I’ve already covered why you should stick with the most commonplace extensions, and having a long domain name has its own set of drawbacks including looking spammy and being difficult for customers to remember and type in.
One of Google’s internal website quality guidelines specifically mentioned long domains with lots of hyphens as a signal that a website may be spammy or low value so it’s best to avoid them.
What option do you have then?
Well, why not consider buying a premium domain name?
When I talk about premium domains I’m really talking about ones that have already been registered but may be available for sale privately.
Let’s say I wanted to setup a new website selling computers, if I can’t find any decent unregistered names then a quick SEDO search for the word ‘computer’ returns over 38,000 results, plenty to look at then!
Adding the term ‘buy’ narrows the search down to almost 800 results which is a bit more manageable
If I sort by list price then there are some expensive names there however moving through the pages gets you to some pretty cool names for realistic prices.
For example, the name thepcshop.com is listed at $1,500 USD, yes it’s not cheap but what a great name for an ecommerce site.
Lower down the list prices you can find desktopcomputershop.co.uk for just over £300 or buyanewpc.com for under $500 USD.
Bear in mind that these are the asking prices for the domain names and you can usually submit any bid that you want so you should be able to secure a name for lower than the list price, sometimes well under.
I once came across a name for a project and the asking price was around £2,000, after a bit of negotiation I had the name in my possesion for under £700.
Premium names can be worth the cost for the branding potential alone in my opinion but they also have another fairly major benefit if you are clever about it.
Exact Match Domain Names
For many different reasons which I won’t go into here, the search engines usually give a ‘boost’ to a website which has the same domain name as a search term.
For example, say you had a site on a domain buyanewpc.com, with only a minimal amount of SEO work your site would rank very highly for the search term ‘buy a new pc’.
These domain names are often called ‘exact match domains’ and whilst an exact match domain for a very popular search term can be more expensive they can also be very valuable for your business.
For arguments sake lets say that you paid for a PPC advert for the term ‘buy a new pc’ and it cost 70p per click. If it got 100 clicks a day that would cost you £70 which would equate to just over £2,000 a month.
If you bought the domain name, spent £1,000 with an SEO company to ‘promote’ it and you achieved the no.1 position then you would probably get more than 100 clicks a day on it at an on-going cost per click of £0.00!
In less than half a month’s AdWords spend you would have a valuable asset to your business which would generate more and more clicks over the longer term for only a fraction of the AdWords cost.
Taking all this into account, premium domain names can start to loook like a very attractive proposition for your new business.
You should at least consider them, what do you think?