Every website needs a domain name, but no two can have the same one. This creates a fierce layer of competition on the web for who can and can’t have their preferred domains. While there are various sites out there that help with appraising domain names, this is only part of the overall process. Here are some tips on how to appraise a domain name.
Think about the Top-Level Domain Extension
When attempting to assign a value to a domain name, the first place to look is typically at the top-level domain extension. The most common TLD is .com, which makes it by far the most desirable. While there are a few other relevant TLDs, such as .net, .org, and various geographical TLDS like .us or .de, most of them carry significantly less weight than .com when it comes to assessing a fair value.
Because the .com TLD is so desirable compared to others, you need to be careful when appraising a domain not to over- or undervalue it. While many of the lesser known TLDs for your desired domain name will probably trade around the same price, .com is going to be in an entirely different league.
How Long Is the Domain?
The length of a domain name can play a huge role in its value. There are a few reasons why shorter domain names are typically going to come with a higher price tag.
For starters, the fewer characters, the fewer combinations there are to make possible domain names. If a domain is only three or four letters long, there aren’t even that many possible ways to arrange letters to make a domain—especially when you’re only counting words and phrases that actually mean something.
Beyond that, shorter domains are going to be easier to remember, and leave a stronger impression on people when they visit your site. Having a shorter domain name can also lend a sense of legitimacy to your brand or project, as having a succinct domain is immediately noticeable.
When Should You Buy and Sell?
The thing about appraising a domain name is that it’s important regardless of whether you’re on the buying or selling end of the transaction. There’s most definitely a market for domain names, which keeps changing with the demand of the times. It’s important to note that the supply for .com domains isn’t really growing, which is why so many new, less frequented TLDs have sprung up over the years.
Investigating and tracking the inventories of various domain sellers can help you get a better idea of when you should pull the trigger on buying or selling a domain. These are businesses that operate entirely on transacting domain names. Paying attention to how their prices fluctuate can help you get a better deal on your desired domains.
Does It Have Staying Power?
When thinking about how much you should pay for a domain name, it’s imperative you take time to consider the actual staying power of the domain. For instance, fidgetspinner.com was probably a hot domain during the fad craze that seized the world a few years ago. Now, however, there’s a lot less value to those words.
Think about how well a domain name will stand up to the test of time. Something like gold.com, for example, will probably be relevant for as long as the internet is around. By opting for timeless domains, you can preserve the value of your investment over the long term.
Look at Similar Domains and Related Search Terms
Finally, it’s a good idea to look at similar domain names when trying to get an idea for how much you should pay for one. If a very similar domain to the one you have your eye on sold for $1,000 recently, a $750 price tag might not actually be so bad. The opposite also applies if the domain you want is on sale for far more than what others have sold for in the recent past.
You’ll also want to think about related searches, and how traffic of similar, but unconnected, terms can affect the price of a domain name. Jeffrey Gabriel, co-founder of Saw.com, uses shout.com as an example. The fact Shout, a cleaning brand, has a vastly different connotation from what many people would be looking for when typing “shout” into a search engine could drastically skew the price.
Your domain name is an important part of your web presence and your business as a whole. It’s important, however, to not overpay for a domain. Knowing some of the guiding principles can help you get a great domain without wrecking your budget.