644 million. That’s how many other websites there are. Among them there will almost certainly be thousands of websites that you need to compete with (if not hundreds of thousands, or even millions – depending upon your industry).
When trying to gain traction and traffic for your website www.this-1-is-a-nightmare-domain.jetzt is not going to make your job any easier.
Exclusive domain names are one of the most important first steps to a solid marketing strategy. In this blog we explain why, as well as telling you about how to buy an exclusive domain name, and what you should avoid.
What are exclusive domain names?
Exclusive domain names (also referred to as premium domain names) have a number of key characteristics that make them easy to remember, such as being :
- A Top-Level Domain (TLD) – Top Level Domains include .com, .org, .net, .gov, .biz and .edu (.com is far preferable to any other domain name, with 75% of all visible websites boasting a .com domain name)
- Short – Ideally between 4 and 5 letters – ‘type-in’ traffic (e.g. those that tap out the domain, as opposed to clicking on a link, accounts for 50% of all visitors, so your exclusive domain MUST be short (read our guide on how to buy short domain names)
- Reflective of your business name
- Geographically relevant – if you only serve a key location then using that regional word in your domain can communicate to your visitors that they’re in the right place. A word of warning however – if you opt for this, be sure that you won’t expand past your locality in the future – changing your domain at a later date can be a logistical nightmare.
Exclusive domain names – what to avoid…
For every positive characteristic of attractive domain names, there are an equal number of things that you should absolutely avoid….
- Numbers – numbers are extremely problematic when it comes to potential website visitors recalling whether they are in character form, or number form (e.g. this1website.com OR www.thisonewebsite.com).
- Hyphens – while you may think hyphens are handy to split words up, these too are also tricky to remember (e.g. some people may recall your hyphened domain without the hyphens – rememberthis.com or they may type in www.remember-this.com).
- Stuffing keywords into it – No longer does Google place value on the words in your domain, so stuffing keywords into your domain is only going to make it longer and harder to remember (e.g. shoesheelsflatslondon.com will prove a total nightmare to work with).
- Purchasing a domain name that’s too similar to an existing website – this will confuse your potential visitors and could also land you in hot water if that particular domain includes a trademarked word or term.
Now that you know what exclusive domain names are, let’s dig into how you should go about buying one – starting with a key question: should you buy an exclusive domain that is already owned?
Key question: Where should you buy your exclusive domain name?
Buying a domain name from an individual owner (rather than from a domain specialist such as ourselves) does demand a carefully thought-out strategy. There are many mistakes that can be made when buying a premium domain, such as revealing your identity.
A better approach would be to either purchase your domain through a domain registrar or via a domain supermarket that exclusively sells attractive domain names. However, another alternative that many consider is to buy a domain along with their hosting. The trouble with this particular approach is that it can lead to complexities if you become unhappy with your hosting. By keeping your domains entirely separate, you make your life far easier should you ever need to change your hosting provider.
Protecting your brand beyond your attractive domain name
When buying an exclusive domain, don’t forget to consider purchasing at least the equivalent .co.uk, as well as other domain extensions if you can. For example, if your domain is www.exclusivedomain.com think about buying:
While this will inevitably result in a larger domain bill each year, we recommend this for a number of reasons…
Fraudsters may steal your identity
So-called ‘imposter’ sites are a serious issue. Created to look exactly like a genuine site, unscrupulous online traders may attempt to trick your potential customers into purchasing from their site (only for the goods not to arrive, or for inferior products to be supplied). Needless to say, this can cause indelible damage to your brand.
Others may try to hold you to ransom
If you leave other domains available, you may find that people try to capitalize upon this by selling them back to you for a much higher price.
Genuine visitors may attempt to visit the wrong extension
Some of your target market who have previously seen your domain name may recollect it incorrectly. For example, if your domain name is www.billswebdesign.com some users may try to access your site via www.billswebdesign.co.uk.
Ready to discover your exclusive domain name?
Attractive domain names that are both short and .com are at a premium, with most one and two letter word domains long since snapped up. If you’d prefer to save yourself the frustration of hundreds of tapped out searches, start right here.
We not only categorize our domains by industry (such as domain names for business & finance companies and domains for tech & web businesses) , our domains also serve as inspiration for your business name, and come complete with a professionally designed, pixel perfect logo.