Posted on | November 8, 2007 | No Comments
You see, when choosing domain names, there are at least more than twenty very important factors to bear in mind. Some of these factors deal with the economics of the name itself and its future re-sale value. Examples are:
- potential (user/visitor) market size if developed
- purchasing power and number of corporations who may be eventually interested in buying that name from us
- potential number of small businesses or sole traders who may eventually be interested in buying that name from us (e.g. plumbersAustin)
Other aspects to bear in mind when choosing a name are those related to the way the public searches for information. At this point we have to get into the public’s mind, and think about the
- uniqueness and sense of the name (collegefun or collegeparties?, date or dating?)
in order to choose a name with the widest appeal, or a name that appropriately targets the market in which we are interested.
…yet others things to bear in mind are a range of more with intrinsic qualities of the domain name itself that can make it easy to spell and remember, ensuring repeat visits:
- number of letters
- potential and uniqueness of mental associations with that name (whatever name that creates a strong image in your prospect’s mind will be easier to remember. Examples could be woodenCross, and flyingPig)
In any case, the very best domain names not only pass with flying colors the test of the conditions outlined above and many more (singular/plural, neutral term, users’ high purchasing power, wide demographic appeal…) but also have an important meaning in different languages and are generic enough as not to step into anybody’s copyrighted term or brand. Examples could be “amor”, “hotel”, “diamante” and “bar”.
But of all the factors that a domainer should bear in mind when registering names, there is one that is crucial, perhaps as to be the single most important factor on deciding which domain name to buy, and yet often ignored by thousands of domainers time and time again:
The probability of a huge corporation coming soon or buying their way out into exactly the niche that we are trying to target with our name.
You see, if we are to liken domain names to a game, most people would associate it to the roulette. However, I think buying domain names could be more accurately associated with the game of poker. Why poker? because up to a point, more than luck, domaining is a “game” of strategy and probability, a game in which is very important to keep one’s cards hidden, but to know as much as possible about the competition’s cards and next moves. Professional domaining is not a cross-fingers business, or at least, it should not be.
In fact with domain names, much more easily than in roulette, most of the times we can certainly calculate the probabilities of certain events happening, like the coming of a huge player into our market. It only takes being informed about the big picture.
Some of these domains may appear very attractive to the untrained eye: connectwithfriends, meetnewpeople, datingadvice…but yet, what can these names do against Facebook, Match.com and Hotornot.com?
Of course we could make some reasonable money on parking payments from them, as long as there are direct navigation visitors, and only until the day parking doesn’t work anymore (how far are we from that? My asnwer may surprise you)
But in a domain market that is slowly maturing and coming to its senses, we should never dream of realistically selling these names for a huge sum of money, let alone developing them to compete with certain companies that can pour a thousand times more money in marketing and PR than we can.
A good strategist must know when to accept defeat, keeping its best resources for future battles, instead of fighting to the last soldier against an army ten times his army’s size.
Examples of sectors in which this can happen are maps, social networking, and payment systems, to name a few. A domainer that tries to be successful in these niches would face the perfect storm, made up of international, mature, cash rich, multilingual, billions-worth companies from different sectors pursuing an active and urgent strategy to enter or improve their presence in the niche.
If we get into maps, we’ll compete with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Nokia, to name a few.
If we get into social networking, mySpace and Facebook will be our main competitors.
If we get into payment systems, Paypal, Visa and dozens of powerful financial institutions arond the world will try to stop us.
The time when corporations come into the digital age with full force is slowly but surely arriving ladies and gentlemen, so things have gotten a lot more complex than just having a good, descriptive domain name, and those who are not able to keep up with these changes will perish wondering why there are not having any offers for their “superb” domain name.
If that is your case, wonder no more, for here is the rule you forgot:
Don’t waste your time, money and energy. Stay away from “the giant’s niches”.
Online payment market is worth around $15 billion