Pros and Cons of Adding a Prefix or Suffix to a Generic DomainPosted: October 14, 2011
If given the choice of a single domain regardless of cost, you might simply choose the highest quality generic keyword .com domain in your field. Unfortunately, cost matters and that ideal domain may likely cost a lot more than you may be able to afford (if it’s for sale at all), so alternatives are needed. What can you do instead?
You might decide to “go the next best route” and simply add a prefix or suffix onto your targeted generic term and register that domain. Want a credit card domain? You might settle for a name like eCreditCards.com or CreditCardZone.com. Building a game site? You may go for a name like ProGames.com or GameSource.com. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this kind of domain to see if it really is the next best route for you.
Pros of getting a generic domain with added prefix or suffix
1. Keeps your targeted term in the name while adding something to differentiate from other sites
While you might opt for choosing a short brandable domain if your wanted generic is gone, those domains tend to lose their targeting. Keeping the generic phrase in the domain allows you to target search engines and potential visitors looking for what you have to offer. Adding a prefix or suffix introduces some brandability which can make you more identifiable.
2. Creates a brand name you’ll be better able to register a trademark for
The downside to a top tier generic domain is that you can’t trademark the generic term for what it already means, i.e. if you have Insurance.com, you can’t trademark Insurance for doing business in the insurance industry. But you CAN trademark something like EZ Insurance or Insurance World, which not only helps protect against similar infringing domains but also helps protect the brand offline as well.
3. Costs much less than the generic domain without the prefix/suffix
Let’s face it, we don’t all have Bill Gates’s bankroll to buy our business name. The generic name, if even for sale, might cost 6-7 figures while a strong prefixed or suffixed option might only cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. The money you save could be used to build out a better site, develop more products or buy advertising.
Cons of getting a generic domain with added prefix or suffix
1. You lose a lot of the search engine benefits
Seeing that CreditCards.com has been able to hold a #1 ranking for Credit Cards over all card companies, credit bureaus, major banks and other well-established companies with massive authority, it’s evident just how powerful that exact match can be. A prefix or suffix may be only 1 letter, but that 1 letter could mean the difference between a #1 ranking worth over $1 million in traffic every month, or somewhere in the depths of the lower results.
2. Not as elite or authoritative looking to visitors
Even though the domain industry isn’t always in the news, with more people doing business online than ever and with over a decade of huge sales periodically making the news, average Joe can still find a high quality generic domain to be impressive. Impressive enough in fact that those domains still get typed in by people that trust there to be an established non-spammy non-scammy site on there that may have what they’re looking for. Add that prefix or suffix and you lose those benefits of a strong generic domain.
3. A prefix/suffix may take it in a direction away from some of your market
Once you introduce some branding aspect to the name, you limit the name one way or another. Whether you add a location and limit yourself to that location or whether you add something “catchy” that doesn’t sound particularly good to some visitors, it’s harder to expect the same mass appeal that a generic can have.
Now that we’ve looked at some benefits and downsides to these domains, our next article shares 300 prefixes and suffixes along with additional ideas that can help you create prefixed or suffixed generic domain options that may work for you.