Domain names are vital to businesses, brands, marketing and so much more! One thing that so many companies fail to understand is the extreme power generic domain names hold.
Let me try to lay this out as clear as the blue sky, yet go into detail why!
Brand Name VS Generic
A companies brand name is a term that is taught (via marketing) and not always commonly known to individuals. A generic term is something that is already commonly known to somebody. For a real life example, Fandango is a brand that offers movie tickets.
- Brand Name: Fandango
- Generic Term: Movie Tickets
So why is a generic domain name like MovieTickets.com so important? So valuable?
People naturally go to a search engine and type “movie tickets” when they are interested in them. It’s a familiar term to them, easily remembered and relates to what they are looking for. The term “fandango” is not something naturally known/typed, unless the brand is known due to advertisement in some fashion.
Consider a common term, like Movie Tickets, as a domain name, MovieTickets.com as FREE ADVERTISING. Similar to word of mouth. It is also Fandangos job to get its website to rank well for terms relating to what the business offers. People naturally search for Movie Tickets, not always a brand name like Fandango. Search engines love generic, aged, .com domain names offering relevant content to them.
So what ranks #1 on Google for the search term movie tickets? MovieTickets.com Followed #2 by its matching Twitter account @movietickets. Keywords folks, that is how the internet is run. You search for the keywords Movie Tickets, a search engines job is to return relevant results to it. MovieTickets.com also back the #1 top tier ranking by doing an Adwords campaign. So MovieTickets.com hold the top 3 spots for a term that is searched millions of time per month! Where do the clicks go? SearchEngineWatch.com did the research:
- Position #1 gets 33% of the click
- Position # 2 gets 17.6%
- Position # 3 gets 11.4%
Fandango does a good job at ranking well for the generic term Movie Tickets, but is below the fold at the #3 spot and likely only getting a mere 11.4% of the millions of search clicks, where MovieTickets.com is grabbing nearly 50% of them!
MovieTickets.com is the clear winner here and it’s because of the premium generic .com domain name MovieTickets.com! This generic domain name is simply priceless to them.
Now Fandango and MovieTickets.com are not the only two companies offering movie tickets. Consider a new 2016 startup called Atom. They are heavily funded at $50 million and backed by huge companies like Warner Bros, Walt Disney, Lionsgate and more.
The problem for Atom? They do not rank on the web at all for the term movie tickets. To be fair to Atom, who uses AtomTickets.com as its main domain name, they offer a “movie going experience” and not just tickets but that is a main attractant.
How does Atom Tickets relate to a generic term already known by the masses? It doesn’t. Would it be better for them to own Atom.com? Yes, but they do not and it’s not likely that Viacom (a partner in MovieTickets.com) is going to sell them the domain. How about Movies.com? Another important term to Atom. Nope, Comcast is not going to sell them that domain name either. They rank #1 on google with Movies.com for the very popular, natural term movies!
Branding is vital, so Atom being something than they really are on the web, AtomTickets.com is a big problem. The other big problem, they are going to spend big on ads, day in and day out to have a presence for important search terms like Movie Tickets, Movies and more relating, naturally searched for terms.
The More The Merrier
It is important for a brand to be a brand. Atom as they call themselves should REALLY own and use the matching .com domain name. It is also important for brands to own and use generic terms that relate to product and services they offer. There is no “rule” that a company can not use more than 1 domain name or 1 website. The more used, the better IMO!
Just like soda brand A&W uses RootBeer.com. Just like DS Services Of America owns and uses Water.com! Just like how Royal Bobbles owns and uses Bobbleheads.com. Just like how Salesforce owns a slew of premium domain names like Data.com, Desk.com, IQ.com, Einstein.com and many more! Melville Candy Company spent $3 Million to purchase Candy.com and went from a relatively unknown candy company to a world wide recognized brand.
Although I have expressed a lot above, the key factor here is this: People naturally search and know common, generic terms. If they are interested in fabric, it is likely they will visit Fabric.com or go to Google and search, fabric. Fabric.com ranks #1 for the Fabric search term and is owned by Amazon. The term is very easy to remember, because it’s a commonly existent term in a persons memory. It simply makes sense!
Generic .com domain names make great brand names and are simply powerful tools to use to help promote your products, services and more.