Gary starts by asking who owns any domains – to which practically everyone puts their hands up.
He goes on to explain he is someone who buys, sells and develops domains. He works with OneResult web and mobile solutions as a project manager, and won young entrepreneur of the year in the 2008 Midlands business awards.
What are keyword domains?
– exact match keyword(s) in the URL (eg. handbags.co.uk)
– the above example is usually refered to as a generic / category killer
– there are long tail domains (eg. leatherhandbags.co.uk)
– geographical domains (eg. handbagsleeds.co.uk)
– original top level, ccTLD: .co.uk, .org, .mobi
What are mini-sites?
– small websites, only a few pages maybe 1-10
– keyword specific that focus on the domain domain with few variations
– easy to replicate, built with simple HTML and CSS
– easy to maintain, with minimal content creation ongoing, etc
– cost effective, with no high graphic design costs, etc
You don’t want a portfolio of 200 domain names that you have to work constantly on, they need to be self sustaining.
Finding the right domain name
2 basic indicators:
– Exact searches (local) on both Google Adwords Keyword Tool AND Search Keyword Estimator – above 2,400 minimum.
He shows an example of how the Google Keyword Tool and Search-based keyword tool can vary significantly, with different volumes showing.
– CPC and other monetisation opportunities
A scalable model
£3 – £5 per week per domain at most.
10 domains = £1,560 – £2,600
100 domains = £15,600 – £26,000
400 domains = £62,400 – £104,000
You can buy a couple of domains and if they don’t work out let them drop, you won’t have spent much money and you shouldn’t have spent much money developing them.
Monetising your domain
You can do the following on your mini-site:
– a link directory
– amazon e-store widget
– self-made banners linking to amazon affiliate products
– Google adsense (he’s earning about 80 pence per click with his example – flyfishingbooks.co.uk
– do you want to dominate a niche? you could register lots of variants of a keyword domain you already have
– diversify: you could maybe add geolocations to current domains (airport parking manchester, liverpool, etc)
– lead generation
– build a network of related domains
– target long tail domains
– affiliate programs
– think about the after-market (which sites can you sell a domain name on? etc)
– maybe go more generic with your keyword domains
– white labelling
Domain Name Industry Resources
– Notable domainers: Rick Schwartz, Frank Schilling, Kevin Ham, Gary Kremen
– Auction sites: sedo.com, domainlore.co.uk, greatdomains.com, afternic.com
– Domaining tools: domaintools.com, valuate.com, estibot.com
– Registrars: 1and1.co.uk, 123-reg.co.uk, godaddy.com
– Parking and drop catching: whypark.com, pool.com
– Forums/resources: acorndomains.co.uk, domaining.com
Kevin Ham owns the most domains out of anyone, making $70 million per year.
Questions and Answers
Hyphenated domains – he isn’t particuarly keen on them, but has had domains that have ranked well. The resell value of hyphenated domains isn’t as high as without.
Paid traffic – there are issues with Google not allowing you to advertise as it may see you site as spammy. Use long tail keywords to gain SEO organic traffic as oppose to spending money on PPC.
.org.uk domains – he is a fan of .org.uk domains for UK search, and is a good alternative to .co.uk. If you are looking for more international – chose .org over .net, with .com being the obvious first choice. Stay away from the lower end, such as .me.uk and other low quality TLDs.
Selling 1 word keyword domains – domainers usually sell to domainers, and are not particularity bought by end users. SEO agencies could be missing a trick, and domainers could strike up partnerships with agencies to develop mini-sites for the benefit of SEO clients (end users).
Resell value of a .org vs .com – .org domains sell for a lot less typically, he wouldn’t expect a .org to go for more than 1/5th of the price of a .com.
Leasing domains – he thinks it’s becoming more popular over the past few years, especially for .com domains. There is venue to be made from it as some starter businesses may not have the capitol to develop a domain. If you have a desirable domain name, leasing it out could be a very sensible option.
Trademarks – stay away from any domains with trademarks, as you will ultimately end up in a dispute and 9 out of 10 times will have the domain taken away from you.
Finally – If there was one domain you could have, what would it be?
Gary said he would like: creditcards.co.uk or mortgages.co.uk