There’s something to be said about securing a good domain name, especially in terms of the value it can add to a product or service.

I was recently informed from a company I had dealings with about the purchase of a domain in the six figure range, something I found incredible to believe at the time. I admit it jolted me with the hope that those dozen or so URL’s I was squatting would one day meet such an offer. I won’t tell you the company, or the domain or what they spent exactly, but let’s just say it was more than I spent on my first house.

Green hat growingOf course all of this was dwarfed  last week by the announcement that was purchased for $16 Million. A staggering increase on investment one would have to admit considering the same domain was snapped up for $160,000 back in 2001. An amount I’m sure was seen as obscene at the time.

Of course it’s not uncommon for domains to sell at such high prices. Other domains that sold this year for nice returns include which went for $3 million, ToysRus acquired for $5.1 million and TravelZoo grabbed for $1.8 million.

As a reseller of domains that’s an amazing ROI when you can gobble up a domain for as little as $10.

Note to those looking for a business domain. The odds of you being able to snatch up a short, single word these days that’s relevent to your business are incredibly small. There’s no reason however, why you can’t find something that’s going to help rather than hinder people finding and recalling your site. An often overlooked aspect of business, at least when people start out, is the building of worth. Your domain name is your business name online. Pretty important stuff huh?

Here are six tips if you’re in the market for a name. There’s bound to be more, but it’s time for coffee. So …

  1. Buy .com and .net
    There are more extensions now than ever before and to be honest I think there are too many. A .tv extension is fine for a TV show or online video service but that’s about it. I suppose a .biz can show that you’re a business, but I can’t see the benefit really. Obviously the snappy one-worders that sold for squazillions above are mostly all gone so grabbing a more obscure extension might be a way to get lucky, but I’d count that as slim.  So, which ones should you buy? Well .com and .net at the very least. These are still the most widely used domain extensions by far.  It’s a good idea, when you secure the one you want, to forward them to your main website or a custom coming soon page. Don’t have them point to a “Server not found” or “404″ error.
  2. Buy Product or Service domain names
    In addition to your business name try and get a domain that reflects what you do as well and point the domain to your main business site. People search the web in different ways, they even use search engines like google differently. Some use words, some use phrases, and for some bizarre reason some people type web addresses directly into the goolge search fields. Your aim is to build relevance and association with who you are and what you do. If you’re in the business of building products, grab a domain for each one. Use it as a landing page from your core site. As I mentioned above you want to add worth to your business. By having a separate site for each product the entire thing can be snapped off and sold as a separate asset in the future or increase your overall value if and when you come to sell for the same reason.
  3. Have a few backups and get creative
    The better the name the more chances it’s already gone. It’s always an idea to have a couple of fall-back names just in case. You can use hyphens in domain names and numerals so get clever. e.g. You can also leverage off common mispellings or typos. I wouldn’t want to gamble with that last suggestion as your one and only domain name though.
  4. Try to keep it short if possible
    People will retain a shorter domain much easier than a longer one. That’s why the ones above are worth what they are. Also consider that people might be trying to remember your link, so a scattered mind like mine might type in when what I had meant to type in was If the site I accidently went too sells the same product or service then they’ll probably get my money. People also remember domains that they see written so short and sweet, or at least clear and simple, will go further.
  5. Mobile domains
    While you can grab a .mobi extention, the official mobile phone domain indicator, they’re not necessary to have a  mobile friendly site. Code is easily added to a web page that can detect whether the person is using a mobile phone (and what type) and can act accordingly. Most obvious thing to do would be to build tailored versions of the site for your mobile audience. More on that in a later post.
  6. Buy the domain for as long as you can
    It’s a good idea to do this for a couple of reasons. Firstly it’s out of the way and something you don’t have to remember to do again for a while. You can even set up auto-renewals so you’ll never forget to do it. It’s also a way to lock in today’s prices. The second is that it can help you with your SEO. Domains that have a long term registration are less likely to be seen as fly-by-night spam domains. Word on the street is to register for at least 5 years at a time. Some sellers offer discounts for the more years you register.

I hope that helps anyone in the market for a domain. I’ll try and follow this article with a short “How to Register” if possible. Feel free to contact us in the meantime and we’ll see if we can help.