I want to give a belated “thank you” to the PR team at Oversee.net and Monte Cahn at Moniker, who put together a very cool case study for one of my domain names. When Corinne Forti emailed me a few months ago to discuss writing a case study on TropicalBirds.com, I was happy to oblige. I’ve discussed the site many times on my blog and at tradeshows because it went from getting a few visits a month undeveloped to several thousand visits a month developed, with most of the traffic coming from search engines.
Several weeks ago, someone casually mentioned seeing the case study at a presentation, and I completely forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago at Traffic New York. Fellow domain investor Dave Evanson whispered from a few rows away, “Elliot, what the f*ck is this?” while holding up a thick folded pamphlet, complete with photos in full color. I went over to check it out, and I remembered the interview.
Although the site makes very little revenue right now (monetized with Adsense and some affiliate links), I do think it tells a good story. Despite the fact that there is little competition for tropical bird-related keywords, the TropicalBirds.com case study shows that when you take the keyword domain name, add custom content, and have good basic SEO techniques (including link building I did), you can turn a lightly trafficked domain name into one that receives good traffic.
The way I figure it, some day, a breeder or pet store chain will want to take what I started and actually sell birds/products directly to consumers online. With the site getting 5k visits a month (well, 5,435 visits in the last 30) and 87.2% of that from search engines, it’s a traffic producing engine, assuming continued good rankings. If you figure a company would pay $.05/visitor at a minimum to $.25/visitor at a maximum for the traffic, that’s between $3,261 – $16,305 /year in Adwords alone to get that traffic (assuming all traffic is bought and traffic is the same for 12 months).
Of course, not all of this traffic is looking to buy a bird or spend money on a product, so this is just an example, but the point is that it’s a neat little domain story, and I appreciate the fact that Oversee.net and Moniker thought enough to create a cool case study and share the story of TropicalBirds.com in various presentations.
BTW, if anyone is interested in creating their own bird empire, I would sell the name and website. As the case study says, “Elliot Silver is neither an avid bird watcher nor bird lover.” I would, however, LOVE to sell this website and domain name to someone who is!
Nice post Elliot.
btw what CMS are you using for tropicalbirds.com? Custom?
No CMS… a rookie mistake.
Once again Elliot I am 100% behind you!!
Countless times, I have taken a good domain name (not always a category killer) and by adding Search Engine Optimization (SEO), original content and quality inbound links, I have been extraordinarily successful…yes extraordinarily!
Here are a few random samples (or mico case studies if you will)…..
http://www.AllFreshSeafood.com – #2 in Google for fresh seafood and fresh – site does $XXX,XXX in annual revenues with $0 spent offline
http://www.BagelBoss.com – Top 6 of Google for bagel and bagels – top 5 for new york bagels; they ship bagels all over the US. With 12 physical locations too – this is a very nice online business!
http://www.AllPrintableCoupons.com – http://www.FoodCouponsDirect.com – http://www.AllPizzaCoupons.com these are three of 50+ coupon sites I developed…..Top 3 in google for food coupons; Top 8 in Google for printable coupons and #1 and #2 in Google for frozen pizza coupons….with just adsense; this is $X,XXX – $XX,XXX a month
Bottom line – these are note category killer domains but they are making very nice money and are great business models.
Obviously category killers such as http://www.BreakingNews.com – http://www.3GPhones.com – http://www.MilitaryLoans.com, etc. will also receive great search engine traffic from SEO but it also gets the added benefit of the type-in/direct navigation traffic which from time to time isn’t always what you think it’s going to be……
So I truly believe that you have to reverse engineer a desired industry/product or business into a domain name as opposed to vice versa….