A single domain can value from $10 to Millions, depending upon the following crucial factors. And understanding of all such factors that creates a domain worthy is all about the art of buying a domain name.
There is nothing that is entirely prohibited or no one formula that guarantees success while purchasing a domain name. You may find out one thing about a domain that proved out to be its success factor yet replicating the same in your domain may not help you enough in one way or the other or wise versa.
The only way to achieve success is to be 100% precise about what you are aiming to achieve with your domain and then making smart decisions based on that answer basically leads you to own a domain that later worth to be millions of dollars.
A well begun is half done. In this digital age, the right selection of domains can make it much easier for the rest of the digital strategy to flourish in a particular niche.
The question is how?
And this is exactly what we are going to explain here in detail.
Here’s the Brief;
MUST BE SIMPLE
MUST BE PREDICTABLE
APPROPRIATE DOMAIN EXTENSIONS
PROTECT YOUR DOMAIN
ANALYZE DOMAIN TREND
1- MUST BE SIMPLE
The best domain is as simple, short, readable and memorable as it can be.
Suppose if you are in the insurance business; then the best domain for you would have been Insurance.com. (in a most broader sense)
Unfortunately, such high-value domains are not available anymore. Still, if you target less-competitive industries that is not yet fully digitally exposed, chances are you will find one-word (5 to 7 letter) domains available. All you just have to do is to dig in and find out.
What do we mean by having a simple domain name?
Let’s elaborate a little;
1a- AVOID NUMBERS
The best is if your domain has no numbers in it; unless you have a business name that actually consists of any number.
Here is a good example of great domains that have numbers in it
1b- AVOID SPECIAL CHARACTERS
Having any character in a public website address makes no sense. It is simply because that’s hard to read and difficult to understand.
Usually, domains that are not for the public, or not available then only you may consider altering it with some special character to find its availability. Most commonly a hyphen ‘-‘ is used.
Sometimes domain with hyphens ‘-‘ works really well. Here are the domains with hyphens and its value is listed on Namebio.
But in most of the cases, it wasn’t the first choice. It’s only purchased because of the unavailability of its primary option.
Using hyphens or any other special character are considered distractions. Any distractions and are generally misunderstood.
If you make finding your website too much of a work, chances are your searchers will get discouraged and you will end up landing them to your competitor’s website.
1c– AS SHORT AS IT CAN BE
Ideally, it should be between 6 to 8 letters or preferably one word.
Like mentioned a one-word domain like insurance.com for any company in the insurance sector or a shorter version of your business name such as ICANN.ORG is ideal for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
The shorter your domain will be the better it is. Why is that so is because it actually reduces the chances of spelling mistakes that an online visitor will be making while writing your website address directly in the address bar in their browser address bar. So the shorter the better it is. A great example of short domains are;
m.me (owned by Facebook Inc. for Facebook Messanger. Whenever someone creates any Facebook page, he gets a unique Facebook Messenger ID to be connected with anywhere such as a website for correspondence.
Having a shorter domain doesn’t mean having an incomplete or confusing domain. A good domain is something that’s not too broad or too narrow.
- Too broad: you will end up having the wrong kind of searchers landing on your website and bouncing back rate will skyrocket, crushing your credibility in front of Google.
- too narrow, who knows, you could be extending your line of business someday and will regret it later.
A good domain is also a region focused – city or state + a relevant keyword or any other word of choice – for example;
2- MUST BE PREDICTABLE:
Predictable domains are those who accurately provide information about the business. For example;
Slideshare.net – this domain not only highlights that it’s about ‘slides’ but also elaborate it’s about ‘sharing ‘.
2a- BRANDABLE DOMAIN
Brandable domains are those which represent a particular brand such as;
When you consider a domain, be 100% sure that the name you are selecting isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company.
There are 2 reasons for this selection;
First is simply legal, because it may end you up in a legal mess that could cost you a fortune, apart from your domain! Or wise versa!
Secondly, why would you keep yourself away from a potential market where someone already holds a strong presence with the same name? So the better is to play around with possible available domain options and keep your identity exclusive from the beginning.
2b- BUSINESS FOCUSED:
Another great domain feature for any domain is to be business-focused. The better it elaborates on the business the better it is. For example;
It has 2 major advantages
This type of domains generally performs well with targeted keywords. Simply, because only targeted online traffic shows interest in what you have to offer, and based on keyword-domain relation, you generally have a better CTR rate in returns, which helps you maintain a good website ranking in that niche in that specific regions.
Secondly, this makes you avoid unnecessary online competition that otherwise would have made you lose a lot of your efforts, money and time and keeps you well define business in search engine.
2c- KEYWORD FOCUSED
Having a memorable, striking & brand-friendly website address is the greatest of digital assets, similarly having a domain that also includes the primary keyword you want to target is of utmost significance.
SEO revolves around search intent. You may say ‘Search intent’ is the why behind any search query that a user makes on search engines. Search Engines, like Google, aim to provide users with the most relevant result for their query that offers the best user experience.
This means a powerful domain with a targeted keyword can get you a flood of free-inbound targeted traffic if relevancy and UX have been taken care of. This is why such keyword-based domains generally have a higher value in their niches.
A great example of keyword-focused domains are
but be extra careful while using keyword-rich domains.
Recently, Google has made changes to its indexing matrices that have made keyword-rich domains de-prioritized that are of low quality. This means if you choose a domain with targeted keywords, you must use it with a little more relevantly or else you will be penalized.
2d- SYMBOLIC DOMAIN
Symbolic domains are those domains that further narrow down your services or products in your niches and further elaborate your brand.
It is unique, short and easy to remember still gives you a deeper identity and more intuitive within any niche.
It is advisable when the niche you are considering is too competitive or you will willing to target a specific kind of internet user.
2e– CONSIDER SYNONYMS FOR KEYWORD
Considering Synonyms also a good choice only when your preferred website domain or targeted keyword in a domain has already been taken.
You can consider the most relevant or most commonly used synonyms or related words as its replacement, or you may also add another word to it which would suitably represent your brand.
Its availability will be one of the reasons that it does not yet have started generating a good volume of organic traffic but soon it will because a similar word is already generating.
A rule for thumb is to select a synonym against any keyword if it is already generating at least 1000 organic search/month.
What If Your Domain Name Is Taken?
Here is a detailed blog on how you can claim your domain from ICANN
3- APPROPRIATE DOMAIN EXTENSION
Domain Extension refers to the extended versions of a particular domain such as .com, .net, .co, .org etc.
There are mainly 2 categories
3a- Restricted Domains Extensions
3b- Unrestricted Domain Extensions
Restricted Domains are those handful domain extensions with default high domain authorities in search engines because these are specifically designated to authoritative bodies and entities. These domains are not available to the general public for open registration. These domains require certain pre-requisites to be met before it can be purchased and involve additional material such as proof of identity, business or company registration in that particular region, etc. while registering such domain with domain registrars.
For example; .edu,
These types of domains are only available to institutions that are registered and accredited institutions.
The most common type of restricted domains are;
Unrestricted Domains: All those domains extensions that are publically available for purchase are unrestricted domains. There are about 1200+ commonly used sub-categories of unrestricted domains.
In the early digital world, there were few thousands of websites and limited extensions. But as time passes by, the competition got worst and the need for variety in extensions led more and more domain extension innovations. Today, there are estimated from 3.7 million in January to 6.5 million today presently active.
The most common domain extensions are;
.co : is basically an abbreviation for a company mostly, but also for commerce, and community sometimes.
.info : informational sites.
.net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites.
.org : non-commercial organizations and non-profits.
.biz : is an abbreviation for business or commercial use, and also but rarely used for online commerce commonly known as e-commerce sites.
.me : blogs, resumes or personal sites.
Different domain and hosting service providers sell these extensions on different prices based on their popularity. And “.com” remains the most expensive almost everywhere.
PRO TIP: You don’t need to build a fresh website for every domain extension. You can simply redirect traffic from these additional domains you may purchase to your primary domain (in most of the case – will be – .com) and keep controlling your competition in digital sphere around your domain.
Although the acceptability of all domain extensions is constantly increasing. Yet, the most preferred domain extension is “.com”. It is because .com is one of the oldest domain extensions but Internet users are generally familiar with this extension the most and perceive it as more credible among any other domain extension options.
ICANN’s survey of 5,452 internet users across the world confirms that 91% of individuals rate the “.com”, “.net”, and “org” extensions as their trusted destinations on the Internet.
Although every unrestricted extension somewhat has similar significance in search engines still theses domain extension categories are perceived as a better option from user- perception point-of-view. Which is more about popularity nothing else.
The popularity of domain extensions refers to commonly used extensions and first choice trends while considering any domain extension.
4- TARGETING REGION
In case, if insurance.com is not available for you – you may want to buy insurance.ca or insurance.au – which is even better in a few ways;
It is even more specific about your business location,
It helps in local SEO (generally helps you rank faster within the region)
Most importantly, it creates a feeling of bonding with your website visitors.
The only thing you have to make sure that you are not limiting your business scope and you won’t regret this later. Also, if your services and offers are focused within a particular region, selecting .com may end you up in unnecessary competition across the globe.
Similarly, while purchasing a domain, you may consider purchasing all the possible extensions to crush all the future competition that may arise in the future after your business starts progressing online.
There are many incidents happened earlier when a similar domain got registered in another region after the original one started to progress in one part of the world.
So be 100% sure, how many of the extension options you will be needing to purchase while purchasing your primary one. This answer depends on the scalability of your business.
Because you may not want to pay for the renewal for all these unnecessary extensions every year unless its all worth paying for.
5- PROTECT YOUR DOMAIN
For established online brands that already have a great customer base or potential businesses that will have a good impact shortly or maybe an enterprise entering to register any domain, it is strongly advised to protect your brand.
They are adviced to purchase all domain extensions, as well as various possible misspelled versions of their domain to crush future competition that may arise otherwise from registering these available versions.
Not every company like Facebook can afford to buy back their own extensions for such a huge amount and such investment can take years to payback. In fact, never. So be careful of all your possible miss-spell versions and available extensions and analyze what you have to buy and what you can leave.
But this is not for startups or young entrepreneurs, because this may end them up losing a fortune in paying the renewal fee for all these extensions every year.
5a- TLD SELECTION
TLD is the acronym used (or commonly short-version) for top-level domain. It appears at the end of any TLDs right after the final dot. One of the most common examples of a TDL is: .com which is still considered to be the most popular TLD type.
The IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority – which is an official body to oversee global IP address allocation, autonomous system number allocation, root zone management in the Domain Registrations or Name System, media types, and other Internet Protocol-related symbols and Internet numbers) officially recognizes three types of TLDs:
Overall, IANA distinguishes the following groups of top-level domains:
- infrastructure top-level domain (arpa)
- generic top-level domains (gTLD)
- restricted generic top-level domains (grTLD)
- sponsored top-level domains (sTLD)
- country code top-level domains (ccTLD)
- internationalized top-level domains (IDNs)
- testing top-level domains (tTLD)
Your TLD plays an important role in the Domain Name System (DNS).
Click here to find a more detailed blog about TOP 500 Websites based up domain authority.
So if you are performing well online, or forecast a great business potential, you are strongly advised to carefully consider all of your possible domain extensions and make sure it’s not available for someone else to get the benefit from.
6- DOMAIN AGE
Domain age means how old the domain is. The older it is the better. It is because it is one of the most important ranking factors for almost all search engines especially as google.
The first domain that was registered ever was symbolics.com by Symbolics on March 15, 1985. Heres the list of world oldest domains ever purchased.
With millions of new domain purchases, the internet is getting more cluttered. Search Engines like google gives importance to businesses that help it organize valuable and updated information.
Today, there are over 300 million domain names registered in the world.
Domains that are old are comparatively much more mature than new domains. Because the majority of the new domains are purchased for short-term intent. It means it was bought, got parked or became live for some time and then eventually inactivated by its owners. This is considered a bad signal and gets marked as a red flag in Google’s ranking factor – which is why it gives low authority to such domains for quite some time in the future.
This is why it is strongly advised to have a proper check before you select a domain. Because this may end you up in trouble for things that you have done but because it was done on your domain in the past.
7- ANALYZE DOMAIN TREND
Perhaps the easiest way to find a powerful domain that turns out to be monetarily potential can be found by closely monitoring the digital trend.
However, search engines like Google’s rankings aren’t static. They fluctuate and change over time.
This means relying on the trendy nature of any search term or popular trend can be seasonal. The Reason being you are judging the ‘search intent’ on the basis of a smaller time period. Though it can be proved to be a great source to target high volume organic traffic but only for a short time of period. Once the trend is over so the traffic.
Unless, the trend is expected to last for months or years to come, only then, it could be one of your great digital assets.
You may have seen cases that as soon as any online trend start to establish in any niche, someone acts proactively and register the domain such as COVID19.
This is because as the trend starts to rise, a number of visitors start looking forward information related to such term (or multiple related terms), which starts increasing the search term volume in search engines. Those people who are aware of this is ‘potential keywords’ always looking forward to finding such trends and register it before anyone else does to leverage organic traffic with what they have to offer.
You will be surprised to know how enormous amount of price a single domain could sell. Here’s a list
In 2010, fb.com got sold for $8.5 Million USD. It happened because the American Farm Bureau Federation used to have fb.org as their primary domain. Facebook had to spend such an enormous amount of money just to acquire one of its extensions among many others.
The investment had quickly paid off because FB became a popular synonym for Facebook and so for all of its extensions.
Those who noticed such a trend and proactively purchased the domain usually later sell it to the interested parties on much higher value and make a good profit. It’s all goes into domain buying and selling world.
8- ACT PROACTIVELY & FAST
Buying a domain is not rocket science. In fact, it’s much easy than ever and much more affordable and available on first come first serve.
So if you have shortlisted a domain and already carefully analyze all of the important factors mentioned above and still find that domain available, you are lucky!
We strongly advise you to go ahead and purchased it now. Because it might not be available the next time you check!
Never hesitate to purchase a good domain. Its an asset worth your money as long as the selection is correct.
Doesn’t matter if you do not have enough time to work over it, still a little investment today can become an enormous amount of return tomorrow.
Maybe in the future, you get a great counter-offer to sell it. Or you may launch your own new business tomorrow.
Purchasing a domain that worth your money always turns out to be a profitable and secure investment. Do it before someone else purchase it because one great opportunity missed today will make you regret for the rest of your life.