Why a General Domain Tip May Not Apply to Your SituationPosted: December 30, 2011 | |
Hopefully as many of you read the posts here, you get a nice bit of knowledge to help you make better domain decisions. Most people lack the basic understanding behind the values of domains and why they’re important, so knowing that puts you above much of your competition.
That said, while there are recommendations in many of our posts, many of them don’t apply to every situation. For one thing, a lot of domain tips are given in vacuums, not in consideration of particular circumstances. I do try and bring up certain circumstances and give alternative routes, but even then individual situations may wind up being different enough to warrant an exception.
We generally practice what we preach, but sometimes we end up buying some “exceptions”. With getting domains to resell, I’ve lost count of the times where conventional wisdom took a backseat to gut instinct. The more experience and success you have with domains, the more you can use your gut to help guide your individual domain decisions.
Clearly however, if your involvement with domains is only going to be the business brand domain you get, you don’t have time to build that hands-on expertise. But if there are exceptions to every rule or tip, how can you trust them? The best you can do is consider some causes for exceptions.
Why might a domain tip or rule not apply to your situation?
1. You can’t afford the best option
On “get the best domain you can”, I generally try to add “within your budget”. There’s a reason why some absolutely amazing category-killer domains sit on the market for years. Yes, sometimes they are simply overpriced, but often it’s that many companies that could make great use of it simply can’t afford it. Top tier domain owners know that someone will eventually pay the sky high price the domain is worth.
2. The best option isn’t for sale
“Everything has a price” is a phrase commonly used. Is it true for domains? Not really, barring of course the absurd, which do occasionally happen and shock everyone in the process. Great domains are valuable, but they are not invaluable, meaning worth paying a significant amount more than what you could get back from it over time.
If a top tier domain is in use, or if the owner has delusions of grandeur on its value, the price could likely be well beyond what it’d be worth to you even if you could afford it. As much as you shouldn’t always expect to “buy low” with the domain you need, it doesn’t make sense to buy extremely high either.
3. Certain industries/markets have different quirks
We constantly talk about getting the .com or the country-code extension for the country you’re targeting. Also, if you’re a non-profit, the .org makes most sense. But there are other areas that have made good use of .org even if for-profit such as finance, politics, education and law. Given the more powerful name quality that can be had in .org for the price, you may feel the best option is a .org and you may not be wrong.
Likewise, usually the .net isn’t necessary to get with the .com, but in the online poker/casino world, a trend occurred where .net was used in TV advertisements. They were able to sidestep laws against advertising gambling sites by setting up “free” versions on the .net, with the paid versions on the .com. Surely any alternative extension could have been used for that, but .net became the chosen one in most cases.
4. A risk may be worth taking
The domain hack we use for our wholesale and training division, Doma.in, may break some tips we offer up. For one thing, we don’t own Domain.com or Domain.in, both of which may get some traffic intended for our site. Also, domain hacks have tended to be used for URL shorteners or social media sites, not usually for more serious business-oriented sites.
Any sort of outside-the-box domain is a risk. In our case, we felt it was worth the risk to use that domain. The domain community has a bigger appreciation for domain hacks than most other communities including social media. It’s a rare hack for a domain term (i.e. very few other alternative hacks could be used) so it’s highly unique. Hacks can be difficult to say aloud but it’s not. Overall, we felt the positives to using it far outweighed the risks.
5. Your gut instinct guided by other expertise says it’s an exception
First off, if you’re reading posts here, you can at least get the fundamentals of making solid domain decisions. If you don’t have that under your belt, using gut instinct with domains can be dangerous. After all, that would put you in the same path as most of your competition.
If you do have a decent understanding of domains and a good understanding of business and marketing however, then your gut instinct may guide you to a reasonable decision. There are some times when the decision that’s not best is not that much worse, and is still better than what most would decide. Many successful entrepreneurs starting additional businesses tend to make sound decisions due to their other expertise.
That said, at Domainate, we can help you make the best decision on the right domain to start your business on. We’ve helped new startups brand and billion dollar corporations brand and rebrand with great success. Contact us if you need a domain for your business and want to start off the best you can.