What could you buy with $872 million dollars? Quite a lot, probably; that’s at least a few villas in the south of France. You could buy a new house, new car, new clothes, and never work again – or, you could purchase the most expensive domain name ever sold: Cars.com.
This is the true definition of a ‘premium’ domain name; it’s a website name so lucrative that people are willing to part with millions of dollars for it. LasVegas.com sold for $90 million, CarInsurance.com sold for $49.7 million, and the list goes on.
So what makes these domain names so special, and why on earth do they drive such a premium? Let’s find out.
Why is it important to own a domain name?
You might be wondering – if a domain name is just the tag at the beginning of a URL, why does it matter whether it’s a cool name or a string of random numbers?
Think of it this way. Your domain name is your online identity; it’s how you get discovered on the internet, and it becomes an enormous part of your branding. Imagine if Amazon.com were replaced with PlaceToBuyThings.com? Not exactly catchy – and not at all in alignment with the mega-corp’s branding.
A strong, memorable, punchy domain name, on the other hand, tattoos your brand in the minds of your customers and users. It’s also a matter of trust. Would you trust our website with your information if we called it WordLab2956394.com? (If so, you’re not in good company.)
But packing a punch and gaining trust aren’t the only reasons to secure a killer domain name. Here are a few more great reasons:
- Search engines use your domain name to index your website and determine your ranking in search results. The better your domain name, the higher you’ll rank, and the more traffic you’ll drive (to put it in simple terms).
- A great domain name will make your email addresses look more professional. No one wants to be known as email@example.com – but everyone will recognize firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For side hustlers and money movers out there, trading in lucrative domain names can be a worthwhile investment. Keep your eye out on GoDaddy auctions.
Often, people trying to find your brand online will search for [insert your company name here] plus .com or .org. If you don’t own your company name as a domain, you could be giving business to your competitors!
Think about those powerful brands like Coca-Cola®, Nike®, or Apple® that have a simple yet memorable .com domain name. The sophistication of an uncluttered URL bar is hard to resist.
Craft a premium domain name for your business
Now that you’re all caught up on the importance of domain names, it’s time to start brainstorming what yours will be – and if someone’s already taken your dream domain, you’ll need to get creative.
But what makes a domain name premium, and how can you craft your own? Here are some tips:
1. Keep it short and sweet.
Somewhere in Wales, there’s a village that won records for the longest valid domain name on the internet. Their tourism website URL looks like this:
Yes, it’s a real, functional website with a total of 70 URL characters. And can you blame them? It’s the name of their town, which also happens to be the longest place name in Britain.
While it’s an excellent gimmick (and one we could never hope to replicate), it’s not exactly user-friendly. So unless your brand is the longest place name in Britain, or you’re planning on making it that way, keep it short and sweet.
Why? For a number of reasons. First of all, long names aren’t memorable unless you’ve got some kind of tongue twister or rhyme scheme. Secondly, they’re hard to type out – and if people can’t type out your domain name, they’re not going to visit your website.
2. Make it relevant.
Ever heard of the dentist who tried to set his website up with a suitable domain name? He ended up with gorefresh.com. If you read that as Gore Fresh, you’re in the majority – but it was meant to read as Go Refresh. And unfortunately for Mr Dentist, no one associates the word Gore with dental hygiene.
(If you go to the website, you’ll see it’s been listed for sale. That’s understandable.)
See how easy it is to mislead your customers? Make sure your domain name is relevant to what you do, who you are, and what you want to be known for. Don’t register your demolition company as HomeWrecker.com, for instance. It probably won’t paint your business in a very good light.
3. Avoid hyphens, numbers, and strange spellings.
If you want people to take you seriously, don’t try to trick them with creative spellings or substitutions. Most people want their domain name to be something they can spell without having to think about it.
As for numbers and hyphens, it’s just generally easier to avoid them. Scammy websites often use a lot of numbers and special characters; avoid being associated with these by keeping it simple.
4. Make the most of high-ranking keywords.
Keywords are the bane of most bloggers’ existence, but they’re also the key to a high-quality domain name. If you’re not familiar with SEO (search engine optimization), it’s basically the process of making your website as visible as possible on search engines like Google.
One way to do this is by incorporating high-ranking keywords into your domain name. These are the words and phrases that people are searching for when they want to find websites like yours.
For instance, if you’re a fashion blogger, you might want to use the word “style” in your domain name. If you blog about food, you might want to use “cook” or “recipes.”
The trick is to find a balance between a keyword that’s popular enough to get you ranking high on Google, but not so popular that it’s impossible to get a good URL. The Google Ads Keyword Planner tool will get you off to a good start.
Where do you start looking for a domain name?
Once you’ve come up with a memorable domain name using our handy tips and tricks, it’s time to register the name – but not so fast! What if it’s already taken? You’ll need to check the domain availability before you can officially claim your website’s identity.
To check, all you need to do is Google ‘domain availability check’ and find a tool. Name.com is a free tool, and you can also search through one of the many available registrars. GoDaddy is one of the most popular – but there’s also Hover, NameCheap, Domain.com, Bluehost, HostGator, and more.
If your name’s available, you can buy it through sites like GoDaddy. If not, there’s another option – browsing through pre-owned premium domains.
How to purchase a premium domain name
While it’s certainly ideal to use a domain name that is similar or identical to your brand name, newbies have the advantage of choosing the domain first and branding themselves second.
What does that mean? Well, if you haven’t got a name for your blog yet, you could find an existing domain in your price range and then base your blog’s name around that. The advantage here is that your domain name will have all the right keywords and SEO value to help you be found in Google searches from the get-go.
To buy a pre-existing premium domain name, go to a website like GoDaddy or Hover and use their search function to see what’s available. GoDaddy actually has a ‘Premium’ tab where you can browse what’s available under your niche keyword.
Here’s what’s on offer for the keyword ‘sushi’, for instance:
As you can see, the best domain is already taken – that’s too bad – but buying domains is commonplace in the World Wide Web. You can choose to buy it from the owner, or purchase a premium domain that’s similar, and transfer it to your name.
Of course, there is a downside to this strategy – it can be expensive! A .com domain can cost anywhere from $10-$20 per year, and a top-level domain (TLD) could set you back hundreds, or even thousands. If you’re on a tight budget, you could look into some of the cheaper options like .net, .co, or .io.
Premium domains: a few examples
If you’re still confused about what makes a domain ‘premium’, we hear you. It’s a little hard to explain, but you’ll know it when you see it. Here are some examples of incredibly lucrative domains available to purchase on Sedo:
- Hospital.com – $1.2M
- Peace.com – $1.2M
- Rebates.com – $1M
- Closure.com – $100,000
Why are premium domains so expensive? Well, notice how they’re all short, easy to spell, and memorable. It also helps that they’re things people commonly search for in Google.
Imagine if someone searched ‘vodka’ in Google and your site came up on the front page. From that perspective, buying a premium domain is definitely worth your while.
How much do premium domains cost?
Domains can sell for a pretty penny, it’s true – but premium domains don’t have to cost you millions. Some go for a fairly regular price (depending on your niche, of course).
To give examples, here are some of the best dot-com and premium domains available on Brand Bucket right now, by industry:
Fashion and Beauty
- beautiframe.com – $1,995
- poshtraditions.com – $1,950
- worn.com – $472,500
Food and Beverage
- planetfeast.com – $3,495
- expectorganic.com – $2,395
- platechef.com – $9,990
Sales and Marketing
- adbox.com – $192,500
- capablecart.com – $3,495
- perfectworkflow.com – $2,155
Travel and Local
- earthlyplaces.com – $1,995
- travelerways.com – $2,495
- wunderbus.com – $3,195
Clearly, there’s quite a range in terms of price. But what all these domains have in common is that they’re short, keyword rich, and easy to remember – and that’s why you pay the premium, people!
Find your next premium name
Stuck for inspiration? Our domain name generator tool helps you come up with a unique and available domain name for your website. Just enter some keywords related to your business or website, and the generator will create a list of available domain names for you to choose from.
Did you enjoy the article? We certainly hope so – and most importantly, we hope you’ve learned a thing or two about premium domains.
Ultimately, domain names aren’t the be-all and end-all. But they can make a huge difference to your business, your branding, and your website’s success.
Have you bought yourself a premium domain? Share your experience with domain buying and selling in the comments. We love hearing from you!