Should your business spend thousands of dollars on a solid domain name?

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Let’s face it. Domain names are getting expensive. If you’re lucky and try to get a long, weird, or unchallenged domain name, you can probably get the name for just a few dollars. But if you want something short, attractive, and marketable, you could end up shelling out several thousand dollars, or even millions for the most lucrative opportunities.

Is it really worth the money? Or is it better to choose a cheap domain name and invest the money in something else, like marketing or infrastructure?

What does a good domain name do?

It’s hard to overstate the influence a good domain name can have on the course of your business.

Consider:

  • Type traffic. Most of your web traffic will likely come from organic search, referral links, social media posts, and other external sources. But let’s not forget the direct traffic that comes from entering your web address. New visitors, curious browsers and the like will all have a much easier time finding and exploring your site if you have a short, easily remembered domain name.
  • Marketing. Some domain names also lend themselves to better marketing and advertising campaigns. Short domain names are cheaper to market and are much more memorable to your audience. Additionally, some effective domains have “hook-ups” that make it easier to write jingles or persuasive texts. A marketable domain name could easily multiply your results.
  • Perceived authority/reputation. Which site would you trust more, assuming you didn’t know: Books.com or OnlyTheBestBooksFoundHere.com? Generally speaking, people assume that a shorter, more definitive domain name would be associated with a more reliable and trustworthy company. This isn’t always the case, and your reputation won’t depend on that fact, but it’s a nice perk to note.
  • SEO and the benefits of search engines. Your domain also has a significant impact on your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Short domains that feature competitive keywords have a clear advantage over their counterparts; they have a higher likelihood of ranking well for those terms, ultimately driving more brand visibility and organic search traffic over time.

Related: Why Buying a Domain From Web Developers Isn’t a Good Idea

The most expensive domain names

These benefits all sound great. But how much are they worth paying?

You have to draw the line somewhere. The most expensive domains ever sold include things like Business.com (for $345 million), LasVegas.com (for $90 million), and CarInsurance.com (for $49.7 million). Clearly, someone thought that the benefits of these domains would eventually outweigh the upfront costs.

For the average business owner, the benefits are not significant or immediate enough to justify such a transaction, especially given the risk.

The central issue here is competition. Business owners, investors and digital marketing experts all have a solid understanding of what makes a domain valuable – and they all bid aggressively on the most marketable and memorable domains, artificially driving up prices. and making the trade-off more difficult to calculate.

Alternatives to overpaying

If you are looking for an ideal domain name and it is available at a reasonable price, congratulations! You have nothing more to consider. Make the purchase and enjoy your valuable new domain.

But if that domain isn’t available, too expensive, or there’s too much competition, you’ll need to find another option.

  • New names and alternate angles. You can tinker with different variations of the domain you are looking for, different spellings or alternative expressions. Of course, to do this you may have to compromise your SEO keyword targeting. You might also weaken the strength of your chosen domain in the process. But if it saves you thousands of dollars, it might be worth it.
  • A different TLD. There are many different TLDs available these days, and many of them are undisputed or sparsely populated. If you can’t get a .com extension for your domain, something a little more obscure might be available. There is a compromise here; it’s not a strictly beneficial decision, but you might be able to preserve your core target keyword without too many compromises.
  • Future upgrade plans. You can also buy a cheap, uncompetitive domain at the moment, with plans to upgrade in the future. Moving your content to a new domain is a bit of a pain, and it takes time and money, but it’s certainly manageable. If you’re starting a business on a shoestring budget, or aren’t sure what your field’s future needs might be, this could be a viable decision.

Related: Here’s How You Can Build a Highly Profitable Website

Is it worth it?

So what’s the bottom line?

Domains are incredibly valuable. Getting the right domain for your business could instantly increase its chances of long-term success. But that shouldn’t automatically justify a high price, especially if you’re bidding on a domain for a very competitive keyword. Consider the costs and benefits carefully before making a final decision.