At any given time in this industry you can find companies who need to upgrade their domain. Whether it’s upgrading to a .com, a shorter version of another extension or simply choosing a domain that is much more relevant to what they do.
While there are many reasons why this doesn’t always happen (budget, availability, etc.) the most common reason simply is the person in charge of acquiring domains or branding the company just doesn’t get it. This is quite understandable as its not like the value of domain names is a core class in college nor did many marketing managers even have computers growing up. As brokers we need to communicate the reasons why having a better domain is worth the investment to a potential buyer rather than just hard selling them on how .com is number one, assuming they simply “get it”.
Part of the training program here at Domain Holdings is educating our brokers on why upgrading a domain is often in the best interest of an end user and explaining how a better domain can translate into dollars.
Some of these reasons may be obvious but I also think the industry needs a solid reference point so people newer in this industry (and clients on the fence) can see in black and white why having the best version of your domain is incredibly important.
The “email security flaw” of not owning the best version of your domain happens all the time. People naturally migrate to .com and they often default to the shorter version of your name for sending an email automatically
For example, If your company is ABCinc.com someone is going to email firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com sooner or later.
A friend of mine has a big portfolio and often has “catch-all” emails set up purely for the entertainment. Over the last year he has been on an internal Microsoft research thread, consistently gets emails about ad insertions for a wilderness show, numerous orders for a book published in Australia, credit card statements, daily password reset requests and has received almost 60 holiday cards over the last month – not to mention hundreds of other requests including collection requests, merchant account statements and birthday messages. These are all from people he has no idea who they are and they don’t know him. The senders simply default to the best .com version of the intended parties domain.
These are not typo or TM domains in case you are thinking. These are generic domains where somebody is using a longer version of the domain in business. In fact, these domains were never even active websites… ever.
Sound More Professional
I hate to break it to you but adding Inc. or LLC every time you say a company name doesn’t make you sound any more professional. In fact, it’s kinda weird.
Imagine people saying “Did you visit Google Inc. today” or “Let’s go to McDonalds LTD for lunch” or “I love the Victoria’s Secret LLC catalog”. The only three people who really care about your incorporation status are most likely the IRS, the state department and divorce lawyers. Your consumers only know you as Google, McDonalds and Victoria’s Secret.
Not only that, why would you want to make every employee say “You can email me at ABCInc.com” over and over. Take the pain away and upgrade to ABC.com .. bad example since that will probably cost just a smidge more than you have but you should know what I mean.
Increased Authority and Trust
The internet is full of spam and scam. Your URL is often the very first thing customers look at it and when you own the best version of your domain name (or a category defining domain) then it brings perceived authority and trust to your brand.
The beauty of this is your new domain is usually a one-time acquisition cost and not a renewable monthly bill for advertising. I know many companies who have proven that having a better domain also results in a better return on advertising dollars. Why, that is point number 4.
Easier to Remember
How much do you really expect someone to remember a domain like or DavidDental.org or DavidsDentalLLC411.com?
Certainly not as much as DavidsDental.com. Before spending any money on traditional advertising its imperative to secure the best available domain for your business otherwise you will be losing ROI each and every time your ad is shown. This is not rocket science but it’s also NOT something your advertising company is going to tell since hey… they don’t sell domains.
Better Click Thru Rates
A shorter more relevant domain can also contribute to a much higher click thru rate because of the perceived increased authority and trust we spoke about in #3. Consumers tend to gravitate to sites which “seem trustworthy” and while you certainly may have been the president of your ethics club having a second tier domain doesn’t always portray that element of trust you pride yourself on.
Remove Potential Competition
Unless you are a huge brand who has an advertising budget the size of Norway’s GDP it’s always going to be a constant challenge promoting and uniquely identifying your company with consumers. The very last thing you want to happen is for a competitor to buy the most obvious version of your name.
Take for example a name like DavidsDentalsDDS.com. After spending some money and building a client base life after Dental School is pretty good. You get married, have kids and then one day wake up to see another dentist move to town also with the name David. This David however was smart enough to buy DavidsDental.com and now your advertising dollars are sending customers his way, your blood pressure is going up, your kids teacher keeps thinking the other David is their Dad and your wife is sending sexy messages to firstname.lastname@example.org and the other David is responding.
While this is a fictional example don’t be surprised if it happens. Even if he just bought DavidsDental.com and forwarded to DavidsDentalsDDS.com it would be cheaper than the high blood pressure medicine bills.
With Age Comes Respect
Category defining names such as DentalEquipment.com or CommercialBanking.com have such an inherit amount of value that any company in the respective industries who own these names could easily capitalize on.
It’s only natural to assume that a company who owns DentalEquipment.com knows a thing or two about dental equipment and as the internet ages there is also that perceived age which is also valuable.
We often hear people say “that’s a great name I wish I bought that 15 years ago”. Well, guess what… customers also think… that’s a great name… they must be around for a while.
Think about it. I prefer to deal with companies that seem like they have been around for a while, don’t you?
Short Social Media Handles
If you think your website DentalEquipmentMasters101.net is not long then imagine when you set up Facebook and all of sudden you have http://www.facebook.com/dentalequipmentsmasters101 – I have a headache just from typing this.
Shorter is better. This applies to almost everything online… almost everything.
More People Will Link to You
SEO has changed 100 times the last couple years but one thing has remained the same. The more authoritative your site is the more people will trust linking to you.
Webmasters are more careful than ever before to link to sites and if your website URL looks “spammy” or “less than a great URL” you may very well miss out on links.
Let’s take this a step further.
If I am writing an article for Forbes and referring material from another website than I want to reference a source which I believe my viewers would find credible. If I have a choice between referring source material on DentalEquipmentMasters101.net or DentalEquipment.com then you can probably guess which website I would choose.
Reduce the Regrets
There is a wealth of stories around from companies wishing they had a better name or finally upgrading to the domain they really should have after dealing with confusion for some time.
One quote I love is “Anything less than your best is like you never tried”.
When starting a business you often put weeks into a business plan, consult with business experts, engage a tax professional, hire a lawyer, spend money on marketing and so much more.
How much of those funds are allocated to analyzing your domain name or consulting with professionals in the domain community?
How much of your budget is allocated to the most visible asset of your company?
Think about it.
Need help or want to talk about upgrading your domain then contact us at email@example.com