A Guide to Premium Domain Names

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What is a premium domain name?  

It's a question you might ask if you're planning a website or rebranding your business. (And perhaps the question you asked Google just now.) In this blog post, we're exploring everything you need to know about premium domain names. 

Stick around as we discuss what premium names are and how to secure one (or many). Then, we're dissecting what makes premium names so desirable that you'd want to invest in them in the first place. We'll talk about different use cases to understand what you can do with your premium name, and finally, we'll touch on the domain name aftermarket to learn what role premium names play there.  

This post is a must-read if you are: 

  • Launching an online business. 
  • Responsible for brand protection.  
  • Interested in growing your online reputation.  
  • Looking to make long-term investments in your business.  
  • Rebranding your business.  
  • Seeking to improve your site's SEO.  
  • Interested in learning more about the domain industry.  

Guide to Premium Domain Names 

What's a premium domain?  

The short answer is this: Premium domain names are high-quality domains worthy of investment. These domains meet certain characteristics or have specific qualities, making them more valuable than the average domain name.  

Due to these highly desirable qualities, premium names are sought after by many audiences — from your everyman business owner to investors looking for the next profitable opportunity.  

We'll explore those qualities shortly, but first, let's look at some frequently asked questions about premium domain names.  

Premium Domain Name FAQs 

Do premium domain names function the same as "regular" or primary registration domain names? 

Yes, they do. Functionally, premium domain names and primary registration domain names are the same.  

Domain names save us from typing long strings of numbers — or IP addresses — into our browser bars every time we navigate the Internet. They function as virtual addresses, telling computers how to find their desired destinations on the world wide web.  

Have all premium domain names been used for past websites? 

Not necessarily.  

Domain investors are known to purchase or register premium domain names because of their profitability. In these cases, the investors generally sit on the domain names because they know that somewhere out there is a perfect buyer who's willing to pay top dollar for the name.  

On the other hand, some premium domain names have a rich history. They may have been used on websites in the past and attracted tons of internet traffic. In this scenario, that domain's history is most often a boon to the eventual domain name owner. There may still be people typing that domain name and trying to reach the previous site — so think about it: That's guaranteed traffic reaching the new domain owner's site (something the Googlebots love to see.) 

There's always the chance that the premium domain name was associated with a spammy website in the past, putting it at risk of being on Google's "bad side." While this is not the most common scenario, it's worth reviewing the history of a domain name before purchasing it.  

What is the difference between investing in premium domain names and domain name squatting? 

That's a fair question and a good one, too.  

Domain investors purchase domain names to make a profit off of them. They look for domain names with potential, brandable names that someone would want in the future. Or they purchase names that are likely to get traffic and monetize them by creating landing pages with ads or affiliate marketing. However, they don't engage in nefarious practices — like registering trademarked names or typos of trademarked names. Those latter practices reek of cybersquatting.  

Cybersquatting refers to the registration, use, or sale of domain names in bad faith. Cybersquatters try to profit from someone else's name. They capitalize on established businesses' names and reputations and can ultimately harm those brands' hard-earned trust. 

Do premium domain names cost more than the average domain? 

Yes, they do, but only the first time you purchase and register them.  

As previously mentioned (and we'll explore more in-depth in the next section), premium domain names are more valuable than the average domain name. That being the case, they cost more when you first acquire and register them. When your premium domain(s) renew, it'll be according to the then-current, standard domain name renewal fee, not the initial premium price.  

What's the difference between an aftermarket domain name and a premium domain name?  

An aftermarket domain name, or secondary market domain, is a domain that's already been registered by another person or organization. By that definition, premium domain names are all aftermarket domain names. However, not all aftermarket domain names are premium since they aren't all valuable. 

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Premium Domain Name Characteristics  

Not all domain names are created equal. Some are inherently worth more than others, especially to the right buyer.  

A premium domain name purchase is an investment in your business and your brand. Despite the heftier price tag, premium names pay off in the long run. Below, we'll look at various qualities characteristic of these domain names to help us understand why they're so desirable and commandeer a premium price.  

Qualities of a Premium Domain Name 

  • Short and to the point 
    • Brevity isn't just the soul of wit; it's at the heart of a great premium domain name. Short domain names are more memorable than longer names, and it pays to be the brand that people easily recall when in need of your goods or services. So, when selecting a premium domain name, don't get lost in too much text or "clever" usage of numbers and symbols.  
  • Contains relevant keywords 
    • A keyword-rich domain name lends itself well to your SEO efforts. Many websites that appear on the first page of search results have keywords in the domain name or are single-word domains.  
  • Widely-recognized TLD 
    • There's a reason why people say .com is king — it's widely recognizable and trusted. However, most .com domain names are already registered (at least the good ones, anyway.) If you want to purchase a one-word, keyword-specific domain name or a domain name that's an exact match for your business or brand name, you're going to pay a premium. You can also find premium names that utilize other trusted TLDs, like .org.  
  • Older domain and high authority  
    • Two SEO ranking factors that involve your domain are age and authority. Premium domain names are often older domain names seeing as they've been registered previously. And authority, a ranking factor developed by Moz, refers to how likely a domain is to appear in SERPs. 
  • Traffic history 
    • A premium domain name used in the past can have decent traffic history. And some traffic may still attempt to visit the domain and related site. Think of that traffic as potentially qualified prospects you didn't have to pay to attract to your site.  
  • Brandable 
    • Building a brand is easier when your domain name is memorable and recognizable. A brandable domain name demands a higher price because it's a great advantage to have in a competitive and crowded market. 

Where Can I Purchase a Premium Domain Name? 

Premium names can be sold by individuals, organizations, via auctions, or even by brokers.  

If there's a premium domain name you want to secure, your first step should be conducting a WHOIS search to determine who owns the domain name. So long as the registrant doesn't have domain privacy enabled, their information will be publicly available via the WHOIS lookup. If it is protected, you'll still find a contact email address and phone number where you can make your domain inquiry.   

Not sure what to say when cold contacting the current owner of your desired premium name? Morgan Linton, a man well-respected in the domain industry, put together a sample email that you can reference. He also includes some tips on what to say (and what not to say) in this post.  

Network Solutions Domain Search

When you search for a domain name on Network Solutions, you'll discover if your desired domain name is available, taken, or available for registration as a premium domain.  

If it's the latter, your search results will note that it is a premium domain name, as you see in the screenshot below. 

And if you have your heart set on a specific premium domain name but don't want to contact the current owner directly, we can start those conversations for you.  

If you're browsing premium domains to try and find one that's perfect for your site, or if you're trying to purchase multiple domains centered around a specific keyword or theme, we can help with that, too. With our premium domain name search, all you have to do is enter a domain name or keyword to browse our relevant names inventory.  

NameJet  

NameJet is a Network Solutions sister company. Their focus is on the domain name aftermarket. As we mentioned earlier, all premium domain names are aftermarket domains, but not all aftermarket domains are premium.  

You can search NameJet's exclusive inventory for the perfect premium name here. 

What Can I Do with My Premium Domain Post-purchase?  

Once you purchase your premium domain name(s), there's so much you can do. Check out the following ideas: 

  • Point your new premium name to your website. 
  • Use it to launch a new product line.  
  • Hold on to it to resell at a later date for a profit.  
  • Maintain a portfolio of keyword or trademark-specific premium domains to protect your brand. (No one else can register them and profit off your trademark if you own them.)  

Are you ready to find the perfect premium domain name? Start today with Network Solutions. 

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