What’s in a name? When it comes to domain names, the answer is a lot. A great domain name can have a major impact on a company’s bottom line, and most successful, prominent businesses today have a quality domain.
Getting a premium domain name, however, may prove a challenge if a business’s wish list includes domain names registered to someone else. That means that instead of buying a domain name on the primary market, companies must navigate the domain aftermarket — a sometimes complicated and expensive endeavor. The good news is that taking the right steps can help you avoid the typical hassles of aftermarket purchases and secure a domain name that meets your needs and your budget.
How to know when you need a new domain name
The first step is deciding whether or not it’s time for a new domain name.
For some businesses, the decision to invest in a new domain name is easy: If they’re releasing a new product, they might want a domain name that reflects that product, or if they’re rebranding, they may want a domain name that reflects their new brand. The edtech startup Fedora, for example, changed its name to Teachable and upgraded its website from UseFedora.com to Teachable.com in 2015. The company, founder Ankur Nagpal wrote at the time, wanted a “name that reflected our customers and our convictions.”
For others, especially those who’ve used the same domain name for a long time, the path forward is less obvious. Answering the questions below can offer clarity:
- Is your current domain name very long or hard to spell?
- Is your domain name difficult to remember?
- Are you using a domain extension that’s not standard for your industry?
- Have e-commerce sales become increasingly important to your bottom line?
- Are you trying to expand beyond your local market?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be ready for a new domain name.
Understanding the value of investing in a premium domain name
Your next step is pinpointing the benefits you expect to reap from a new domain name — this can help you decide how much you’re willing to invest. (Though acquiring a great domain name in the domain aftermarket may cost less than you’d expect. More on that later.)
Acquiring the right domain name can yield an array of benefits for years to come. As we hinted in our list of questions above, a great domain name is memorable and easy for customers to type into their browser windows. It usually passes what’s known as the “radio test” — when people hear it mentioned in a commercial, they can find it easily online. A memorable domain name is helpful for marketing efforts, making a domain name upgrade an essential step for smaller companies that are ready to grow beyond word-of-mouth referrals and expand their e-commerce footprints.
The right domain name can also help a business establish credibility. Domains say a lot about your company and customers will associate the quality of your domain with your brand — premium domains signal to them that they’re working with a reputable, secure company. The credibility factor applies to both the beginning of a domain name and the letters that follow the period — the domain name extensions. It’s not uncommon for businesses, for instance, to upgrade from domain names with less common extensions (think “.io” or “.info”) to those with the most popular extensions, like “.com.” For specific industries or geographic regions, other extensions help establish credibility; many British businesses upgrade to “.uk” while for crypto companies, “.xyz” is the extension of choice.
Partnering with a domain brokerage service
Entering the domain aftermarket isn’t for the faint of heart. Determining exactly who owns a domain name can take an extensive amount of detective work. And assuming you’re able to identify an owner, convincing them to sell you a domain may be another hurdle. Sometimes domain owners are reluctant to sell to unfamiliar buyers, or the two parties can’t agree on a price.
Fortunately, taking the following step can help make domain name upgrades much smoother: Partnering with a domain broker, like those at GoDaddy’s Domain Broker Service.
With over 100 domain brokers, more than 84 million domains under management, and partnerships with the leading domain registrars, GoDaddy brokers have the resources and relationships across the industry to identify domain name owners and negotiate successful aftermarket sales. As the only global consumer brand in the domain industry, GoDaddy brokers can leverage the brand to their customers’ benefit: Other brokers and site owners know they can trust GoDaddy brokers to execute a successful transaction, so they’re often happy to do business with them.
GoDaddy brokers are also committed to understanding their customers’ businesses and budgets. They work with companies to determine which domain names can offer them the greatest return on their investment. Plus, because GoDaddy promises their brokerage customers anonymity, companies never have to worry about domain sellers ratcheting up the price just because they suspect a particular customer, like a known brand, can afford more than what they have budgeted. In fact, most GoDaddy aftermarket transactions range between $1,000 and $5,000 in sale prices.
And what if the domain owner refuses to sell? GoDaddy brokers can advise customers on alternatives that meet their needs and are available for purchase.
The value of a great domain name grows greater every year. If you’ve determined your business is ready for a new domain name, there’s no time like the present to get it. And if that name happens to be on the aftermarket, make sure you’re choosing a helpful partner like GoDaddy’s Domain Broker Service to make your purchase as frictionless as possible.