Buying Domain Names

More Steps to Buying A Non-Sucky Domain Name

Stephen Spencer gives us “11 steps to buying a domain name that doesn’t suck” on the Cnet News blog yesterday. I agree that these are all important factors to consider when purchasing a domain name, and I would like to add a few additional factors that people should consider:

– Potential to Confuse Users – If you buy a domain name that has a number, some people might type in the actual number while others spell it out. Tickets4Less.com is an example. I bet some people type in TicketsForLess.com as a habit, so if you buy one you should buy the other.

Your Company Name – Although this is similar to one of the factors in Spencer’s article, the most relevant domain name to your business is the .com of your company’s name. If your business is Nashua Web Designers, you should first try to buy NashuaWebDesigners.com. Oftentimes generic domain names like this are already taken, but there is a good chance the name of your business is available, and that’s what your customers will want.

Shorter Version of your Company’s Name – With a company like Barnes & Noble, customers often refer to it as BN. The company was smart and owns both BN.com and BarnesAndNoble.com.

Generic .com Domain Names are like Diamonds…

Generic .com domain names are like diamonds. Sure you can buy a small or low quality diamond and your significant other with still love you, although she will know that you couldn’t afford better. You could also buy a synthetic or manufactured diamond that may pass for the real thing, and maybe she won’t notice (until she gets it appraised of course). However, if you want the most beautiful investment quality diamond, you need to spend the money and buy a beautiful, high-quality, real diamond.

With domain names, sure you can buy a low quality .com domain name with extra numerals, hyphens or other flaw, and people who know about your site will try to remember how to navigate there. You can also buy a non .com domain name such as .net or .info that may look good, but will certainly lose traffic to the better .com name. However, if you want to buy the most valuable, highest investment quality domain name, stick with generic .com names.

Free .mobi Domain Name!

I received an interesting email promotion from Network Solutions today.

“Register a new .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .us or .name domain name extension for any term and get a free .mobi domain name for a 1-year term.”

I guess they have resorted to just giving .mobi names away. I use my Blackberry’s web browser all the time, but I have not had the need or desire to use the .mobi extension. Even though the Weather Channel has a “mobile compatible” website at Weather.mobi, I can still access my local weather by using Weather.com on my Blackberry. I still don’t see a need for this extension.

Recent Domain Acquisitions

I recently purchased the following names:

InvestingSite.com
HealthWebsite.com
ComputerScanners.com

Thinking Ahead to Buy Domain Names

http://frankschilling.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/06/christmas-on-th.html

Reading Frank Schilling’s blog got me thinking about buying holiday-related domain names right now. Oftentimes our minds think about specific types of domain names because they are triggered by seasonal events. We think about acquiring shopping and Christmas-related names in October, November and December, and we think about beach related names in July and August. Well, it’s time to turn that upside down. Just like it’s better to buy a new pair of skis in the spring rather than in the fall, it’s the same way with domain names. There is no way you’ll find a bargain buying a high traffic Christmas name in late fall. Also, you won’t even have time to build a website in time to capitalize on the traffic (if that’s your plan).

You need to be at least two or three seasons ahead of your target acquisitions. If you want to create a Christmas themed portal, now is the time to buy (well, probably a month or two ago), but you get the point. I attend the NY International Gift Fair with my parents in the Spring when they are buying for the holidays, and the big retailers are doing the exact same thing. It’s important to think like consumers, analyze like marketers and act like businessmen.

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