The term “premium domains” is used a lot in the domain industry. Also, it is used quite loosely to describe almost every domain name that is being offered for sale on the domain aftermarket. Not all domain names meet the “premium domain” criteria.
This article sets out the main characteristics of a premium domain name. This will help you to identify premium domains, acquire the right domain name for your ebusiness and pay the right price for the domain name.
Definition of a premium Domain name:
I will define a premium domain name as a domain name that can be commercialised.
Simply put, a premium domain name is one that can be used to launch a profitable ebusiness. It is a domain name that will earn the owner money if it is developed into a website or brand.
Wikipedia does not provide a specific definition of a premium domain, as such. Wikipedia states, “in the business of marketing domain names, “premium” domain names are often valuable, and have particular characteristics that are used in the domain appraisal process”.
If a domain name can command a sales figure of $1,000 or more to an end-user (website or brand owner/developer), then the domain name has some premium characteristics. However not all domain names that are sold for $1,000 or more are premium domains, so even that method of identifying premium domains is a bit vague.
I have now put together the perfect definition of a domain name:
A premium domain is a commercial domain name.
Characteristics of a Premium Domain Name
The domain name must be C.O.M.M.E.R.C.I.A.L.
A premium domain name should be able to be used to conduct some form of trade (buying and selling of goods and services) and/or provide the services that assist with trade. The key role that the premium domain name would play here in terms of its commercial characteristics is the creation and establishment of credibility in the respective industry, trade sector or niche.
A premium domain name must be original and be a one of a kind domain name. It must not be easily confused with another. Owning a particular domain name should present a significant advantage over another. For example, how much more advantage would you have if you owned Aeroplanes1.com over the guy that owns Aeroplanes2.com? However, Aeroplanes.com would be an instant winner!
A premium domain name must be memorable. It must stand out in the crowd. This will help your ebusiness to gain repeat customers. A domain should not be more difficult to remember than a phone number or a street address etc.
A premium domain name should have meaning. It should not be some random concoction of words. For example “singing” and “dog” are 2 very popular words. However SingingDog.com would be a useless and crappy domain name. BarkingDog.com would make more sense.
A premium domain name is more valuable if the Top Level Domain (TLD), AKA domain extension is .com. The .com extension is universally known and widely accepted. The “.com” domains are usually considered by domain traders to be the highest valued domain names. Other popular domain extensions are .net, .org, and .TV.
A premium domain name should easily pass the radio test. The radio test tells how easily someone will recognise the specific domain name if they hear it. For example Ad.com and Add.com sounds the same. However, both would be premium domains in this case. The radio test is extremely important, especially when it comes to word of mouth and actual radio advertising. A premium domain name should be easily and correctly identified when it is heard.
A premium domain name should be correctly spelt. Typographical errors or misspellings greatly reduce the value of a domain name. Not only should the spelling be correct, but the domain name should also be easy to spell. Users will find it hard to find websites with domains that contain words that are hard to spell.
A premium domain name should be generic (consist of common dictionary words) and should not infringe on the trademark of others. It is illegal to use domain names that violate the registered trademark of individuals and companies.
A premium domain name should be purely alphabetical and only consist of letters. Numbers devalue domain names, and website visitors are always confused as to where to place the numbers in a domain name, and also tend to forget which numbers to use. In exceptional circumstances, if the number is quite popular, then it may be OK to use. You could get away with using popular telephone area code numbers such as 800 and 888. Numbers are always hard to remember if it is not a popular number.
Let’s say for example your domain name was “YourDomain4U.com”. Your customers could end up typing the following domain names trying to locate your website:
When customers experience difficulties locating your website, it simply means a lost customer. A lost customer means the loss of a sale or repeat sales.
The domain name should not contain any hyphen (dashes) as well, as website visitors are always confused as to where to put the hyphens.
A premium domain name has more value when it has all of the above characteristics, and is short in length. The shorter the domain name, the more value it has. A premium domain name should not contain more than 3 words combined.
Other Characteristics of a Premium Domain Name
I’m quite sure that a lot of people will present strong arguments that one of the M’s should stand for Metrics.
Metrics are the stats relating to a domain name. These include search volume/frequency, Google Adword bids for keywords, the amount of traffic that the domain receives, etc.
Personally, whereas metrics can be useful, they should not be relied on heavily when valuing domain names. Stats can be easily falsified and are not entirely reliable.
A lot of unscrupulous people use stats to force value onto crappy domain names. If you use stats to value domain names, you should have the data triple verified.
The target market is quite important as well. For example Funds.com would be more valuable than Dog.com. This is because there are more products and much bigger markets that a domain name such as Funds.com could target.
I will update and fine-tune this page as often as is necessary. However, I do hope it will give you some guidance and help when evaluating domain names and ascertaining their values.
Article written by Kevin Jackson, founder of eBusinessDomains.com.
You can read more articles on the domain blog.