When it comes to the value of domain names, it’s not just short and sweet- short is sweet! Whether keeping it short with how many words, or keeping those words themselves short, a domain name is generally more valuable the shorter its length. For the purposes of this discussion we consider a short domain to be 4 characters or less.
Visitors generally arrive at domain names two ways- via search engines like Google, or by typing the domain name into the browser. The two primary costs of maintaining a website after creation revolve around SEO competition and marketing. So, let’s look at where domain length affects each of these… because this is where the value lies!
Type-in Traffic: Like being on a first name basis! When a visitor goes into the address bar and just types in your URL, that is called type-in traffic. They are not finding you via an ad or a search engine, even if that’s how they found you the first time. Just like it’s easier to remember, “Bob” than “Nebuchadnezzar,” it’s a lot easier to remember- and so revisit- a site like Spearguns.com instead of TheBestSpeargunsEver.com or SpearfisherToolHeaven.com, right? Short domain names tend to receive significantly higher levels of type-in and repeat traffic than longer domain names.
Building the value of a domain name in a search engine requires hard, real work on content. If you haven’t seen SearchEngine Land’s Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors, now is the time! http://searchengineland.com/seotable
We all need every edge we can get to squeeze maximum value for our domains in the search engines- and the keywords in the domain name are something you can’t add anywhere else. We’ll have another post about domain keywords shortly. Get it, shortly!
Hold your horses, though, because we can still learn a lot now about search engine marketing and other marketing with a short, valuable domain right now. At the end of the day, if people can remember not just your brand, but specifically your address (domain name), then they can come & do business with you! A marketing budget can be cut significantly if a short, memorable domain is purchased at the get-go.
Let’s look at the super short two character .COM domains, some of the most exclusive and valuable domains ever. These names are unquestionably the most liquid assets in the domain name investment space. As VB.com states, “there are only 676 two letter” .COM domains at all. At least 108 of them are owned and used by the most famous brands in the world- FB.com by Facebook, GM.com by General Motors, PG.com by Proctor & Gamble, and even RH.com which we sold to Restoration Hardware last year. We are currently brokering several of these premium assets like: Cut.com, 25.com, IA.com, PX.com, CH.com and more.
As mobile traffic becomes more prominent and overtakes the volume of internet access from desktop computers & laptops, shorter domain names will become increasingly more important and more desirable. The likelihood of a typo on a mobile device is increased and that “liability” can be hedged by having a shorter domain name which requires less typing and fewer characters to enter.