What is it about certain domain names that qualifies them as “premium”? Are there certain, objective characteristics that make one name better than all the others and – it has to be said – worth the premium price?
Your domain name is going to have a huge impact on your brand as well as your ability to claim some online space, which means this isn’t the time to settle for something less than perfect. However, it’s important to realize that there is more to “premium” than just the price. It’s important that you understand all these factors before choosing the one for your company.
Where is the Value?
We’ve discussed some important elements to consider when buying domain names before, and we can extrapolate from that the components that create the value in these names. For example, a premium domain should be:
- Influenced by and have an impact on the current market
- Memorable and unique
- Short in length
- Made up of commonly used words and extensions
- Easy to remember and type
- Something that matches your other branding efforts
- Something that has offline value as well (we’ll get to this in a bit)
A premium domain is a real investment in your branding capabilities, but sometimes you may need to look past the some of the standard criteria and find some other factors that can give your brand a boost.
For example, single words are really easy to brand, even if they’re not directly related to your product or service. Remember the story of Amazon.com. They got their start as a bookseller – which is not exactly something that has anything to do with the Amazon. Still, it was a single name that people immediately recognized and remembered, and they were soon able to branch out so far that now when people hear the word Amazon they think of the website rather than the forest.
It’s impossible to constantly track every single market trend, but they can have an impact on the value of your domain, so it’s something you should at least spend a little time delving into. The simplest way is to get on Google Trends and test out a few keywords. See how they’ve been searched over the years. If it’s an overall upward trend, you’re probably pretty safe to go with something along those lines. If it’s on the way down, then you might want to look at some other options
Is Premium Just about Perceptions?
We’ve already discussed a number of objective features that establish the premium value of certain domain names, but it’s hard to say that perceptions don’t matter at all. They do. But those perceptions are generally influenced by the expectations we’ve built up over the years.
These expectations influence our perceptions and tell us that shorter names are better than longer names, that relevant names are better than made up words, and that common extensions are more effective than obscure extensions. Why? Because if you are a real and serious company, surely you would be able to acquire the .com name for a relevant keyword.
If someone finds you on a Google search, you want them to remember it for later. If someone sees your brand and domain name on a billboard while they’re driving, you want them to remember that, too.
If your name is “eighteenwidegets_services.co.it” they’re not going to remember that no matter where they found it. If they discovered you online, sure, there’s a chance they’ll bookmark you, but they won’t be able to tell a friend how to find you without saying: “I’ll email it to you later…” (which no one remembers to do).
Finally, Say It Out loud
The ability to correctly pronounce your domain name figures directly into its premium value. Does if flow off the tongue? Is it spelled in a weird way that makes someone question their pronunciation? Or, worse, is it spelled strangely but said normally? This can lead people to the wrong website if they’ve only ever heard of your name and never actually seen it spelled out.
A premium domain carries a certain amount of authority. Something simple and memorable is automatically going to come across as something worth clicking. Take some time to look at all these characteristics and make sure your next brand investment is worth it.