Content & Advertising
  • General Services

Flippa’s carefully curated collections can help new users discover their future projects, be it buying the next online enterprise or going for eCommerce heavy-hitters.

7. Verizon Small Business

Verizon Small Business
[Source: Verizon Small Business]

Verizon Small Business (formerly Yahoo Small Business) is one of the largest online marketplaces for new or small businesses that require to enhance their exposure online.

From collaboration tools to internet plans, their comprehensive offering covers products such as:

Verizon Small Business’s solutions are categorized by organization type and industry, from SMEs to the public sector.

8. Domain.com

[Source: Domain.com]

Domain.com is one of the oldest website domain marketplaces where users can sell, buy or transfer their domains, find domain extensions and privacy programs, as well as enjoy the benefits of having premium domains.

There is a lot more to it though. Besides dealing with domains, the website also provides a:

  • Website builder
  • Online store builder
  • Professional email products
  • Website hosting plans
  • SSL Certificates

For the user’s convenience and to educate them on relevant matters, the website hosts an extensive blog section and video tutorials library.

9. Empire Flippers

Empire Flippers
[Source: Empire Flippers]

“Taking the friction out of buying and selling online businesses,” Empire Flippers is a website marketplace that lists thousands of available, existing business websites.

Buyers can search for listings by niche, type of monetization or asking price. Sellers can post their site for sale quickly and effortlessly with the help of the website’s customer support.

The marketplace shares information such as:

  • The price of a website
  • Its monthly net profit
  • Net income multiplier the business is valued at
  • Q&A with the seller

Empire Flippers boasts over 350 million online businesses sold with an 80% success rate.

10. Exchange Marketplace By Shopify

Exchange Marketplace by Spotify
[Source: Exchange Marketplace by Spotify]

A Shopify’s own marketplace, Exchange Marketplace is another place for selling and buying online businesses. Its differentiator is that it offers seller support even after the sale of a website or app so that the buyer benefits from the “wealth of information on the ins and outs of running a business” that the previous owner has.

Buyers or sellers can browse/post online businesses in the following categories:

  • Industry
  • Business Type
  • Business Size
  • Location
  • Curated (staff picks)
  • Sales channel

Now that we laid out the options, it's time to tackle the four essential steps that can help you choose between these marketplaces and establish an online presence that supports your business objectives.

Get A Good Domain Name

A unique and memorable domain name – your website’s internet address — is a vital part of your company’s online presence. It is how your visitors find and remember your business online.

With over 525 million registered domain names globally, it’s imperative to come up with a great domain name so that your target audience notices you.

When deciding on a domain name for your business, consider the following best practices:

  • Come up with a non-generic, brandable domain name to stand out among competitors
  • Use niche keywords that reflect your brand
  • Keep it short and do not use a hyphen
  • Make the domain name easy to type and remember
  • Make it future-proof and think long-term

You can register your internet domain from a hosting provider or directly from an independent domain registrar.

Find The Right Hosting Setup

Different hosting services provide different features, from server reliability and bandwidth to security measures and backups.

Poor, unstable servers can cause your website’s downtime which leads to a bad user experience and a decline in search engine rankings.

When choosing the hosting service provider for your business, you should pick one that offers regular data backups and cybersecurity audits.

You should also make sure that your chosen hosting provider is:

  • Scalable: Your hosting plan should be capable of following and responding to your online growth. As your website grows in content and visitors, your provider’s bandwidth should be good enough to withstand the increase in traffic.
  • Supports third-party integrations: At some point, you may want to add a major third-party feature to your website, like an eCommerce store, marketing automation tools or a custom tool that measures your user’s behavior. Ensure that your chosen provider has the technical capacity that allows this.
  • Offers good technical support: Ideally, your chosen hosting plan provider should provide 24/7 live chat support, as well as other support channels (tickets, email and phone.)

Create Original, Valuable Content

Well-researched, in-depth content that solves your audience’s pain points contributes to your SEO, conversion funnel and other marketing efforts.

Content is invaluable for both customers and businesses: 91% of B2B companies use content marketing to reach their customers, while 86% of B2C marketers say that content marketing is their number one business strategy.

The types of content you should consider creating to build your online authority, expertise, reputation and SEO rankings include:

  • Web copy
  • Blog articles
  • Videos
  • Newsletters
  • Email marketing
  • Digital press release
  • Podcasts
  • eBooks
  • Case studies
  • Webinars
  • And many others

Developing a content marketing strategy for your website and other online channels is important because:

  • It can drive traffic to landing pages where your prospects convert into customers
  • Boosts brand awareness
  • Increases lead generation
  • Brings in revenue

It is also vital to have your content divided across different marketing funnel stages – brand awareness, education and conversion stages — according to the type that works best for each stage of the user journey.

Learn more about using content strategy to improve your marketing funnels.

Tap Into SEO And Link Building

Search engine optimization is a series of steps and best practices that send signals to search engines like Google on how they will rank your site pages in search results.

Optimizing your website for search engines is vital because as much as 75% of searchers don’t look past the first page on SERPs.

SEO is generally divided into three main categories:

  • On-page SEO:
    • Using relevant keywords in articles
    • Optimizing Title tags and meta descriptions with articles and suggested character length
    • Giving images relevant names
    • Using alt tags on images, etc.
  • Off-page SEO:
    • Link building
    • Brand mentions
    • Influencer marketing
    • Guest blogging
    • Social network marketing
    • PPC marketing, etc.
  • Technical SEO:

Link building, on the other hand, is the process of getting backlinks from other websites to your own and is one of the essential practices for building online authority.

You can reach out to owners and administrators of websites that are in a similar niche to yours. Ask them to add a backlink to your site either through a guest blog post on a relevant subject that you can write for them or by giving them exposure on your own website in exchange for a link on theirs.

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