$50,000 – A New GTLD Sold

SoldWhen the new GTLD’s started rolling out earlier this year almost everyone had an opinion. Some said they would fail while others praised the innovation in this space. Fast forward a few months later and over 1,000,000 new GTLD’s have been registered. I’m not sure about you but I think they have been an astounding success for a number of reasons.

  • A wealth of big corporations have been buying up solid brand domains for possible development and not just brand protection. From Lonely Planet (travel.photography) to RetailMeNot (100’s of .codes domains) to well, just about anyone.
  • It’s not only big brands they are also thousands of small business who now own a cool domain and as months pass we will see further adoption.
  • Donuts (the monster in this space) rolled out early access pricing where premium domains often have a $1,000 a year renewal fee and if you want to buy it on Day 1 of the EPA program it could cost you $10,000 or more. Well, it hasn’t stopped those with the budget. They are selling them faster than Krispy Kreme’s in many extensions.
  • Heck, Google has even come out and said they are investing in the domain space on a registrar level.

Why is this Important?

All of this translates to more money and interest in the domaining space as a whole. This is not a zero sum game but an expansion of the industry we love so much.

Even the infamous free give away by .XYZ has people talking about these new domains and if you go back a few years ago that is what almost everyone wanted – more press about domains. Whether or not you agree with .XYZ’s approach no one will remember this in five years but they probably will remember the extension.

All in all the negative opinions on these new GTLD’s generally come from a lack of understanding about the cost of marketing, a reactive action to protecting .com or a simple disbelief about domaining in general. The fact is they are here, people are buying and they work. End of story.

Does this mean you should invest in a new GTLD?

Monday morning quarterbacks. Doesn’t everybody love them? There is no right answer for this because it depends on so many variables. 20 years into this industry we are still looking for a valuation tool that has the accuracy of a real estate appraisal so to answer yes or no to such a vague question is impossible.

One company that does deserve an award in this space however is Donuts. By pioneering the EAP pricing model for these new GTLD’s they have created separation between investment and speculation. This is extremely important since any new GTLD needs adoption long term and by adding a higher price value many premiums are in the hands of people who will hopefully use them some day.

What name did we sell for $50,000?

A couple weeks ago we sold Luxury.Estate for $50,000 USD

Personally I think it was a very fair price for the buyer and the seller and for domain investors you should know that this domain was purchased on day 5 of the EAP program roughly costing under $200. That is $49,000 + return on a 60 day investment of less than a couple hundred bucks.

Yes, these new GTLD’s do not work at all 🙂

Don’t get wrapped up in the drama folks. The industry is going to make these a win and when they do – we all win.

It’s not a race, it’s a marathon.

DN.com For Sale – A Domain Holdings Exclusive

DH ExclusiveDomain Holdings is proud to announce another big brand has chosen us to exclusively represent the sale of a super-premium asset – DN.com

Originally registered in 1997, DN.com is a super-premium domain name held by the same owner for well over a decade and as far back as WHOIS records show. This domain is new to the market having never been available on the aftermarket before and consisting of 2 incredible letters with very reasonable price expectations.

We expect heavy interest in this domain so now is the time to contact us and show interest.

Did you know that approx. 75% of all 2 letter.com’s are owned and/or in use by big brand domains?

2 Letter .com domain names continue to get rarer every day. With less than 200 (by our estimates) not in use by Big Brands the value of these domains continue to rise and it’s rare to find such a high quality 2 Letter domain name available at all.

Check out our list of brands who own 2 Letter .com’s as many of these are gone forever. If you are a brand owner or domain investor then we urge you to contact us about DN.com as soon as possible.

For more information contact your account rep or email sales@domainholdings.com to learn more about this opportunity today.

Q1-2015 Report

Domain Holdings Q1 Report 2014

Q1 ReportWelcome to the first edition of quarterly sales reporting from Domain Holdings! The infographic below highlights collective data from our Q1 sales in 2014. Some of the most interesting takeaways this quarter were:

  • 76.25% of sales were to end users
  • Sales were almost 21% of what SEDO reported for Q4 2013 (their latest report)
  • Our team made over 10,000 phone calls and 60,000+ targeted emails.

In 2014 our biggest investment will continue to be in people and technology – if you know any good brokers we are hiring!

Any questions or comments please contact us – a PDF copy of this report is also available here.

Thank you again to everybody who has trusted us with their business and we look forward to even better quarters ahead.

2014 Q1 Report

 

How Bitcoins, Canadian Immigration Laws and Real Estate in China are Affecting the Value of Numeric Domains

After one of the rainiest winters of the past years, Spring has finally come in Lisbon:

Sure it feels better working when the sun is out! Together with the sun, the tourists have come back, and surprisingly enough, most of them are Chinese, who this time seem very active on the local real estate market.

That brings me back to virtual real estate – I was studying my spreadsheets this weekend and noticed something amazing: numeric domains that used to sell for $40k just three months ago are now at a minimum of $50k-$55k (I am talking about domains without a 4). The few people who have not caught up to this, already sold their assets; and the many sellers who did have increased their prices.

But Why Has This Happened?

In order to understand this, we have first look at why Chinese are investing now so heavily in numeric domains. Yes they are rare and easy to remember, but there are also a few more reasons for the steep increase in value:

1. China’s growth has brought unexpected wealth to middle classes. With a strong saving culture, Chinese have been looking to invest their money somewhere. With bank returns on the low side, laws against investing abroad, and the domestic stock market being so volatile, the Chinese middle classes has been pouring their money into real estate, fueling one of the largest construction boom of the past years.

There is a urban legend saying that Shanghai in the nineties used to host 1/4 of all the world’s construction cranes, just check this amazing picture. The problem is, with the demographic growth limited by the one-child policy, many apartment buildings in big cities are now empty and do not generate revenue. Many people believe that the real estate market in China is about to crash and there is a frenzy from wealthy Chinese to relocate their money elsewhere, possibly in intangible assets.

2. Canada just announced the closure of its immigration program destined to millionaires. By rejecting about 60,000 applications (mostly from China), Canada has now to refund tens of billions to wealthy Chinese that are now looking to invest their money elsewhere. Some of them are looking to invest in other places like Portugal and St Kitts and Nevis, who are offering similar programs – either way those billions are definitely going somewhere.

3. Another client of mine recently mentioned that the decrease in bitcoins investment is slowly reflecting in an increase of the money poured in the domain market. While I am not an expert on this specific market, this might be an additional reason why the youngest generation of Chinese is now looking at domain names.

Whatever the truth is, there has been a clear, noticeable 20% to 25% price increase on all numeric domains. LL.com, LLL.com, LN.com and NL.com have also increased in price, along with any domain that has a clear cut liquid value.

Will this trend continue? Only the next months will tell. As usual, feel free to contact me if you have any interest in investing in numeric domains, we have one of the largest inventory on the market available for sale. Stay tuned and all the best…from Lisbon!

Domain Holdings Secures Deposit.com Under Exclusive Brokerage Contract

Savings BankDELRAY BEACH, FL (February 27, 2014) — Domain Holdings, a leading premium domain name broker and monetization company, announced that it has been retained to exclusively broker one of the world’s most valuable domain names – Deposit.com

As a leading premium domain brokerage and monetization company, Domain Holdings Group is proud to announce representation of an exclusive premium domain offering – Deposit.com.

Super premium domains like Deposit.com have proven time after time to enhance a brand’s online presence, improve SEO, provide greater consumer trust and more. Companies who have already capitalized on the power of generic domain names include Bank of America (Loans.com), American Express (Open.com), Citigroup (Mortgage.com), Salesforce (Data.com) and many more.

“Such a key financial domain is extremely valuable in today’s world where trust and security are among the first thing consumers look for in a financial institution,” remarked Alan Dunn, SVP of Acquisitions and Divestments for Domain Holdings Group.

Descriptive, category owning domain names like Deposit.com in the financial industry have commanded some of the highest sales in history. Reported comparable sales to Deposit.com include PersonalLoans.com ($1 million), Investing.com ($2.45 million), Local.com ($700,000) and Shop.com ($3.5 million).

Financial companies spend billions of dollars a year advertising and this one-of-a-kind domain is a both a powerful branding asset for both short-term and long-term investing. As use of the internet and mobile devices continues to expand, more banks and online businesses are using the web to offer products and services or otherwise enhance communications with consumers. Recent surveys have shown:

  • 36% of US consumers would open an account with a bank that is completely virtually
  • Consumers want personalized customer experiences from banks
  • 550 million people will use mobile banking services by 2016
  • Mobile finance advertising spending has rose by 520% in the past two years
  • Virtual currencies continue to gain popularity with 2014 slated to be the “year of bitcoin” according to many industry experts

Deposit.com is the perfect name to attract the growing consumer demand for savings. “The word deposit offers a strong branding platform and its short length, spelling ease and global recognition provides the successful acquirer with instant name recognition – something which many companies often spend millions trying to create,” noted Joe Uddeme, Director of Business Development for Domain Holdings Group.

Available exclusively through Domain Holdings, parties interested in Deposit.com or other premium generic domains are encouraged to contact Joe Uddeme, Director of Business Development, at +1 410 977 0693 or joe@domainholdings.com.

ABOUT DOMAIN HOLDINGS GROUP

Domain Holdings is a world-class service provider in the buying, selling and monetizing of premium domain names, historically representing many of the world’s finest assets such as Restaurants.com, Capital.com and more. The company was co-founded by Chad Folkening, a longtime domain industry veteran, and John Ferber, co-founder of Advertising.com which was acquired by AOL for approximately $500 million in 2004. For more information about Domain Holdings Group please read our story.

The (Almost) Ultimate Guide to Value Investing in LLL.com

LLLValencia, Spain. 2 in the morning at the Domaining Europe conference. Discussing about domain values over a few drinks, one of the attendees mentions he owns a 3 letter domain he just bought on auction that he wants to sell for $3,500. I remember saying to myself: wow a three letter .com domain for $3,500 – what a great price. I immediately pulled out my phone and quickly sent an email with the sell request to my team. Unsurprisingly, the domain got sold shortly after.

Unfortunately, those days are long gone. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a LLL.com under $5,000. Considering that the last Domaining Spain was only 8 months ago, something changed in the aftermarket that caused a 30-40% variation on the floor price of these assets. But besides for the fluctuation in price, what amazes me is the amount of buy requests we have been receiving for these assets. When European, Chinese and American clients are asking for LLL.com on daily basis, you know something is up.

But why are LLL.com so valuable and, above all, how can you profit from this?

There are three reasons why these assets are so in demand:

1. Rarity (supply/demand)

There are only 17,576 (26*26*26) of these domains on the market. If PriceWaterCooper owns PWC.com and Apple owns MAC.com, there are thousands other companies that have a budget big enough to purchase the acronym of their brand/product. And it is just a matter of time – sooner or later they will.

2. Liquidity

As I mentioned in my other article about numeric domains – the ability to quickly cash in on an asset considerably increase its value. There are only a few domains that have this attribute, namely numerics, LL.com, LLL.com and CVCV.com.

3. End User Value

Differently from numeric domains, LLL.com, since they can be used as acronyms, can be easily allocated to specific end users. If you were the owner of MCD.com, can you name a company that might be interested in buying your name? There you go.

LLL.com AND VALUE INVESTING

Last weekend I visited one of my mentors, a real estate developer, at his beach house in central Portugal. While the worst storm of the year was hitting the coast (with incredibly big waves), we stayed in and had a chat about the status of the real estate in Portugal and how these lessons could apply to the domain market.

A very true saying is that perception equals reality. What generates a crisis is often a large number of people who share a negative perception of the market. Think about it – Portugal (and the US) still hold the same amount of debt per person since last year. What has changed? One of the reasons the real estate and the domain market have bottomed out during last summer is because people simply got bored of thinking that we are under a crisis and decided to allocate their money back on the market, which is now trending up again.

We all know that the market is not driven by logic and but by emotions, especially greed and fear. I recently read a thread started 6 years ago saying that the minimum wholesale value of LLL.com was quickly heading toward $10k. Compare it now to the $5k floor price: some people say that LLL.com are becoming too expensive, but are they really?

As Warren Buffett would say, the intelligent investors focuses on the value, not on the cost of the asset and understand how the price relates to long term market fluctuations. There is a beautiful little site that reports the floor price of LLL.com for the past 8 years. If you insert the values in a spreadsheet and pull out a graph, this is what you get:

As we can see from the graph starting in 2005, the LLL.com quickly rose in the first years just to reach a peak in 2008, right before crashing to 2007 level. Since then, it has been steadily growing until hitting the $5,250 mark in November last year.

So, is this a good moment to buy LLL.com? Given the market activity and the previous market fluctuations, I would definitely say yes. It seems we are in an accelerating phase of the market and prices are likely to continue increasing – at least for the coming 6 months.

At the same time, more people are getting aware of market valuations. Blogs, marketplaces and brokerage houses are making the market more and more efficient, therefore with less opportunities to close great deals. Remember – in any market where there is perfect information there is no possibility for profit. Nevertheless, the domain aftermarket is still far from that and I have personally seen a few clients doing very well in the space and making substantial profits.

But let’s say you own a few LLL.com and are unsure about pricing, what is the best way to appraise their actual value?

The most common criterium that has been used until today to appraise LLL.com is their letter composition. The “book” says that there are 3 type of letters that increase or decrease the value of a specific acronym:

  • Premium letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T.
  • 2nd tier letters: J, K, U, V, W.
  • Low quality letters: Q, X, Y, Z.

The retail value of a LLL.com composed only by premium letters is closer to $25k/$30k. Any combination of premium + low quality letter is valued somewhere between these two extremes. From my experience, any 2nd tier letter increases the value of the domain of 1-2k. And any premium letter increases the value of the domain by 3-6k.

Then there are the less obvious rules:

  • Letter structure – Specific letter structures might increase the value of the domain. For example any palindrome (symmetrical letters – e.g. PTP or LKL) usually has a higher value.
  • Couple of letters repeated like FFQ, PPO, etc, also usually hold a higher valuation.
  • Word meaning – a combination of 3 letters often. One of the example is fix.com that recently sold for $850,000. Whenever the combination of three letters has a specific meaning in the natural language, that increases the price considerably.
  • Potential buyers – you heard what the old domainer’s saying – the value of a domain is how much somebody is willing to pay for it. While this can be an easy way out to appraise a domain, it also beholds some truth: the value of a LLL.com corresponds to the budget for domain acquisitions of the richest company/person with a legitimate interest in purchasing your domain.

What about selling to End Users?

Yes, but how can you know what are these companies and how much is their budget? Well, it is not easy, but you can get there. This is what we do on a daily basis at Domain Holdings and we have an awesome team only dedicated to that!

You can always contact me at giuseppe@domainholdings.com if you are looking to invest in a LLL.com – we have over 200 for sale at the moment with some great investment opportunities.

Next week I am going to attend DomainPulse in Salzburg and later on in May I will be participating in a panel about domain evaluations at Domaining Spain in Valencia – Dietmar and Jodi always do an amazing job of making everyone have a good time and I encourage you to sign up for the event. I would love to see you there and meet you personally!

Never Settle – Why You Need a Domain Broker

WHDo you remember the moment of inception? Where you there when it happened? Or have you only heard the story?

The moment a light bulb went off. For some it happened in the shower or stuck in traffic. Others over far too many glasses of wine and thankfully it was scribbled down on cocktail napkins.

The idea for your business was conceived. You invented a better mouse-trap. Or realized that no one was providing that product or service in your area. Or boldly, you knew you could do it better than existing businesses.

However the prologue was written, your business was born. That euphoric moment soon to be followed by the hurdles, hard work, blood, sweat and tears required to get you to where you are today. A journey of joys, successes, heartbreaks and disappointments; one that you’d do again in a heartbeat.

For many one of the first setbacks experienced comes shortly after settling on a name for your new venture; likely scrawled on that cocktail napkin. The trademark was filed, the DBA applied for and then came the disappointment.

You logged into the domain registrar of your choice to register the perfect dot com for your business; but it was taken. You brainstormed, trying alternate permutations of your perfect name only to find time after time, they too were unavailable.

If you were savvy you tried to figure out who owned the name, thinking perhaps you could contact them and buy it; only you were presented nonsensical contact information and an email address of alphabetnumericsoup@totallyprivate-donttrytocontactme-secretregistrar.com.

It may have been instinctive or under the guidance of a talented web developer; but in that moment you were unaware of the importance of consumer Domain Bias, coined by a 2012 Microsoft study – a users propensity to believe a page is more relevant just because it comes from a particular domain. A domain that industry insiders would describe as a premium name or a brand defining name.

How could it be possible that all the good names were taken? And yet they were. So you made the executive decision to settle for what was available. You hyphenated the name or opted for a non-dot com version. Domain Professionals will refer to this as a non-premium name.  Possibly you added words, creating what would be referred to as a long tail domain.

The star of your story… The star of your business…  Settled that day.

And that is not something a true entrepreneur wants to do.

It matters not how long you’ve owned your domain, be it hours or decades. One fact is undeniable, it isn’t the name you originally wanted.

For most of you the story includes tremendous effort building your website, constructing your brand and market strategy around that domain. Let’s face it, that domain is familiar to you now and you’ve grown like it. Though it still isn’t the name you originally wanted; and worse still it may not be perceived as relevant enough to your potential customers…losing business to your competition.

The truth is, that taken doesn’t always mean unavailable. Individuals and corporations bought domains speculating, much like real estate investors, with a belief that the values would increase. They bought verbs, adjectives, numbers, colors and generic terms.

They bought the perfect name for your business; the one you originally wanted.

So where does a Premium Domain Broker fit into your story? Well every good story should have a hero. Someone with special powers like deciphering secret codes (alphabetnumericsoup@totallyprivate-donttrytocontactme-secretregistrar.com) used to rescue the star of your story from mediocrity.

Do you remember the excitement? Do you remember the dream? To what heights you were going to take your company? Your product? Your service?

And then you settled for something other than the domain name you originally wanted.

There are still chapters to be written. The epilogue can still end Happily Ever After…taken doesn’t necessarily mean unavailable. In the distance a Premium Domain Broker sits upon a white horse, waiting for you to call for them.

GoTo.com is Back – 5 Questions with GoTo

GotoA couple months ago Andrew Allerman wrote a piece on the acquisition of the GoTo.com domain by a group of previous employees and I couldn’t resist trying to find out what they paid for the domain.

Anyone who has been around long enough in this industry can remember the influence GoTo.com had on search.

Founded in 1998 by IdeaLab, GoTo.com was an early search pioneer and invented a new way to connect businesses and consumers that we now recognize as sponsored search. Yes, they invented sponsored search and even coined the phrase “paid introductions” for CPC ads.

Much like BINGO is part of our grandparent’s vocabulary (or Thomas the Tank Engine is to my son) both GoTo and Overture were key words in my every day discussion with people who knew about domains.

Even after Yahoo’s acquisition of Overture in 2003 the GoTo/Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool and Keyword Score continued to be part of everyday life. Whether it was buying PPC ads or researching domain opportunities the amount of wealth created from these tools has to be several billion dollars I would imagine and anybody who bought domains in the first 13 years owes a debt of gratitude to IdeaLab for making this data public.

Then June 30, 2008 happened and these tools disappeared.

Fast forward to today and Google is slowly privatizing all keyword analytics data, still providing strings of the same “exact match” numbers – like 9,900 or 5,400 or 1,800 – making the data much less predictable than the Overture score and paid data models are popping up everywhere.

When you stop and think about it we had a wealth of information for free and many of today’s portfolios would have never been built without the help of GoTo/Overture.

Some things become cooler with age and as part of the “search” generation the GoTo brand is simply iconic to me, as much as a Commodore 64 would be to an Apple freak, William Shatner is to a Trekkie or as important selfies are to Justin Beiber.

Recently, several former GoTo executives purchased the domain, Joshua Metzger among them.  I reached out to Josh and he fielded a few of our questions.

Q. How did you manage to acquire the GoTo.com domain name?

A.  Some of us who trace our professional roots back to the early days of GoTo have kept abreast of the domain since it was more or less retired in 2001, when the company became Overture Services and changed its business model from B2C to B2B.  You’ll recall that Overture was acquired in 2003 by Yahoo.  Last year, a fairly benign inquiry to the domain’s owner suggested it might be available and a few of us joined together to acquire it late in 2013.

Q.  Did you use a domain broker or privately acquire the domain?

A.  It was a private deal.

Q.  What are your plans for the GoTo.com domain and brand?

A.  We’re doing a fair amount of experimentation and testing in the area of search – let’s call it enhanced search – and it’s likely we’ll continue to do that for a while.  You can check it out at the website, which has been resurrected as a simple search engine with the look and feel of the old GoTo.com.  And, by all means, we’d welcome feedback.  You can leave comments by clicking on the “About GoTo” tab.

Q.  When can we expect GoTo.com to start ruling search again?

A.  You have a good sense of humor.

Q.  How cool did you become with your friends after you owned the domain?

A.  Our friends have always thought we’re cool – that’s why they’re our friends.  :–)

Q.  Any last words to GoTo fans?

A.  Keep searching.

As you can tell my career for the New York Times is limited but this is a shining example of how even some of the best domains just may be for sale.

My Take on the New GTLDS – Joe Uddeme

Joe UddemeOver the past 18 months a tremendous number of clients and colleagues have been beyond apprehensive regarding the impending introduction of roughly 1,700 new  Generic Top Level Domains (GTLDS) into the current marketplace. What will happen with domain values? How will these new domains affect the internet? Who will buy these domains?

These are just a few of the questions I am asked daily.

One point I keep hearing is that only 20 percent of users worldwide (in developing countries) have access to the Internet so this means the domain industry is still in its infancy. I tend to agree with that assessment…

Over the past few months, as a broker I have seen a more simplified approach from my buyer channel, specifically only buying .coms that are short, brandable or generic in nature. Many buyers and sellers are waiting on the sidelines for the dust to settle from the new GTLDS and no one really knows what will happen for sure. I do however have some key observations that I think are paramount to our business specifically, from the last 12-18 months.

  • Owners of premium .coms have been more willing to sell at some incredible pricing that we have never seen before.
  • Fewer and fewer transactions in the premium .com market (although there has been a nice uptick especially specifically since Sept 2013)
  • Supply is high while demand is stagnate, meaning the pricing for .com have dropped
  • The value of the .net has precipitously continued to decline, telling me that it will become the odd man out.
  • Some clients intend to acquire the new TLDS as a defensive play to protect their existing assets.

How Will The New GTLDS Affect the Evolution of the Internet?

Its simply too early to tell. In my opinion, Google is the unknown. They continue to shape the user’s experience with relevant searches that only Google wants the user to see.  Will Google, who has applied for more than 35 new TLDS, give them to their user base for free? Is this going to be the norm as we move forward? With all of these unknowns, I think its an incredible time to be in the domain space.

Companies continue to find creative ways to capitalize and engage their audience with short brands that people can remember.

Will users become adopters of this new strategy? Will brands have their client’s type in the likes of My.Bid to navigate to sites like Ebay or other auction platforms?

I certainly don’t have a crystal ball, but I do have the knowledge and marketing background to understand that this is a very lengthy adoption process and it appears it will take many years for clients and users to get aligned with this new system….

Why The .Com Will Reign Supreme?

One of my biggest arguments is the fact that if you spend any time watching television, you will see that your average brand typically markets their website in their commercial marketing. In a one hour television show, the networks cram in up to 16 minutes of advertising. In a normal break of 3 minutes and an average television spot of 30 seconds, you would have 6 commercials airing. We see as many as five out of six companies marketing their .com. In addition, it has taken over twenty years for consumers to take a liking to and see the credibility of online brands. Over that period, the .com has become the absolute dominant force of driving traffic and branding to some of the largest companies across the globe. Furthermore, you will see some early adopters that buy into the new GTLDS with a few of those new extensions becoming very effective tools to increase brand awareness and exposure on the Internet.

However the next few years play out I am certainly looking forward to it!

About Joe Uddeme

Joe joined Domain Holdings Group in 2010 and has been integral in the company’s overall growth. After 16 years of developing brands into successful businesses, he brings a wealth of hands-on knowledge from the business owners’ perspective and is well versed in Domain development and Internet marketing techniques including SEO and SEM. In addition, he is proficient in pay-per-click campaign management and has been certified by Google.

His main concentration is attracting new clients to the various service offering of Domain Holdings and maintaining relationships with those clients.Prior to joining Domain Holdings, Joe was a principal for Encompass Communications, which offered marketing solutions and developed web strategies for small businesses.

Joe graduated from Towson University with a degree in Marketing and Advertising and has been a lifelong Entrepreneur.

“For the past three years, I have been on the front lines working with buyers and sellers to position, market, negotiate and close many premium .com transactions for some of the largest companies in the world. I am fortunate to have sold more than $12MM in premium .com domain inventory and have established quite a following of buyers and sellers who enjoy direct end user outreach to companies on a global scale…

Back in 1994 while some of my clients were acquiring premium domains, I was out wreaking havoc on the world, spending my time finding other ways to make a living. Who would of thought that it would take this long to see such an expansion of the Internet to take effect? Interesting times for sure in the domain space.”

 

10 Reasons to Upgrade Your Domain Name

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.

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Email Security

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 you@abc.com instead of you@abcinc.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.

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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 you@davidsdental.com 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.

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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.

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Reduce the Regrets

There are 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 sales@domainholdings.com