Effective Domaining Strategies

Nov 13, 2008 - 5:41 pm 3 by
Filed Under PubCon 2008

Moderator: Michael Bonfils Speakers: Jeremy Wright, CEO, B5Media Jeff Libert, CEO, DirectoryCompany.com Grace Della, CEO, Ten Golden Rules Victor Pitts, Vice President - Sales & Client Services, Moniker Online Services, LLC

Grace Della:

Strategy #1: Optimize sites for SEO. Select keyword rich domains. Develop a 5-10 page site at 250 words and build links.

Strategy #2: Buy domains with existing PR. Sometimes people are sitting on domains. Find one that fits your business strategy.

Aftermarket sites: Bido.com, Moniker, Snap Names, Grand Names, etc. Check trademark availability before buying an expensive domain.

Strategy #3: Domains as an investment. Investors are looking at domains for several reasons - a global commodity. Not based in debt. Internet is only growing.

Strategy #4: Develop a business on a domain. If you build it, they just wont come. Real value in domain is developing into a business, unless it has huge type in traffic. Build content, links, and functionality.

Strategy #5: Protect the domain by owning variations and the extensions. Countries, spellings, misspellings, etc.

Strategy #6: Stay current. DN Journal, ICANN, T.R.A.F.F.I.C, Domain Masters podcast on WebmasterRadio.fm.

Victor Pitts:

Why domains matter? Growing to 168 million worldwide. Aftermarket sales have been increasing by 20% year after year. Even in down markets, they are increasing in value.

Domains are both collectibles, and revenue producing. Unique - no two alike. Direct navigation traffic accounts for 10-15% revenue in Yahoo and Google. It's your first impression online. Primary way of locating your site. Tells customers what your business is about. Helps define and reposition brand promises. Improve SEO and SMO.

Protect your brand, register typos and other TLDs.

Case studies:

ToddlerToys.com = Fisher Price.

CreamCheese.com = Kraft.

Underwear.com = Calvin Klein.

All things going equal, your domain name can be the tie breaker in SEO. Case Study: TropicalBirds.com is a new site with less than 6 months uptime. Ranks above highly competitive sites.

Aftermarket domains offer additional benefits - Age, PR, Links. Properly redirected, can give strength to other domains.

Do your research. Check if they have shady links. Can get you hurt.

Domain does have an impact on your CTR in the SERPs. Expands your ad message.

More than 70% of internet users type in a domain to get to their destination. Study by WebSideStory. At more than 4%, direct navigation converts at 2x regular search traffic.

Ways to use direct navigation - redirection. Books.com is redirected to BN.com. Baby.com redirects to J&J. TennisShoes.com redirects to KSwiss.com.

Rebrand your business using a new domain.

Case Study: Stocks.com. Monthly visitors = 10k / mo. CPC on Google is $4.63 according to Spyfu on 11/3/08 for "stocks". The SEO traffic from the term pays off in long run. Would take 5 years for a + ROI.

Ways to acquire domains: Most single and 2 word domains are gone. Aftermarkets are the new primary market. Live auctions. Online sales platforms such as Snapnames, SEDO, or Afternic. Expired and deleting domain services. Private brokerages.

Jeffrey Libert: Moderator for domain forum and WMW.

"Domain Creation, Acquisition and Sales"

Started in domaining to increase law practice. Has got clients through domains, one converted at over $100,000k!


Step 1: Start in your own backyard by scraping your own website for keywords. The products and services - want to pull out all the keywords - usually 2 - 3 words generic phrases. Pull from navigational or topical links. Drop them into a bulk domain checker, and see if they are available. Avoid hyphening. Scrape competitors sites for keywords. Check in Adwords tool if there is search volume, and see if there are high volume related terms. Look in trade journals for hot trends, register keywords that are emerging as buzzwords.

Step 2: Once you have your list, do a SERPs analysis. See how popular the keyword phrase is. Check your log files for phrases.

Step 3: ROI analysis. Converted sales lead analysis. Estimating type in traffic- search the phrase in Google with quotes. Trend analysis - might not get traffic this year because it's emerging - huge opportunity. Read journals to find trends. Check PPC costs versus annual domain renewal fees. Reserved potential (microsite, resale, other). Rinse, repeat.

A quick case study:

Site subject: Glues, adhesive, sealants site. Jeffrey scraped the site and found the keyword "flexible adhesives". Domain flexibleadhesives.com was available. CPC price is $1.68. Volume is about 210 according to Google. Got it to rank, redirects to the main site. High ROI.

Aftermarket strategies:

Expiring domains. Telephoned people. Often the single best strategy, expiring or not. For sale or not, had incredible results. Get ahead of the bidders.

Every auction has undervalued gems. Now is a good time to buy because of the economy. Geo or local domains are getting hotter. City + Service, etc.

Jeremy Wright: "1001 Domain Buying Tips"

Secret formula for the PERFECT domain = SEO + Data (traffic, kw information, age, typability - no .orgs, misspellings, etc.) X branding and likability.

One hyphen rarely hurts, two isn't pretty, 3+ is evil. Consider buying entire sites, not just domains, for SEO value. If you are buying within an industry, look for a common footprint "Powered by WordPress", or use an older version # to find older blogs. Don't be afraid to buy a half a dozen secondary descriptive domains and either 301 them or push to them using in--context links.

Avoid double letters. Don't misspell unless it helps with branding. Domain age matters. Older is better. Don't change the subject of the site. Don't change the URL structure. Don't change the registration information. Put it in a trust.

Have 2 domain name options is a challenge. Use math to solve the problem.

Domain mailing lists. Big buyers and sellers have private mailing lists that they sell. Judge the quality of the domains before buying them. When negotiating - lowball, but don't offend. Counter, counter, counter! Sometimes it's a matter of patience. Have contracts and such ready for when you get a deal - don't allow cold feet to set in. When transferring domains, use a trust to avoid triggering engines that look at WHOIS data.

Find a domain you are happy with! Follow Jeremy on Twitter @jeremywright.

Live coverage provided by Avi A. Wilensky of Promediacorp, a Manhattan based online marketing agency.


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