This article first appeared in Edition 8 of AusRegistry’s industry magazine, Behind the Dot: State of the .au Domain. Read the full article as well as much more on .au and domain names in the magazine.
Choosing the perfect name for your company is a challenge every startup experiences. You must check existing company name registrations, trademarks, brands and product names – both within Australia and internationally if you have global ambitions. If you make it through this quagmire you then need to get the domain name too. How critical to success is the perfect domain name?
I met with Shaun McGowan, serial entrepreneur to talk about the importance of his investment for a perfect domain name for his new venture. Mr McGowan is an Internet Hotel Builder, Co-Founder of CarLoans.com.au (acquired in 2014 and part of publicly listed company Eclipx (ASX:ECX)), and now Co-Founder of Lend.com.au.
GP: Shaun, why Lend.com.au?
SMG: We offer small business loans to Australian businesses. Our experience with the CarLoans.com.au domain name meant we knew we had to get the most relevant domain name we could. Unfortunately the main keyword domain name was being used by a competitor, so I had to find an alternative. We believe “lend” is a perfect match. The word “lend” represents loaning money. It took us about six weeks to acquire the domain name from start to finish.
GP: Recently the Nine Network revealed its new website at www.nine.com.au to replace the existing www. ninemsn.com.au. It’s another example of a short, simple domain name being held in great value by an organisation. Why is the right generic domain name so important to your business?
SMG: Simple, it’s about consumer perception. When you own a generic domain name it does two really amazing things for you instantly;
- Increases recall so people actually remember the address
- Increases Click Authority, leading people to trust you
If I sell ice cream, I want the best shop, in a sunny tourist location, close to the beach which will give me a huge amount of foot traffic. Even if my ice cream isn’t the best, I’ll still be busy. I can likely charge a premium because I know I’m the closest ice cream shop for three blocks (although it’s obviously better if you do have the best product too). You also know any competing ice creamery business owners would love to own this shop location too. This gives you the safety that if your business doesn’t succeed you will have an asset that you could sell on. I call this “burn value”.
This is how you must think of domain names. The best shop, in the best location, with the most foot traffic. Everyone who understands the Internet wants this ‘real estate’. This is why every day, many domain names are sold – some for millions of dollars.
To read the full article, including details of Lend.com.au’s decision to invest in a $35,000 .au domain name, download Edition 8 of Behind the Dot magazine now. Edition 8 celebrates 30 years of Australia’s .au domain.