Domain name is the most important part of your website. Normally, people remember websites by domain names only. A domain name helps a lot in advertisement by mouth or any other form of advertisement. Yahoo, Google, Facebook is remembered by its domain name only.
In the overcrowded web world, it is very hard to find a suitable domain name. As most of the names we check for the domain name are already taken. So, one have to think out of the box to get a perfect domain name.
It is to be noted that almost 90 % of domain names or even more which are registered are either parked (to be sold) or else used by websites with daily visitors less than 10. As of 29th October, 2012, there are in total 132,406,473 registered domain names. Almost all the domain names with single word is owned by some influential web giants. These are called Premium domains. Many of these are not in use or redirect to some other website.
Let’s talk about features that a good domain name should possess.
Match your website name
The foremost important thing about a website name and domain name is that both should match. If someone finds your website through a search engine, he will not look for the domain name to memorize it. Rather, he will see the name of the website written in bold. If the name of the website is “Fire Fighter“, but the domain name is TheFireFighter.com. Next time when the visitor will try to go to your website, chances are heavy that he/she will type FireFighter.com instead of TheFireFighter.com and that’s it, one customer goes to your competitor’s website instead of yours.
If you have a business with brand name and you want a website for it, it will be best if you could get the domain name with the same name as your brand name. However, one should understand how much important is the domain name matching your brand name and how much more the revenue will be if both matches. Like take the example of the latest James Bond movie Skyfall. The official website for this movie is hosted with domain name Skyfall-Movie.com. How much revenue the producer of this movie will lost due to naming the website as Skyfall-Movie.com rather than Skyfall.com. I doubt it to be even a single cent.
In the search of a perfect domain name at perfect price. The example of Skyfall is the perfect example to understand importance of price. In the present world of search engines, people memorize the names of only those domain names which they think they have to visit again and again. What I will suggest is to go for same name as your brand strictly only if it is an internet specific product. Like take the example of SEOElite.com. This website is promoting a software named SEO Elite. Hence, if they choose TheSEOElite.com as their domain name chances are visitors will go to SEOElite.com if they see link of both the website in Google.
Match your contents
The domain name gives an idea of contents of the website. Like one will visit WallColours.com expecting it will contain information about wall painting ideas and combinations. If the contents will differ the expectations of the visitors, they will not even wait for a sec to go away from your web page. This is the reason why generic domain name are so highly priced. Both search engine and internet users think that Perfume.com would contain perfumes related contents. If the content satisfies both, the website will be popular both among the visitors and the search engines. However, If the content is even slightly differs from expectation it will lost its position in Google search result and visitors satisfaction.
Easy to memorize and type
This is a characteristic which everyone wants in their domain name as must. Google, Yahoo is perfect example of this. Even if in the dictionary there is no word as used by you for the domain name. It should be easy to memorize and type. Like Flippa.com, Sedo.com.
Nothing matters if your content is good
The foremost important characteristic for a website is not its name or domain name. It is the content. Every search engine will give you ranking and send the traffic based on your contents. Website like WikiLeaks or LinkedIn are popular due to its contents. Hence, spend optimum amount of money for a perfect domain name and extra for the content’s quality.
Now first estimate the money you are willing to pay to buy a domain name. It should be noted that domains are available at as low as $ 1 (Godaddy limited period offer). If you search well anytime you may find a domain at around $ 2. My point is original price of the domain is very low. A domain registrar’s basic cost to register a domain is just 18 ¢ as ICANN fees. Other features like privacy protection, etc. are surplus cost. First think whether you want a fresh domain, existing domain, expired/deleted domains. I’ll cover all of them here.
Fresh domains are cheapest. However, forget that you will get a short and simple domain name easily. It is impossible to find a single word domain name as available. You need to use some trick to find a satisfactory domain name. Here are few points and tricks. Please mention in comments if you know any extra tricks.
- It is not required that your domain name should be .com only. There are many well-known domain names which are .org, .info or .net. However, this is also true that in top 100 Alexa websites, there are only two .org websites (Wikipedia.org and CraigList.org), no .net websites and apart from .com only country specific TLD websites are available. But, it is not due to some preference given to .com by Google in ranking and they are getting extra traffic. Instead, it is just because .com is the most preferred TLD among webmasters.
- One can find a nice domain name by using two or three different words. For those who are new to domain name search this might look a good idea. However, this is a very old trick. Hence, it’s not easy to find a fresh domain name by this method too. Combination of two usual words are hard to be find free for .com. Like PerfectPrice.com, SolidChair.com, etc. But, if you are OK with other international TLDs like .org, .net or .info. You might get it.
- If we go in the depth of a domain name science, we must know rules for choosing a domain name. A domain name could be formed using English alphabets, numbers 0 – 9, and the symbol “-”. The length of the domain name should be maximum 63 characters excluding extension. The domain name can neither start nor end with the symbol. Symbol can be repeated for max two times like a–z.com, a–b–c–d–e.com.
- After using the above information, there are enormous number of domain names you could find. E.g. numbers are used by many like 1and1.com or One2Three.com. However, there are various special numbers which are easy to remember. But, hardly in use. Like 786, 512, 111, 1234, etc. One may use it with some other words to find an easy to remember domain name.
- One can easily get a domain name spelled in any other language other than English. Like JaiHo.com (famous song from the movie Slumdog Millionaire). If you are targeting a specific country netizens. Then, it is the best way to get a suitable domain name. Even, if your target audience is not country specific you can go for those words, just it should be easy to spell and remember. The beauty of these domain names is that you can easily get a good domain name by this way. Like GetVidya.com a popular educational website in India. Get is an English word with Vidya which is a Hindi word for education.
- Now, the last idea I’m giving is cool one. It is called Domain hack. One of the most popular example of this is Del.icio.us which now redirects to Delicious.com. This sharing website started with a cool looking sub-domain address Del.icio.us. There are many TLDs which could be used to make such a cool domain name. Like Backpa.in, Calcul.us, Anyti.me, Moroc.co, etc.
Existing Domain for Sell
While searching for domain you will found out that most of the domains which are already taken are parked or listed for sale. Their prices vary from $ 20 to thousands of dollars. Now, what are the factors which determine appropriate value for such a domain?
The prospective buyer is the most important factor in determining the value of a domain name. A buyer who intends to develop a website related to his business would pay more than one who wants to start a totally new business for online ecommerce. Suppose a luxury car dealer whose companies name is Triangle Sales wants to buy a domain name for his company’s website. He must be happier to get the domain name TriangleSales.com than FerrariDealer.com or LuxuryCars.com. Reason is very simple and obvious. He is not trying to develop a website to sell the cars online. He wants more and more customers to come to his store to buy the car. Microsoft Corporation would not like their website’s domain as Software.com. They will spend more to get Microsoft.com than Software.com.
Last year, Facebook acquired fb.com from American Farm Bureau Federation at a whopping price of $ 8.5 million. Last time, when Facebook.com was purchased by them in 2005, its price was at $ 200,000. Only Mark Zuckerberg could tell us how much had the original domain name of Facebook TheFacebook.com cost him.
The point here is the brand and requirements determine the price of a domain name. Today eBay.com domain is worth millions, but without its brand value bay.com would have cost more to buy than eBay.com.
The point is if you think a particular domain is important for your websites. Then, the price will be determined by your ability to pay and your willingness to buy the domain name.
Keyword and Niche market relevance of the domain
Domain name which are made of keywords which represents a particular niche market is worth more than domain name which don’t have any such quality. Like HostingReviews.com, RentACar.com, Vacancy.com, etc. You don’t have to ask anyone if these domains are in use what would be contents of these websites, plus these contains exactly same words which people might search in Google. Everyone wants that the domain name should be relevant to the contents he/she is going to show on the website. A business card manufacturer will be willing to pay more if he could get a name which resembles his expertise.
There are various exception to this. Like Orkut.com, Google.com, etc. It may help if you get a domain name which explains the contents of your website. But, the world does not ends if such domain is costing more. The most important thing is contents and presentation. PayPal.com would be more successful if its domain name Pay.com. I doubt it. Twitter would have more users than Facebook due to its name, no. Twitter, Google, yahoo became popular due to its usefulness, due to its features, not due to its name, which is not even relevant to the features due to which it became popular. These are neutral words.
Hence, if you find a low priced domain name relevant to your contents or use. It’s good. Else, you can do a little more search, look for a lower priced domain and do some more work on contents.
Top Level Domain
The extension name is very important in the valuation of a domain name. Internet is still dominated by .com. There is 4x -10x difference between a .com and any other premium TLD.
The importance is not because the webmasters prefer .com. Instead it is due to the users. Netizens have normal habit to remember the domain name without its extension. Wikipedia is so much popular. Still, many visitors directly types Wikipedia.com to go to Wikipedia.org. They don’t even notice that Wikipedia is .org not .com (Wikipedia.com redirects to Wikipedia.org). While searching in Google, people will simply type Google.com. They never even cares whether the result is provided by Google.com or Google.co.uk or Google.co.in. Hence, while buying a domain name .com will cost you more to buy.
Symbol and numbers
A domain name with symbol and number is very less worth than words. TutorsForHire.com is more worthy than Tutors4Hire.com. MobileWorld.com is more valuable than Mobile-World.com. Owner of both MobileWorld.com and Mobile-World.com will use the name Mobile World as their websites name. However, the visitor will just remember name of your website and in both case they will go type MobileWorld.com.
Length of a Domain
Number of characters allowed for a domain is 63. However, one may rarely see a domain name having more than fifteen characters. The most important aspect of length of domain name is longer the domain, longer will be the time to type it. Short domain name is easy to type. Like ebay.com. But, people use copy and paste or bookmarking function for longer domain. Hence, webmasters prefer short domain name. No doubt high price of FB.com was result of this factor too.
Common Used Group Words
Domains with commonly used group words have higher value than other group of words. Like GoForIt.com, RentACar.com, GrabIt.com, etc. These are easy to remember and tell.
Backlink for a domain
There are few websites which were running full fledge before the owner thought of selling it. Now, these websites have some backlinks. If the domain name reflects a particular niche market or is keyword rich. Then, backlinks would be useful in two ways. You will have some quality backlinks for SEO, plus you may get some visitors.
Misspelled name is normally very bad choice for using as a domain name. The reason is very simple. Your visitors will find it hard to remember the name. Quality.com is easy to remember, but not qualiti.com.
In few cases where, the misspelled domain comes from misspelled word of some very popular domain which are in top 1000 websites. It is possible that you will get some traffic. But, those visitors will just left your site when they realize their mistake.
Age of a domain
Age of a domain really helps in getting higher Pagerank. However, there is one confusion here among many. Google do give some benefit to older domains. However, for them age of a domain becomes zero when it changes ownership. Hence, it plays no role in estimating the price of a domain. As there will be no benefit for the age of the domain once its WHOIS data changes.
One should keep in mind that each domain is unique. One can just estimate a price for a domain name. But, finally which domain will give you more income will not depend on its name. It will depend on the quality of work given to develop it into a quality website.
If you are looking for some premium domain name which are up for sale. Use the above search tool. Apart from points mentioned above look for a domain which are parked and are up for sale. You could even target active website with very less traffic. These websites may sell their whole website along with domain name if offered price is even close to $ 50. Once you find that the owner is interested in selling the domain. If the asking price less than $ 100. Contact the seller directly and negotiate a deal. However, if it is more than $ 100, you can use the Godaddy Domain Buy Service as an agent to negotiate the price for domains. Normally, seller don’t know the exact value of their domain and they keep a higher price. GoDaddy being a professional will contact on your behalf the current owner of the domain and negotiate with the owner for the lowest possible price of the domain, but up to your maximum specified limit. You can try it once you find the perfect domain for you.
Expired domain name is not actually option for those who are looking for domain name with fixed keywords and niche. First let me explain the whole structure for getting an expired domain name.
When a domain name registration period expires, it goes in Grace period of some fix days. This grace period varies for extensions and different registrars. During this grace period the old registrant can renew the domain without paying any extra amount. This period helps those registrants who forget somehow to renew. During this period the email and other features stop working. The domain will points to a webpage explaining the need for renewal.
After grace period, redemption period starts. During this period also, only the original registrant can renew their domain name. However, they have to pay extra money other than renewal charge.
If the original registrant do not apply for renewal even during the redemption period, after 5 days the domain name is open for fresh registration. If someone is looking for expired domain to buy, it will be achieved by registering it as fresh domain after this whole process is over. The normal time for this exercise is 75 days.
Now, it is possible to register an expired domain name after it has been deleted from the registry and open for fresh registration. However, if the demand for an expired domain is high. It will be hard to be the first to try for domain ownership just after it is again available for fresh registration.
One should use expert services like SnapNames or NameJet to snatch an expired domain just after its deletion. A domain name is deleted from the registry 5 days after the end of redemption period. Now, the deletion from the registry occurs somewhere between 11 AM to 2 PM Pacific Time. These services keep checking at regular interval through various registrars the status of deletion for the expired domain. This pinging process is done in such a way that they don’t get banned by the accredited registrars like VeriSign (for .com, .net and .name). These services are normally free. One may register at more than one place. As only one of these may catch the drop of domain names, so finally one have to pay only one of them. Once they catch the drop if no other party for the same domain name is there, the domain is yours, else it will be placed for auction. The min cost for these service will be around $ 70. If the name goes for auction it will be much costlier depending on the desperation of you and other probable buyers for the domain.
I found a very interesting thing here. If you could find any perfect domain name for you which has expired, I would suggest contact the current registrar directly and ask him to renew the domain and negotiate the terms for purchase of domain directly from him. One may say that the original registrant might have missed to renew the domain. Hence, if one contacts the buyer during grace period chances are he/she will renew it and don’t agree for selling the domain name. Or otherwise, the original registrant once learning there is a probable buyer for the domain may renew and ask for a higher price.
Now, as the domain name grace period for normal TLDs are 40 days and during this period all features of domain name are suspended. If the original registrant has missed to renew. He/she will renew within first 25-30 days. After that chances are heavy that the intention is not to renew the domain name. In the last 10-15 days try to contact the original registrant with a deal to renew the domain and sell it to you with an attractive price. Take my word this will cost you much lesser and without competition you will get the domain name. During the grace period benefit for original registrant will be more. One can negotiate and close the deal at as lower as $ 50 including transfer fees.
If the deal for renewal and sell by the original registrant is finalized during redemption period, then the cost to renew will be much higher. With addition of transfer cost and profit of original registrant the overall cost will be even higher, somewhere close to $ 100 to $ 125. One should look for this process only if he/she thinks the domain name will have more than one buyer after drop by registry. There are many aspects here. It is almost certain that original registrant thinks that the domain think that the domain name is not even worth renewal cost for him. So, even if he/she is offered double or triple the renewal cost. It is beneficial for them.
This under the table process will be good in nearly every aspect and not illegal.
As I have already mentioned in the first paragraph itself the expired domain is not for those who want the domain for some specific purpose with specific keywords for the domain. It is hard to find at any particular time a domain which is perfect for you and which has just expired. Domains are registered for a duration of one year to 10 years. Good domains are normally registered for longer duration to avoid renewal trouble every year. Hence, expired domains consists very few good and premium domains. These will in major way consist those domains which are of no use to their owners and they are making no money out of it and think they could not sell it to make some profit. But, if you could still search a domain perfect for you, it could be yours.
Registering a deleted domain is just like registering a fresh domain. The benefits of registering a deleted domain is that you can get some domain names which might be an established websites with good amount of backlinks and listed in DMOZ. The domains available are those which don’t get any backorder after expiring. Hence, these domains don’t have much importance. However, as I’ve said that combination of two or three word domain names are hard to find as fresh domain. These types of domain names could be find in deleted domain names very easily. I’ve recently found a deleted domain name and purchased it at regular price of fresh domain which was much cheaper than its original worth. If you are seriously looking for a good domain name at cheap price, this is the best place to look.
The term “Perfect” for a domain name itself includes a lot of aspects to look. The points which are very important is how much the domain name costs and how much business one may gain or lose by going for a better or worst domain name. Buying a domain name at a price of $ 500 or $ 1,000 is not more if it is going to help you in making a brand image and earning thousands of dollars. What is best for someone should be decided by him/her only. Look at every aspect by every angle. Then, only you can decide which is the perfect domain name for you and what is its perfect price. Best of luck for your perfect domain name at the perfect price.
Sites That Link to this Post
- How to Register a Domain at GoDaddy | Rukhaiyar's Corner | November 13, 2012