Brandable domains caused the Dot Com crash. People rushed out and paid thousands for brandable domain names that they thought would rise in value over time. The money paid for websites, on advertising, and to web companies never resulted in a suitable return, and people lost millions. Does this mean that brandable domain names are a bad thing? No, it simply means you need to be smarter than those that piled millions into the purchase of a domain name.
The most expensive domain name ever sold was “Insure.com,” which sold for $16 million. This was back in the days when people thought the internet worked by typing usable and memorable names into address bars.
Do not spend a lot of money on a brandable domain name. There are hundreds of thousands of brandable domain names out there. The road to success is in being creative. Remember that domain names matter, and a bad one can become a hindrance to your success.
What happens if you come up with an original and creative domain name for yourself but somebody else already has it? For example, maybe you run a cookery show that specialises in baked goods from Ireland, so you decide to name your website:
Yet, when you get on the Internet, you discover that somebody else already has the domain name. In this case, there are several things you can do.
Step 1 – Check to see if the website is even used. Most domains are just sitting there.
Step 2 – Check the domain to see if it is for sale. Many resellers will put purchase details on the website’s domain.
Step 3 – Wait. Most web domains expire after two years and are never renewed.
Step 4 – Tentatively ask if the domain is for sale.
Be careful with step four because when people know you want to buy their domain, they’ll overvalue their website. Sometimes, you have to call it quits and look for other brandable domains for sale.
There is nothing wrong with .com for worldwide websites and .gov for government websites and so forth. Some of the domain variants make sense, such as .fr for France and .au for Australia. However, some top-level domains are getting silly.
Things like .lol and .baby may not be worth your time or money. Your viewers and your customers are not going to favour you because your domain has a fun or nutty domain ending. Choose a domain name and domain variant that suits your business or your purpose, and forget the rest unless you are buying up domain variants to stop scammers from cybersquatting.
Remember when you were learning how to choose a brand name? The principles are pretty similar when it comes to brandable domains. You can use a brandable domain name generator and keep spinning your wheels until you have a Eureka moment or you can use the tools and methods you used when you picked your brand name.
There are a few obvious tips you should follow. For example, you shouldn’t have a domain name that is too close to another branded domain name. These days it is less about what you “Should Do” and more about what you “Shouldn’t.”
The fact is that most domain names are brandable if you have the right approach and enough marketing expertise. Yet, some brandable domains are harder to work with than others. Again, your best bet is to consider the things you shouldn’t do.
Picking a domain that limits your business growth is a big mistake. For example, there were plenty of people who paid for domains with DVD in the name, and now they are having a hard time promoting themselves. Now that everything is downloadable or streamable, they have domain names that going out of style.
Some people say that adding hyphens to your domain name is foolish, and sometimes they are correct. It is difficult to say a website name that contains a hyphen, and sometimes it looks unflattering on adverts. Some people say you should use hyphens to separate names, such as when solicitors work as partners in a law firm. In those cases though, the domain name isn’t what you would call brandable.
The worst domain names are ones where the website owner has tried a little too hard, such as “But That’s Not All” (butthatsnotall.co.nz) and the websites that called themselves “Sprayology,” “Teaosophy” and “Perfumania.”
Then there are the domain names that were not thought through, such as “Teachers Talk” that reads as “Teacher Stalk” when sitting in a domain name.
Take the time and learn how to find a domain name that represents your business. Keep in mind that your domain name doesn’t have to be a perfect match to your brand name.
Remember that entities such as Google and a great many phone apps have made it so you do not need a brandable domain name named after your company.
For example, the company “Tesla” doesn’t own “Tesla.com.” Yet, people do not know or care. When people type “Tesla Cars” into Google, they find the Tesla cars website, not the Tesla.com website. If Tesla are not too fussy about owning the domain name “Tesla.com,” then should you be so worried about getting an exact-match web domain?
Some people are so disappointed that they cannot have their direct-match domain name, they will go out and spell their domain name more creatively. For example, instead of “Names.com”, they will have “Naymz.com.” It may seem like a good idea at first, but this sort of thing is a very big mistake.
People are aware of duplicate website scams, and they are on the lookout for websites that “Look” like the original but are a little different. Even if you are the company the viewer is looking for, and even if the oddly-spelled website is yours, the viewer will have a hard time trusting you. Scammers and spammers will often buy domain names that are similar to yours but are misspellings, and people are aware of these scams. They may not trust you if you creatively spell your domain name.
If you are working and/or operating out of Ireland, and you are working with Irish brand names, then get the .ie domain variant too. There is nothing wrong with having more than one top-level domain. You simply redirect from one domain to another (such as from your .ie. to your .com). Having the Irish version of your website will help stop cybersquatters who wish to exploit your Irish status.
It will also reassure Irish viewers since they will be more accustomed to the .ie domain top-level domain. You should also buy the .com version of your website to, because cybersquatters will buy the .com version and make it difficult for you to buy it when you wish to expand your business outside of Ireland.
On the one hand, you want a domain name that sort-of describes you, your company, your main product, or your purpose. On the other hand, you do not want to limit yourself in case trends change, your business scales up, or your core product changes. That is why you need to be careful with keywords.
The earlier example of domain names with the words “DVD” in them are classic examples of how technology moved forward and left a domain name behind. Another example is where companies named their websites “CarSales” or something similar and then started to expand and sell things such as caravans, pushbikes, trailers, and so forth. It would have been better if they had used a more generic term in the same way that “AutoTrader” did and “Motors.co.uk” did.
The fact you have read this article means you now know more than most when it comes to domain names. Sadly, much of the advice given in this article is not common knowledge, and that is why you see so many abandoned domains.
They are abandoned because what should be common sense (e.g. do not name your domain creatively) is not common sense. In most cases, it is only through bitter experience that you learn such important lessons. Thankfully, the information provided in this article will help you avoid some of the most common and expensive pitfalls that come with picking brandable domains.
Need more advice, expert help, or detailed information on topical and important domain-related issues? If so, read more info on the Register.ie blog. If you’re ready to register a domain, we can help!