What are premium domains, and why should you buy them?
When you see the word ‘premium,’ your expectations heighten. You know that a premium tag usually comes with something special, something unique — something valuable.
While the worth of a classy car or 5-star restaurant seems obvious, for certain things, value isn’t always clear. Sometimes, to reveal how something can change your life, you need to dig a little deeper.
This article reveals just how game-changing premium domain names can be.
So, let’s run through this breakdown of premium domains with premium insight, and show you how these domains are being used online right now.
Why should you care about domains?
Okay, so you’re here to learn about premium domains and what makes them so great, but have you really thought about domain names in general?
When you look at your search bar, you might not think there’s much going on — you type in a web address and access a webpage. Simple. But in many cases, a lot of thought has gone into every letter you type.
From SEO to originality, memorability to market popularity, good domain name registration is the result of well-considered marketing. And marketing considered well can be the difference between online success and on-the-line failure.
This might get you thinking — if good domain names can level up brands and make investors (aka domainers) rich, what can a premium domain name do?
What is a premium domain name?
Essentially, the difference between a premium domain and a regular domain may also be the difference between worldwide success and average-brand status. For an investor, they can be a golden ticket to superior portfolios and handsome returns.
Exciting — but what’s the premium domain meaning, really?
A domain name is considered a premium domain name if it contains recognizable, short, and memorable dictionary words and phrases. These traits make them memorable, trustworthy, lasting, and therefore more valuable to a brand than a standard domain.
Premium domains can give you the upper hand over competitors, create a more memorable space for audiences, and, usually, a premium domain name makes for a very popular web address.
Take a look at some of these premium domains registered in 2022 — crane.tech, social.live, and beyond.beauty.
But if you’re still asking ‘‘why are some domains premium even if they don’t look great?’’ Well, they could be classed as premium if they are:
- Very relevant
- Short in length
- Highly brandable
So, at a glance — premium domains have the potential to be powerful.
But how do they really work? And who decides if they’re premium or not?
Who owns premium domains?
If a domain contains notable traits, like the ones above, then it has the potential to be classed as premium.
Registry premium domains are created by registries and sold at premium prices. However, a large portion of premium domains is re-sold by existing owners, again at a premium rate.
Essentially, registries create their own premium domain names using their top-level domains and sell them through registrars like Namecheap. So if you’re wondering how to make a domain name a premium domain, then you’ll be struggling — a domain can become premium, but it’s the registries that decide at the end of the day.
Premium domains often come with premium price tags. But not all are so expensive. In some cases, you can find a premium domain name for just $20, so be sure to assess costs and premium benefits.
It’s also worth noting that registry domain name purchases and renewal fees are usually higher than non-registry fees. So, buying premium domains from an existing owner should be cheaper for both initial cost and renewal fee compared to those from registries.
Premium domains expanded
Prices aside, it’s not good enough to merely find a domain name tagged premium and buy it. The average cost for premium domains might vary, but one thing stays the same — it’s down to you to register the best domain name possible for your brand or investment goals.
You should also know that premium domains don’t have to excel in all areas to be regarded as premium. But they do have to align with your brand — a mismatched domain, even in a small way, could have made a big dent in your journey to online success. And, in most cases, given premium domains cost so much, you should be calculated in your approach.
For instance, beyond.me, a premium domain registered by Beyond Meat, Inc., probably wouldn’t do so well as a world-class engineering solutions website.
So, to make sure you know how to make premium domains work for you, let’s learn more about their parts and break down the benefits of buying a premium domain name.
You only need to ask yourself a single question here — would you register a premium domain name if you thought no one was going to remember it?
Memorability is of obvious importance, but the ways in which you can ensure memorability might not be. Let’s walk through some now.
You know what they say — a shorter domain is a better domain. Among other things, they tend to be more memorable.
This is why premium domains are primarily short and made up of snappy words or memorable letter combinations.
For example, the .ME registry reported that two-character domain names were their best revenue generators in 2022. Similarly, .XYZ reported that 3 letter domains accounted for 48.21% of its domains.
Being able to remember a domain name is one thing, but being able to read it and understand it comes first.
That’s why premium domain names generally leave out numbers and punctuation — 1538tir35.com is unlikely to help a garage drive away with a market-leading position.
However, there are exceptions to the rule — 8888.xyz, for example, sold for $3,000 in 2022. But it’s still simple and short and has a certain unique appeal.
Clearly, it’s about the combination of domain elements that could result in premium status, not one single component.
Generally speaking, clear, snappy, and easy-to-repeat premium-listed domain names are considered very, very valuable.
Most brand builders want success. But many fail to consider whether they can market their assets well enough. From helping product ideas to social media strategies, the right premium domain can be an essential marketing tool.
So, to build a brand online in the best way possible, you should consider the following:
Authenticity and authority
Premium domains tend to be more trustworthy. Unsurprisingly, this means users are more likely to visit a site.
For context, safesystems.net sounds a little more trustworthy than supersafesystems4u.com.
Authenticity also presents authority.
If a brand seems more legitimate than another, which one is likely to appear more valuable and reliable?
Every brand builder wants an authentic and powerful brand, and domainers place value on these too. So, part of what makes premium domains so good is their ability to strike instant trust.
We can all get frustrated when hit with irrelevance — annoying conversations, marketing jargon, or terrible streaming platform recommendations.
To stop this from happening online, you need to consider relevance when choosing your premium domain. If you do, you could save everyone you care about a little bit of hassle, and build a strong relationship between brand, offerings, and site visitors.
Registries value descriptive domains for premium domain name potential, and frankly, so should you. Why? The more descriptive a domain, the higher the chance of people remembering it.
Descriptive domains reduce confusion and therefore increase potential visits. They also help with SEO ranking via click-through rates and keyword richness.
Radix, the registry of domains like .space, .site, and .online, is a good example — think of all the second-level domains that could be paired with these (i.e, the phrase left of the dot — namecheap.com) telling visitors what the site offers more clearly.
The more you can tell your potential customers or prospective fans about the purpose of your domain, the better.
Take basketballscore.live for example. Can you hazard a guess as to what this offers? It’s so relevant but not too generic that it’s memorable, descriptive, and marketable as a result.
Or you could look at Namecheap — again, it’s memorable and driven by what it offers.
Because these factors are so effective for online brand building, premium domains often have brand succinctness as a forward feature. Examples include phoenix.security and marketplace.online.
Originality and brandability
Most will agree that being original in the business world is a good thing. Originality helps with memorability and unique appeal, helping to create long-lasting, successful brands.
Premium domains, naturally, can give you a better chance of doing so.
But what about premium domain names that seem to have nothing to do with the brand at all? They may be original, but what about relevance and brand succinctness?
Let’s take very.com, for example, a very popular premium domain example.
Without knowing what very.com provides, the domain name isn’t telling you much.
While relevance is incredibly important in online branding, strong domain names are often original and creative too. In this case, Very has become relevant over time and developed recognition as the brand grows.
So, with the right marketing efforts in support, you could build a premium brand using a non-descript premium domain name and still feel the benefits of premium usage.
Premium domains generally stay premium. And investors can see great returns on domains that increase in value as time goes on.
Take carinsurance.com, for example.
Premium value is unlikely to fade here — or at least, those were the thoughts of whoever bought it… for a mind-blowing $49 million.
But what about those wanting to build brands or invest in domains ahead of the curve, before they become relevant to market popularity? Ultimately, it’s down to you, the registrant, to identify premium domains that could be effective now and last for years to come.
Take Blockchain.ventures, a domain name that sold for $42,000. It won’t have been worth much 20 years ago. But current market value partly dictates this domain’s premium label. And if you were savvy enough to snap this up ahead of time, well, you could be making great returns or big brand moves today.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is a well-known driver of domain name value. For premium domain names, this driver becomes even more defining.
As you know, most premium domains are classed, in part, by their use of dictionary words. These words are highly searchable, memorable, and incredibly desirable as a result.
Need an example?
Apple.com is searched by 127 million visitors monthly around the world. Of course, this is for many reasons, and it may not have been a premium domain in the first place.
But, the domain is memorable, easy to spell, and it’s a dictionary word.
Apple, however, is already taken. So what should you know to help spot an SEO-aiding premium domain name yourself?
Search terms and key phrases
Examples of search terms and key phrases in premium domain name registration are everywhere.
But we only need one to kick off our breakdown.
Identity Digital, the owners of domains like banking.services, the.video, and black.creditcard, explains — ‘‘Our high SEO impact domain names leverage descriptive words to send a strong signal to search engines and help you rank higher in the search results. More clicks, more leads, more customers.’’
More clicks, more leads, more customers — sound like the result of a premium asset to you?
Click-through rate (CTR)
This SEO metric is as it sounds — it’s the rate at which users click on links on your site, in ads, or in email.
We can probably agree that most people register a domain hoping their site gets visits. But, as you’ve probably gathered, there are a lot of factors as to whether they actually will.
A suspicious-looking domain name, like suspect5000.fishy, is likely to generate a lower click-through rate than something, well, less suspect, especially given that .fishy isn’t among the most popular premium domain extensions.
Essentially, when registering a premium domain name yourself, you’ll need to consider how it looks online, so people are drawn to it, not put off by it. If it looks authentic, clear, and reflective of something valuable, then it should be considered good in your search for the right premium domain name.
In ads, on search engines, and on pages linking to your domain — premium domains are designed to look great, so your traffic reports and ad returns look just as good.
There’s an important distinction between choosing a keyword-rich domain and registering a brandable one
Take the domain name engineoilforoldcars.piston.
As you might know, domain names don’t directly contribute to SEO ranking. Sure, there’s a handful of valuable rich key terms in there, but Google stopped domain name ranking alone a while back.
However, that’s not to say this site couldn’t have high-quality, SEO-driven content within it — in other words, this site becoming SEO-rich over time isn’t impossible.
But the real problem isn’t that it would take time, or that Google indexing would take longer. It’s that few would remember the name at all — resulting in low memorability, bad marketability, and low type-in traffic.
This is what makes most premium domains so good.
You’re unlikely to see a premium domain as dense and lengthy as this one. You’ll find brandable and memorable domains that have the potential to generate a great deal of organic traffic, and level up your online brand for decades to come.
How to buy a premium domain
So, if you’ve answered the questions, ‘is it worth buying a premium domain?’ and ‘should I buy it?’ then here’s how to actually register one — head straight over to our full list of TLDs to see what’s available and register that perfect premium domain today.