The relevance of a domain
A domain name is an address you can type to access a company’s website. However, in the current age, it represents more than just a set of numbers linking customers to a business’s website. It provides a company with social status and helps determine the first image of the brand itself. Let’s look at some more detail into why having the right domain is so important for some brands that they are willing to pay even 8 figure amounts to claim it.
Why pay for a premium domain?
The most expensive domain ever sold was “insurance.com” for USD 35.6 million in 2010. That’s right, thirty-five and a half million US Dollars. This is not a unique case; the second most expensive domain was sold for USD 35 million, and then USD 30 million. There are many reasons attached to this “extra” value attached to some domains, as highlighted below.
There is a limited number of domains available with the length of 2 characters. With 26 English alphabets, this means only 676 people in the world can ever own a .com domain that is 2 characters long, e.g. “go.com”. This scarcity provides these types of domains a very special value. Even 3 characters .com domains are ultra-rare, 17,576 in total.
Even if the total domain length is more than 2 or 3 and there are multiple variations available for a certain domain, some English words hold a special value. This makes them unique to a certain group of people. For example, “btc.com” that stands for Bitcoin, was sold for a million US dollars in 2014. Similarly, “cruise.co.uk” was sold for USD 1.1 million in 2008.
What if you are searching for personal loans and instead of searching for personal loan, you typed personalloan.com. In this case, it will browse to personalloans.com which was sold in 2012 for a million US dollars.
Having premium domains as your company’s website is a good way to say that your company is rich. It gives a perception that if it can afford a premium domain, the company must be doing very well for itself. This can lead to users thinking of your business as larger than it is or at least recognizing its social status in the sector.
Large corporations, that have huge budgets to back up their IT and marketing expenditures, buy premium domains to show that they are the leader in a certain market. For example, the company who owns the domain shoes.com automatically makes a statement that it sells shoes and it is the largest company to do so (or at least the one with the highest budget for the domain). Smaller companies may also want a similar market leader association for their brand; therefore, they would be willing to pay top dollar for the right name.
When a company owns the domain name of a certain word, it can control how that domain is perceived by people. For example, apple.com is not associated with the fruit. It is associated with the computer company. The company could have used names use as appleinc.com or appleco.com; however, this might have lead to people calling the company appleinc or appleco in conversations. Their choice to use the word apple made them an authority on the use of the word. With people conversing on the internet, this aspect is even more important, for example, people tagging #apple instead of #appleinc or #appleco.
Easy to remember
A very simple reason why anyone would want to buy a premium domain is that they are simple to remember. This means more people are able to enter it later, increasing the overall traffic to the site with hopes of achieving more sales.
Good for SEO
Finally, another very simple reason is that premium domain is good for search engine optimization. Dictionary words and popular words, especially those that are referred to a lot in forums and other websites, automatically get the attention of the bots indexing websites and ranking domains.
Easy to read and recognize
Domains are not something people write in the address bars to navigate to a website alone. They are mentioned in print media, company brochures, business cards and other corporate stationery. It has to look good in all of these, without it being too long or have too many characters that look alike (so as to not have the reader mix up the characters and remember it wrong).
When selecting the domain, you are going to purchase, you have to consider all the above factors. Whether you are buying to attract customers, want to change what the word represents or are looking to resell the domain for a price higher than you purchased it for, the factors highlighted above help you ascertain what name to choose.
As a general rule of thumb, .com domains are the most generic and have the highest value. Virtual keyboards even have a special key to enter .com when filling out a URL address bar in any app on a mobile.
In conclusion, if you want your domain to have the maximum value, try to get one of the scarce domain combinations or a word that is unique. Use of English dictionary words that are related to the content help through direct navigation, giving you authority over the words, makes the domain easy to remember and aids in SEO. Finally, look for words that will make you the market leader and present your company as being rich enough to buy a premium domain name.