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Think Visibility 2010: Keyword Domains and Mini-Sites

Modi Siotos

Presented by Gary Taylor

Gary is a domain name investor (domainer) which means that he buys domains in order to later sell them for profit. Sometimes he may even develop them further (with a bit of SEO) if there is potential for more profit.

Dave Wrixon (a domainer legend) sold Tokyo.net in Japanese for $10K just six months after acquiring it for $7. Work that out as a ROI!

What are keyword domains?

  • Simple domains that have to be direct match – An exact match is essential as you don’t want to do any SEO work
  • There can be generic domains and category specific domains.
  • Focus on a very few terms based on the keywords in the domain name with a few variations.

Killer examples:

handbags.co.uk - a great keyword domain to rank for hand bags

hotelabudhabi.co.uk - A good example of one of Gary's registered keyword domains set up with a basic homepage.

Types of keyword domains:

  • Long tail domains – e.g brown leather hand bags
  • Geographical – hand bags Leeds
  • Original top level - .com, .net. Org
  • ccTLD - .co.uk, .fr
  • lower quality domains, sponsored domains: .mobi

What are mini sites?

  • Simple sites (Have a look at one of Gary's mini-sites FlyFishingBooks.co.uk )
  • Easy to develop/replicate
  • They consist of 1-10 pages but the main focus is the homepage.
  • Some decent content is necessary. Poor content will not be rewarded by search engines. Automation could work in your favour but there should be unique content.

Types of mini sites:

  1. Small ones which are specific to a small niche so they will generate small traffic
  2. Generic ones that will bring high volume traffic

Keyword specific domains:

  • focus on the domain name and add a few other variations.
  • quick to develop
  • shouldn't cost much – no costly graphic design
  • should start generating money soon, even if tiny amounts
  • Cost effective and self sustaining - as long as they pay for their cost you're on the right way

Finding the right domain name

You don't want to end up buying ‘...pigeon shit with an extension’.

“…know the difference between investment-quality domains and domains that mean nothing, say nothing have no idea behind it, no traffic within it, no idea how to make money with it and nobody wants to buy… what i refer to as pigeon shit…. pigeon shit with an extension”

Rick Schwartz – “Domain King” - Ricksblog.com

Basic indicators of good domains:

  1. Exact searches (local) on both Google Adwords Keywords Estimator and Search Keyword Estimator (Keyword Tool). There is a difference between the two tools, which sometimes is big. A figure of 2,400 exact matches should be the absolute minimum.
  2. CPC and other monetization opportunities

Monetising your domain

  • You use Google Ad Sense
  • You set something up and running straight away
  • Build a link directory (no need to do great SEO)
  • Amazon e-store widgets and Own graphic linked to Amazon e-store
  • Affiliates

Replicating success

You need to find a way to generate revenue for your business. Typical questions include:

  • Dominate a niche?
  • Lead generation?
  • Hand registration?
  • Long tail?
  • CPC?
  • Build a network of related domains?
  • Aftermarket? Which site can you sell your domain on?
  • Geographical?
  • Generic?
  • Affiliate programmes?
  • White label?

Tips

Domains

  • org.uk rank well and they are good alternatives to .co.uk

  • .org domains rank better than .net
  • A .org domain wouldn't go for more than 1/5 of the price of a .com domain
  • generic .com domains are worth gold, especially the three letter ones
  • hyphenated domains not as good as non hyphenated ones
  • Google lately doesn't see parking domains as relevant

Buying/Selling Domains

  • Domainers sell to domainers – ordinary users would pay less than domainers to buy a domain
  • Some agencies do invest in domains as they build up their domain portfolio
  • Think of ROI before figuring out how much you could spend on a domain.
  • Someone could pay much more for a domain if they have a business model/plan to give it more value.
  • There are leasing opportunities and many domainers are already doing that. Great benefits, less risks

Trademarks

  • Stay away from anything with registered trademarks because sooner or later the domain will be taken away from you.
  • Many high search volume domain names drop because domainers cannot afford hosting fees and registration fees.

Gary’s Dream domains to own:

creditcards.co.uk

mortgages.co.uk

Domain Name Industry Resources

Notable Domainers

Rick Schwartz - Started in the domain business with a total investment of $1,800 and ended up earning $20 million over the next 8 years

Frank Schilling - His portfolio of domains is estimated to be valued aroun $500m

Kevin Ham – Made a deal with Deal Cameroon's government on misspelled .com URLs ending up to .cm sites wich is Cameroon's domain extension. Mispelled .com URLs such as .cm ones are hardly registered. So he made a deal with the Cameroon Government, redirecting non existing .cm requests to one of his sites (Agoga.com). There, visitors would get a page full of ads that were relevant to their query.

Cameroon's government was getting comission out of any domain sale.

Gary Kremen – Owned sex.com – Weekly earnings of $500,000

Auction sites

sedo.com

domainlove.co.uk

greatdomains.com

afternic.com

Domaining Tools

domaintools.com

valuate.com

estibot.com

Registrars (To register a domain)

1and1.co.uk

123reg.co.uk

godaddy.com

Parking and Drop Catching

whypark.com

pool.com – For drop catching so you can find out what domains will soon expire and drop.

Forums/Resources

AcomDomains.co.uk – lots of experiences, lots of domains

Domaining.com – The industry resource containing rss feeds, blogs etc.

What I liked: Gary's presentation style: concise and very informative

What I didn't like: Would be worth mentioning a few examples from his personal experience. Would it be worth start investing in domains? What would be a minimum budget to start with? How do you find/approach the right people to sell a domain you own?



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