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As you’re working on a name for your business, you might be frustrated that it’s impossible to find a good domain name that hasn’t been taken. Since the dot-com boom of the early 2000’s, Internet entrepreneurs have placed an inordinate emphasis on having the perfect domain name. Some have paid large sums of money in order to acquire the perfect domain name for their Internet Business. There have been at least 20 recorded instances of dot-com domain names that have sold for $1 million or more. At the top of the list is VacationRentals.com that sold for $35 million in 2007. While seven-figure domain name sales are fairly uncommon, there are thousands of five-figure and six-figure domain name sales that happen each year.
Why Having The Right Dot-Com Domain Doesn’t Matter Anymore
Entrepreneurs have been willing to pay large amounts of money in order to acquire hot dot-com domain names because of their limited availability. Only one company can have the dot-com for a generic keyword, like Cars.com, Diapers.com or Sports.com Entrepreneurs have historically wanted these high-value single-keyword domain names because they’re memorable and dot-com is the most commonly used top-level domain (TLD) that companies use. It’s important to recognize that the landscape of digital real-estate is expanding. There are now 490 approved top-level domain names and ICANN is currently reviewing applications for approximately additional 1,800 new top-level domain names. As large companies begin to adopt their own TLDs, consumers will quickly adapt to the reality that a domain name can be “anything.anything” instead of just anything.com. Many startup companies are already using .co, .ly, .tv and .io domain names to avoid the high cost of dot-com domain names. As more TLDs get approved, new companies will increasingly make use of upcoming TLDs to avoid the high-cost of purchasing a dot-com domain name from a private owner. Some upcoming TLDs that have already been approved by ICANN include .technology, .bar, .land, .solutions, .blue, .academy, .company, .today, .tips, .trade, .gift, .social, .buzz, .club, .photos, .farm, .house, .pics, .zone, .ink, .pub, .report, .foundation and .best. Eventually there will be a critical mass of people, organizations and companies that will opt for other TLDs than dot-com and it will be common place for domain names to end in any number of TLDs.
Single-keyword dot-com domain names have historically had some added marketing value over other domain names because some web users will type in a keyword followed by .com into their web-browser hoping to land on the site they’re looking for. The benefit of type-in traffic has been diminished in the last few years as modern web-browsers have integrated search tools directly into the address bar. Google had also once favored exact-match domain names in search results, but that ranking factor has largely been eliminated from Google’s search ranking algorithm. While there were some good reasons in the past to target a single-keyword dot-com domain name, these benefits are quickly evaporating.
How to Identify a Great Domain
Having the perfect dot-com domain name will probably out of reach to you as a first-time entrepreneur because of their expense. Even if you have some capital to buy a good domain name, that money could probably be better used to develop your product and market your company. If you can find a domain name that you want to use for your brand and can buy it for less than $500.00, it’s okay to spend the money and get the domain name, but having the perfect domain name won’t do anything spectacular for your business.
Here are some tips that will help you identify a great domain name for your business:
- Consider using an alternative TLD like .co, .io, .ly, .me, .sh or one of the new keyword TLDs like .games, .guru, .pets or .tech instead of .com
- Consider your brand name as your domain. For example, we are using GoGoPhotoContest.com instead of a generic domain like PhotoContest.com.
- Choose a domain name that can be spelled easily and can be communicated over the phone without confusion. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.com is not the type of domain name you should be going after.
- Don’t use a hyphenated domain name. Your customers will likely forget to type in the hyphen when going to your website.
- Use a thesaurus to identify words that are related to your industry that you could use in your domain.
- Use domain name idea generation tools like hipsterdomainfinder.com, nameboy.com, dotomator.com and namestation.com.
- Consider prefixing your domain with a verb like “get.” DropBox started with the domain name of “GetDropBox.com.”