So you’re trying to decide whether you should keep your domain name or let it expire. Aspects like trademarks, SEO, and backlinks are integral points when deciding whether you want to renew or sell your domain name. Ask yourself the following questions and see if renewing or selling your domain is the right choice for you.
Is the Domain Trademarked?
Making sure you’re abiding by ICANN regulations is important at all times. When thinking of your domain portfolio and whether you want to renew domains or not, ask yourself if any of the words or phrases in your domain has a trademark. If you think your domain may infringe on a trademark do not renew the domain. Long term, you’ll be avoiding costs and in addition saving yourself the renewal fees. If you’re worried about whether the domain you own is trademarked there are numerous resources available to you that will help you avoid lawsuits, check domain availability, and conduct trademark domain searches.
In the opposite case that you do own the trademark, decide whether paying the renewal fee is worth losing the domain name that coincides with your trademark. Once you’ve missed the grace period of renewing your domain, the process of acquiring it again can be challenging. Whether that be a more expensive registration price or having to deal with negotiations of a new owner.
Are You Benefiting From Cash Parking?
Diving into cash parking is another way to make money from your domain. When a domain is cash parked there is an advertisement on the landing page of the domain. While this can be a lot of extra work, many individuals take advantage of cash parking for a period of time to increase their revenue. One good question to ask yourself is, can you make more money from cash parking than renewing? Let's say your renewal cost is $8, but you could make $15 cash parking in a year. Cash parking could be a good option to get a return, no matter the amount!
There are two ways to cash park, you can run your own ads or you can outsource the advertisement opportunity to a third party. The biggest concern with having a third party in charge of the advertising is that you have no control over which ads are going on your domain. That being said, since it’s extremely hands-off, it gives you more downtime than if you did the advertisement work yourself.
Does the Domain Have Backlinks?
Another feature to keep in mind when thinking if your domain name gets online traffic is if it has backlinks. If a domain name has backlinks this means that other sites are linking to your site. This is beneficial for TLD credibility and traffic, making the domain name very valuable. Even if the domain name doesn’t have anything active on it at the time, it is possible that it had an active site on it before you owned it. Which means there is a possibility that the domain name has backlinks to it. Sites like Semrush allow you to check whether your domain name has ever had backlinks running to it.
Does the Domain Name Have Value?
Even if the domain name doesn’t have a site, SEO, or email connected-- there may be other factors that you are missing. Using domain appraisal services like Estibot will help you determine whether your domain name holds value. Other factors to consider are brandability, length, keywords, and more. Doing a deep dive into these before domain name renewal will help shed a light on what the best decision is.
Does the Domain Name Have An Email Attached?
Another element to keep in mind is if the domain name has connections to anything, an email for example. It doesn’t necessarily have to have live content on it for it to be of value to you. Domain names can be used for a plethora of other things. For example, some individuals link emails to domain names. The advantage of using a domain name in an email address is that it can make the email look more professional and unique, this can be an advisable way to use domain names for big and small businesses alike. If you do have an email address attached to the domain name, once you miss the renewal option you will lose access to the email accounts and anything else affiliated with that domain.
Have You Tried Selling the Domain?
Whether the domain has a selling history is a great telltale of the domain's lifecycle and whether or not to sell. There are several resources that you can use to check domain history. Looking at past domain name registration and ownership changes will help you build an understanding of the domain value. If you notice a pattern of difficulty with selling the domain or have even encountered that problem yourself, it may be best to get rid of it unless you see the potential for the domain name in a future market.
While looking into your own domain past is a great idea, it’s also a good idea to look at similar supported TLDs to see if there are any key indicators you can point out. For example, let's say you own checkout.biz and you’ve noticed that in the last six months, checkout.com and checkout.abc have sold fairly quickly. This may be a signal to get your TLD on the market due to the others selling fast at the moment for some quick cash or keeping it in hopes for a bigger return later on.
Furthermore, look at your own experience with the domain. Have you ever tried to sell it? Why didn’t it sell? Were there no bids? Priced too high? Think about the cost of selling and renewing–time is a valuable resource. Would it be better to have an expired domain name and just let the domain go? Take these things into consideration when making a decision.
Multiple TLDs Registered?
Do some research and see if your domain name has similar if not the exact same phrasing in front of another top-level domain. For example, let’s say you own rankings.biz and find that another individual owns rankings.com and rankings.us. Reflect on if rankings.biz actually holds as much weight as rankings.com; in most cases, it doesn’t. However, let’s say the cards were switched, and you owned the .com. That could be really valuable in a large sale, in which case you would want to keep the domain name.
Another factor to consider when looking at other TLDs is: are the other versions of the domain name available? If it is, that’s not a good sign when it comes to domain value. Keep that in mind when doing supplemental research.
We recommend using Estibot to check whether multiple TLDs are registered, utilizing resources like this will save you time.
Content or No Content?
One key factor to take into consideration before deciding whether to renew before your expiration date is if you have content on the domain. Does the domain name have a live site on it? Is there traffic going there? What does SEO look like? Essentially is it a live site, or is it idle? Reflect on these questions before deciding whether to sell.
If the site has traffic going to it and has high search engine optimization it’s highly likely that the site could be profitable. Now think about this: if your site is idle, is there a way that it could be profitable. Do you think you could drive traffic there? Is there a way to monetize your domain name? If you think there is then you can always nurture the site or sell the site itself along with the domain name to a third party.
Keep in mind that the average registration fee for a domain name is $10–which is $0.03 cents a day. If you see your domain name being more profitable than that at one point or another in the next year, then consider renewing. Also, remember that in almost all cases, it's easier to renew the domain name than not renew and try to purchase the domain name from someone else.
Should I Renew or Expire?
Take all these questions into consideration when you are deciding whether you’d like to renew your domain or not. If, after research and analysis, you are unsure or think you should let the domain expire, then do that. Renewing isn’t always the best choice. You do have a redemption grace period, so if you change your mind, you do have a bit of time to recover.
How Do I Renew My Domain?
So after tedious research and analysis, you have decided to renew your domain. For most registrars, you will:
- Login to your account
- Go to your Settings
- Select the domain on your domain list that you want to renew
- Click Renew Domain
- Go to the Shopping Cart
- Review payment information
- Review the terms and conditions and refund/cancellation policy
- Complete purchase with a credit card or bank account
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