One of the major challenges for upcoming entrepreneurs is finding a domain name that will be easily found and remembered by their target audience. Whole domain trading industry is dedicated to .com real estate, with domain investors owning thousands of .com names, and selling them to interested people for a healthy return on investment. They buy generic domain names for $9 each and often resell them to companies for thousands, or even millions of dollars. Small companies with a bootstrapping mentality don’t have the resources to purchase an expensive domain name. This often forces small business owners to buy a domain that’s wordy, weird, or uses a .co, .net, .biz, or other irrelevant or sub-optimal top-level domain (TLD).
Why Your Domain Matters
Over 1.17 Billion people use google search, so optimizing your domain for Google’s search engine is crucial if you want to be found. Google rewards companies that build brands, and brands are usually built on .coms. With only 11% of the web visible, small businesses with a proper brand strategy are the ones that pull ahead of the pack. Using a .com is the most authoritative way of guaranteeing your site will be found, along with providing other useful content around your brand.
One of the primary reasons behind the advantageous visibility of the .com TLD in relation to others is the fact that it’s been the default domain since 1985. Given its rich history, it’s the most memorable, and the most recognized by the general public. Because it’s established, the extension also has a distinct reputation, so search engines tend to trust them more.
Companies are realizing that .com TLDs have value beyond search rankings; since they are coveted more than any other TLD, they have intrinsic value as an appreciating asset. If your company is ever acquired, your .com has value on the books. Premium domain .coms are one or two word domain names that can demand a $10,000 price tag or more.
When You Can Deviate
If you’re in higher education, a government agency, or non-profit, using a .edu, .gov, or .org is perfectly fine. Searches will likely already be optimized around keywords that matter most to your strategy. Still, try to use a short, memorable, one to two word name to keep the name easy and memorable