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					Driving Traffic Through
Smart Domain strategy
WebmasterWorld’s PubCon
November 11-14, 2008
Why domains matter

• Domains have been continually growing to more
  than 168 million worldwide
• At the same time, aftermarket sales values have
  been increasing by approximately 20% year-
  over-year
• Upward trend continues showing that even in
  down or flat markets, domains are increasing in
  numbers and value
• Why?
Why domains matter

• Domains are assets that are both collectible and
  revenue producing
• Each domain is unique – no two are exactly alike
• Hold an inherent ability to attract traffic
• Direct navigation traffic
  accounts for 10-15% of
  revenue for Google
  and Yahoo
Why domains matter

• Domains are equal parts pathway and
  destination … they are both the avenue and the
  storefront of the internet
• Creates the first impression online; Primary
  way an online consumer interacts with your
  brand or brand extension
• Also the primary way,
  they locate
  your online store
Why domains matter
What are the
shingles you hang
online doing to
attract business
and convince
people to enter
the store?
How domains can help
             attract traffic

• Help define and reposition brand promise
• Improve search optimization and search
  marketing
• Counter balance search using direct
  navigation
• Offer an easy way to initiate social media
  marketing and other engagement techniques
Impact on brand

• What are the key brand attributes or keywords
  associated with your brand (a.k.a., “category
  killers”)?
• Do you own those domains or can competitors move
  in on your territory and start aligning key attributes
  with their brand?
• Are you making sure people who are looking for you
  can find you? Lock in traffic and protect your brand
  associations by registering typos, nicknames,
  country code TLDs for all regions you operate in and
  other derivatives.
Impact on brand

• Case studies:
  – ToddlerToys.com =


  – CreamCheese.com =


  – Underwear.com =


  – Microsft.com (missing 2nd “o”) =
Improving SEO and SEM

Tie goes to the keyword domain
• All things being equal, the domain you use could be
  the tie breaker to get your site ranked higher
• Case Study: Tropical Birds
• TropicalBirds.com is a new site less than X months
  old
• Outranks the Honolulu Zoo, several aviaries and
  hundreds of bird/pet stores
• Forces others to spend ad dollars for paid listings
Improving SEO and SEM
Improving SEO and SEM

Significantly improved inbound link juice
• Most people still use your web address to
  provide links
• Which of these links would provide better
  signal to search engines for the term
  “spices”?
    “Visit Penzeys.com for the best prices”
    “Visit TheSpiceHouse.com for the best prices”
Improving SEO and SEM

Consider going “retro”
• Domains available on the aftermarket
  offer additional benefits
  – Age (unexpired domains)
  – Page Rank
  – Link strength
• Properly redirected, domains with these
  attributes can transfer or lend strength
  to your newer or lower ranked domain
Improving SEO and SEM

Consider going “retro”
• Be sure to do your research
• Previous black-hat techniques or bad
  inbound links associated with the domain
  could do more harm than good
• If research checks out, be careful about
  updating too much – could get you
  sandboxed (however, this is widely
  debated)
Improving SEO and SEM

Increase response on search marketing ads
• Marketing experts we work with recommend
  testing the domain you use, as well as the rest of
  the ad
• Depending on your product or target audience,
  display domain does have an impact on response
• For example, if you’re a cosmetic doctor
  advertising your service, which domain is more
  likely to pull better results?
       BeckerMD.com
       LookYounger.com
Improving SEO and SEM
• No way to really know
  unless you test first
• Best for rebranding
  strategy or new
  brands
• Google compliance:
  Will need unique
  content, if selected
  domain is not the
  main website
Counter balance with
            direct navigation

• More than 70% of internet users type in a
  domain name to get to their destination
• At more than 4%, direct navigation converts
  at twice the rate of regular search traffic
• Advertisers, such as Garden State Life
  Insurance, are increasing ad placements on
  parked sites, and getting better conversions
  at cheaper rates
• Makes sense to own key terms
Counter balance with
            direct navigation

• Visitor is engaged and clearly has an
  expressed interest in subject
• Makes sense to own key terms
• Provides constantly renewing source of
  interested parties who have self-selected
  your topic
• After initial investment, only cost is renewal
  fee
Counter balance with
            direct navigation

Three ways to use direct navigation
• Simple redirects to main site:
  – Books.com = BarnsAndNobel.com
  – Gift.com = JCPenny.com
  – TennisShoes.com = KSwiss.com
• Verticle portals
  – Baby.com = Johnson & Johnson
  – Asthma.com = GlaxoSmithKlein
  – NoFleas.com = Bayer
Counter balance with
            direct navigation

Three ways to use direct navigation
• Re-brand entire company/site
  – OberonGames.com = iPlay.com
  – WBZL.com = SouthFlorida.com
Get your visitor engaged

Category Killer domains are well positioned to be
  used as social networking sites
• Case Study: Skateboards.com
   – Active site
   – User generated content is free and fresh
      • Videos, photos, stories
      • forums and chat rooms
   – Site is profitable without any external advertising …
     all current traffic is direct navigation
Get your visitor engaged

• Portal site positions your brand as the
  subject matter expert
• Case study: Baby.com
  – Informational site requires investment and
    maintenance
  – Pay off can be significant
  – Word of mouth increases brand strength
Get your visitor engaged

• Landing pages can create unique
  connections
• Case study: McDonald’s
  MorningImpaired.com
  – Short-term content, less robust and less
    maintenance than full portal
  – Usually funny or lighthearted
  – Obvious lead generators … sign up for
    mailing list, download wall paper, play games
What’s the value of a domain?


Potential ROI Case Study: Stocks.com
Savings in CPC
•   Monthly visitors:               10,000
•   Cost per click on key term:      $4.63*
•   Monthly savings in CPC:        $46,300
•   Annual savings in CPC:        $555,600


*Per SpyFu.com Nov. 3, 2008
What’s the value of a domain?

Potential ROI Case Study: Stocks.com
New Revenue
•   Monthly visitors:                            10,000
•   Typical conversion rate on website:             2%*
•   Estimated new customers monthly:                200
•   Estimated new customers annually:             2400
•   Average profit per new customer:         $100-$250*
•   Estimated profit from new domain: $240,000-$600,000


*Variable data – assumptions made to show potential. Actual values will vary depending
   on specific profit margin and conversion rate.
What’s the value of a domain?


Potential ROI Case Study: Stocks.com
Overview
•   Estimated annual value (revenue or CPC):      $500,000
•   Years to reach ROI:                                   5
•   Value of 5 year investment:                  $2.5 million
•   Current asking price:                        $???

How much will the financial services industry segment
  spend in advertising this year? $1.1 billion in display only
  Q1 & Q2 2008.
Ways to acquire domains

• Registration – most single-word and two-
  word premium domains are gone
• Aftermarket is new primary market
  – Live Domain Auctions
  – Two main online sales platforms
     • Auctions
     • Listing services
  – Expired and Deleting domain services
  – Private brokerage and stealth acquisitions
Questions?

				
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Zach Browne Zach Browne Owner
About I'm a Interactive Marketing Consultant, Social Networker, & Affiliate Marketer with over a decade of experience. I generate leads & increase conversions for small businesses by keeping their websites on top of Google's search results. I've worked with a variety of industries including but not limited to; financial, manufacturing, technology, medical, legal, and construction. I've successfully promoted an extensive array of products, services and messages to strategically targeted markets.