Domain Name Game
Fame Playing The Domain Name Game
of June 2001, over 22.7 million ".com" top
level domains (or "TLDs") have been registered.
In other words, the Internet consists of close to 23,000,000
dot-coms,which,in turn, are 76% of all TLDs. It
means that you're more likely to win the lottery than
find a good domain name.
to their increasing scarcity, domain names that are
short, memorable and suggestive have become "hot"
commodities. As an example, domain names acquired at
exorbitant prices include:
-- sold for $7.5 million
-- sold for $5 million
-- sold for $3.3 million
--- sold for $3 million
-- sold for $2.2 million
-- sold for $1.03 million
-- sold for $835,000
-- sold for $825,000
-- sold for $700,000
-- sold for $450,000
-- sold for $199,000
-- sold for $160,000
-- sold for $94,000
large, corporate buyers are not alone. Even small business
owners and speculators alike are making a comfortable
living in buying and selling domain names. For instance,
eBay.com recently had actual bids for as little as $400
for netmotors.com to as much as $25,000 for drpepper.net
-- and everywhere in between.
it is true that scarcity is a contributing factor to
the commoditization (and sometimes overvaluation) of
domain names, the fact remains that a short, memorable
and suggestive domain name carries instant brand value,
credibility and traffic.
example, today I taught my marketing class about branding,
which led to an interesting discussion about domain
names. One of my students, Mike Rouleau, is the competitive
convenor for a girls' hockey team in my home town of
I said that, "The shorter and more suggestive a
domain name is, the more instant traffic and credibility
that name will generate," he concurred using his
team as an example.
we registered the name
http://girlshockey.org for our team's website,"
Mike said, "our traffic multiplied, almost instantly."
He added, "A lot of people were simply 'stumbling'
onto our website ... Some of them out of nowhere, it
is a significant reason for this.
to the fact that our lives are getting even busier,
the growing overload of information on the web forces
people to make their best website "guesstimate"
when they no longer have the time for searching the
Internet. More and more people would love to skip search
engines and their plethora of irrelevant, misleading
links to find exactly what they want.
a result, many will attempt to reach a website directly
by typing a plausible URL into their browser. Therefore,
a good, magnetic domain name is crucial since it has
the ability to stick in the mind more effectively. In
fact, the simpler your domain name is, the more visible
your website becomes.
names that are part of a free host, unattractive, easy
to misspell, obscure or too long can be easily forgotten
or ignored. More importantly, it can also kill your
credibility - - and online, since nobody knows you,
credibility is crucial.
example, let's say you own a toy store on the Internet.
On which of the following URLs would you click (and
note that the names below are fictitious and used only
4. Or simply http://KidsToys.com?
while the availability of domain names let alone good
ones is shrinking, here are five important guidelines
you should follow when registering one. I call them
the "Five S's of Magnetic Domain Names." If
you follow them, your chances of creating instant traffic
and credibility will be multiplied.
choose a name that suggests the nature of your product,
business or website. If the domain name communicates
your main purpose or benefit, you will realize a multitude
of advantages beyond ease-of-recall, including higher
recognition, greater perceived value and instant credibility
-- like, for example,
http://www.investright.com versus http://www.nafep.com.
it intuitive, easy to pronounce and, above all, hard
to misspell. If you have to spell it, scrap it. Make
it easy for people to find you by avoiding anything
that impedes a name's pronunciation or spelling. Avoid
hyphens, numbers, acronyms and hard-to-pronounce words,
such as "made4you.com" or "art-u-frame.com"
(the firm that bought "art.com" mentioned
shorter the name is, the better it will be. Although
you must avoid initials, if an acronym helps to shorten
a name and make it easier to pronounce, then use it.
For example, which one would you remember the most and
have the least amount of trouble (or potential for error)
in typing into your browser: "YetAnotherHierarchicallyOrganizedOracle.com"?
is the most popular suffix and will remain so. It is
a mnemonic (a device or a "mental anchor"
aiding recall). For example, even though it initially
stood for "commercial" many people interpret
it as "company" or "communications."
Also, it uses a plosive, making it easier for the brain
to retain the word (like "K," "T,"
"B" or "P" sounds). Names beginning
with plosives have higher recall scores than non-plosive
use repetition. Repetitious sounds are pleasing to the
ear and add a singsong quality to the word. As the adage
goes, "Repetition is the parent of learning."
By making the pronunciation simpler, repetition, such
as with rhymes and alliteration, helps to turn names
into "mental hooks."
with good domain names becoming increasingly scarce,
new services and websites offer web developers ideas.
"Domain Name Generators," as they are called,
usually combine a list of suggestions based on given
keywords, coupled with a WHOIS tool to check the availability
of the domain names.
some offer synonyms, variations and add-on words, others
offer access to lists of expired (and advance notice
of soon- to-expire) domain names that are available
for registration. Here's a brief list of popular domain
the final analysis, remember that your domain is the
thing upon which you will build your online business.
And like real estate, the location is just as important
-- being accessible, in this case. Follow the five rules
mentioned earlier and use all of the domain name generators
in your search, and your chances of winning that lottery
will be far greater.
Fortin is a master copywriter and consultant dedicated
to turning businesses into powerful magnets. Get a FREE
copy of his book, "The 10 Commandments of Power
Positioning," and subscribe to his FREE monthly
ezine, "The Profit Pill," by visiting http://SuccessDoctor.com/