What do Arnold Schwarzenegger and McDonald’s have in common? This might sound like the start of a bad joke, but the answer is more of a surprise. Both of them made millions in the same field – real estate – long before they found fame and fortune for better-known reasons. In both cases, they had the vision and foresight to see the value of real estate as a long term investment, buying the right areas and reaping both long and short term success.
Whilst the traditional real estate market offers as much potential for success now as it did in the 20th Century, here in the 21st Century we have a second type of real estate market – the internet. In many senses, this virtual real estate market is far easier to succeed in. Unlike physical properties, which can be affected by countless external factors, the value and success of your web real estate is entirely in your own hands.
With real estate, there are always pros and cons for buying or renting a property. When it comes to the web, however, buying and owning your own domain name is clearly the best way forward. Owning your own domain name and renewing the registration is usually not only cheaper than leasing a name from a company, but also helps to ensure your presence on the web. If someone offered you a billboard, a retail store or an office block in London, New York, Paris or Tokyo for a few hundred or thousand pounds, you would certainly snap up the opportunity. This is exactly the kind of presence and exposure you can build with your own web domain name in place.
Buying a domain that reflects any combination of your business name, your location or your service is just as important as selecting the right location and premises for your business, if not more so. What’s really important is having a name that people are going to instinctively type into their web browser or on a search engine. It’s great to own your own brand or company name as a web domain, but don’t forget potential clients are often searching for generic terms like “florist in Liverpool” or “skip hire Leeds” rather than a specific company name.
As for how much you should spend on a domain name, just as with property there is no fixed answer – market forces dictate the value. Some names carry a higher value due to the demand. For example, domains featuring city names, such as London, Birmingham or Leeds, cost more because there are more people trying to obtain them. If you can obtain a domain name featuring the name London and the extension .co.uk for somewhere not too far over £1,000, you have made an astute purchase. One word, “radio friendly” domain names can cost what seems like an incredible amount, but can and usually do prove to be a rewarding long term investment.
As an example, we mentioned in a previous blog that the domain “holiday.com” is going to go up for auction, and most experts predict it will fetch at least £20million. This may seem a very high cost. The reality, however, is that whoever buys it will have the most authoritative name possible for their holiday or travel business. With the right strategy and content, they will have limitless potential for success from their investment.
With the web being the main area for growth for businesses, and presenting many with a global market, purchasing the right domain name should be a priority. Owning as many domain names as possible relating to your business increases your web presence, and with the right content in place you become far more visible and easy to find via search engines like Google. Domain names are amongst the most valuable digital assets you can own and are vital to drive your sustainable growth and success.