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James Cummings
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What Can Small Businesses Learn From Domain Name Trends in 2017

James Cummings

December 14, 2017


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Unlike a website logo or design, changing a business domain name isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Which makes it essential for entrepreneurs to pick a domain name and extension that serves the brand and works hard to promote its image, now and in the future.

These are the trends we’ve seen so far in 2017, it might help startups who aren’t tech savvy choose a domain name that reflects their brand and boost digital marketing campaign.

The .com extension is still a favourite

There are hundreds of domain extensions in the market today and millions of startups and domain investors are snapping up the most creative URLs. For a moment, experts thought these shiny new domains might overshadow the .com domain names but they’ve held steady and will likely remain on top in the foreseeable future. In addition, experts predict that as more domain extensions are released, the .com domain will become valued real estate for brands and search engines.

Short domain is still the way to go

Experts once suggested stuffing a domain name with keywords that would help ranking. This is not a strategy we think startups should use both now and in the future. Short and easy is still the way to go and successful brands who kept to this ideal in 2017 are trending. People use the internet all day so they don’t have time, nor the patience required to remember long domain names, if they can’t remember your site, they won’t visit. The prescribed length for a top domain name is eight characters or less. It will take a while and some creativity to come up with something that works, but your effort will be worth it in traffic.

Successful websites have quality domain name

Every successful website has a brilliant domain name that inspires surfers to visit. Here are some tips that should help

  • Find your target audience

  • Research their interest

  • Choose a domain extension they’ll love

  • Research the best options if your preferred domain name is unavailable

Remember that choosing the right domain name makes all the difference between success and failure for online brands.

GLTDs are gaining popularity

Its’ been almost four years since ICAAN launched the first Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) on 23 October 2013. The initial application fee alone fetched over $300 million for ICAAN and it’s clear to see the program has been a success. Some of extensions that’s seen financial success include .guru, .life, .top and the popular .xyz based on sheer volume of registration. Resellers that operate older gTLDs also manage many of the new gTLDs. They offer cheap domain options such as .accountant gTLD geared towards accountants and other players in the financial world.

Insurance and banking companies spend huge sums on marketing campaigns and end up with a bit.ly alone as a call to action. In 2017, digital marketers switched to catchy, memorable domain names with related extensions such as .insurance or .bank

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Branded endings

Large companies are turning to their brand names for domain extension, ditching the .com domain for a bold, unique extension. For example, Canon moved its site to global.canon and other brands are starting to utilize this technique. One benefit of using your brand as a domain name is the high level of professionalism people associate with your brand, not some random brand that went for .com domain

Even with top companies using their brand names as an extension, 2017 wasn’t the year they went mainstream. A Pay per Click survey found that a diamond jeweller using the .com extension to promote its products was more expensive on CPM and not very effective in leading to conversions while the domain extension .Diamonds cost less on a CPM basis and produced three times more conversions.

Trending entertainment endings

Some domain endings are currently trending in the entertainment industry and it looks like one trend that will continue in 2018. Some of the popular ending include .fashion, .buzz, .lgbt, .vegas, .paris, .fm, .music and .movie

Big budget movies use the .movie extension for online marketing and popular films that employed this technique in 2017, generated over $4 billion more than other movies in box office receipts alone. It’s a smart way to take viewers and web browsers directly to the movie’s campaign. A memorable domain name that leads movie lovers to a related landing page is a marketing tactic that cuts through the path to conversion.

Made up words

We’ve seen huge brands who didn’t borrow fancy foreign names but invented their unique domain such as Zynga, Skype and Acura. Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends, suggests, if you don’t have the budget to run a global marketing campaign that makes your brand a household name, obscurity and confusion might make your business a failure before it’s up and running. On the plus side, people are always drawn to what they don’t understand and securing a domain name or social media handle will be easy.

More people are investing in domain names

Investing in a new TLD is tricky but if you do it right, it has financial rewards. Hundreds of domain extensions are available from registry companies who mostly determine prices based on demand. The first consideration of any investor is to choose a discount domain name company that sells at good prices. Many of the new TLDs are affordable and a respectable domain registrar won’t have a gigantic premium list.

The next step is to smartly pick a domain name that makes sense for a brand name, product, service or advert message. Maddy Osman, from The Blogsmith, advises investors to only invest in premium .com domains, as they will always have more value and prestige. The following is a short guide to investing in a domain name

  • Pick domains that are selling or have commercial appeal

  • Choose domain extensions within your niche that you know how to value

  • Buy domain names only within your budget, as every investment is a risk.

A good investor know how find diamonds in an empty field. Such domains always exists as we hear about them on Domain Sherpa. Speculative investors might choose longer character alphanumeric market where volatility is high in undervalued assets but liquidity increases.


                   



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