We love domain names, we love branding and we really think that marketing is important.

So we were delighted when we heard about Cork company Digital Crew taking their online brand seriously and investing €500k in a domain / brand.

It’s 2014. If your business doesn’t have a strong online presence then it’s probably “dead in the water”.

One of the starting points for any online brand is the domain name they choose – the domain is the cornerstone of their online (and offline) marketing efforts. If it’s “catchy” then it’s going to be easier to market – it’ll be more memorable.

How can you stand out from the crowd?

Sure, you could opt for an available domain name, but your options are limited. Getting a generic keyword .com domain name “new” is far from easy – and it’s not getting any easier.

Of course you could opt for a .co domain name and we’re seeing more and more startups either using .co from the beginning or switching to them. If your service targets individuals then a .me domain name might make sense.

But .com is king and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

So what are your options?

We’ve spoken about acquiring existing domain names in the past. You can read about it here and here. Simply put, just because a domain name is already registered doesn’t mean that you cannot get it BUT you will need to pay for it.

The “better” the domain is the more you’ll pay and while “better” might be subjective there are a number of  factors that can contribute to domain name value:

  • length – shorter is generally better
  • the string itself – keyword vs series of words vs non-existent word
  • age of domain – older ones tend to be worth more
  • relevance
  • mass audience understanding – so stamps.tld is probably going to be worth more than philately.tld

The list above is not exhaustive and please remember that people can be very attached to domains.

Also bear in mind a simple thing. Like anything a domain is worth as much as the person selling it wants for it and the person buying it is willing to pay for it. Don’t just assume that you’ll pay a couple of hundred euro for a domain. (Or that you’ll be able to get thousands of Euro for a domain – if you’re seller)

Also, and this is something that people really don’t seem to understand, just because there isn’t an active website at www.domain.tld does not mean that a domain is not in use. For example, I have log.ie. There’s nothing to see if you go to the domain name. But I blog from time to time at b.log.ie (get it? 🙂 )

So how much should you expect to pay for a “previously owned” domain name?

Prices vary a lot. You can find domains for as little as a couple of hundred Euro or as high as several hundred thousand. Check out some of the previous sales over on DN Journal to get an idea of what’s going on.

If you find a cool domain and would like to acquire it then check out our previous articles that offer tips and strategies on domain name acquisition.

What about premium domains?

Another option which you might want to explore is the “premium domains” that some domain name registries offer.

Both .co and .me have held back some really nice domain names that are very brandable. In some cases they auction them off, but in others they make them available to companies that are willing to commit the resources to marketing their domain.

What about new TLDs?

With the advent of hundreds of new top level domains there are going to be some fantastic opportunities for both individuals and businesses to get catchy domain names to help them build their brand. Take a look at the hundreds of new domain extensions that were applied for over on DotWhat.co

We’ll be talking more about some of these new domain extensions in the coming weeks and months and will share information with you on how you can register domains like .press and .irish and many many more!


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