When it comes to having an online presence, a website is not only a must-have, it’s the very foundation of an online identity. And the web domain – the core piece of the web address that brings users to a site – is something like the door to your brick-and-mortar store. That is, if it’s hard to find, visitors can’t get in to see the rest of your shop.

A premium domain is like the perfect sign on that door, giving would-be customers an unmistakable signal that they’ve come to the right place.

Most domains are intended to be a clear indication of what’s in the site: a business, project or person’s name – but as more and more websites have been created, the inventory on unique web domains decreases. For instance, two businesses on opposite coasts can have the same name, but only one can have the URL (uniform resource locator, aka a web address) that fits that name perfectly – that’s when businesses are forced to create domains with variations on the name or abbreviations.

But a newly popularized option that eases this process is the use of unique top level domains (TLDs). TLDs are the part of a URL that comes at the end. You’re likely most familiar with .com, .org, .net and .gov, but there are a range of alternatives. Small Business owners can choose .co or .biz, artists can choose .design – even .beer, .law and .TV are options for creating a domain that tells visitors exactly who you are. For New Yorkers, however, there’s also the coveted .NYC - which is a TLD reserved only for those individuals and businesses who are located in the Big Apple.

Say you love to blog about New York City’s baseball teams, you can have baseball.nyc. TheChristmasTree.nyc to create a guide on what to do during the holidays in New York, or parade.nyc if you’re looking to give information on big city celebrations. Even hyper specific needs can be met with simple solutions – for example, someone who loves the history of Manhattan’s Houston Street and wants to share it online can use houston.nyc to publish without it being mistaken for a city in Texas.

These are examples of premium domains – short, concise URLs that get right at the heart of your site content and make it easy for visitors to find. Imagine if, instead of studio.nyc, a real estate business used a domain like studioapartmentfindernyc.net – it’s hard to remember and the stream of words lacks polish, making the domain even seem like an unsafe site.

Those bulky site domains may also score lower in search engine optimization (SEO), meaning that anyone seeking it out is less likely to find it in an online search. That’s because part of the SEO algorithm includes how many people are clicking your links, and what the URL itself says. Ones missing key search terms are not going to score as highly as those that have them – so dropping or abbreviating a word just to get a domain is not an ideal option.

Premium domains offer businesses and individuals opportunities to snag custom domains that not only represent them without compromise or confusion, but also equip them with a fundamental marketing tool: a memorable website.

If you already own a domain, it’s not too late to look at a premium option. After all, web hosts allow sites to be accessible via multiple domains – like taking alternate routes to the same destination. Simply search for your desired domain with a service like GoDaddy Domain Search and, if it’s available, purchase your new premium domain from your web host and link it to your existing site.