Geographic Domain Names

Why I Don't Like the Burbank Website

Subscribe to Elliot's BlogI will be the first to admit, I don’t like how Burbank.com currently looks. I don’t believe the current site is attractive or would make people jazzed about visiting the city of Burbank, California – a great city with a ton of activities. Don’t get me wrong, the content is good, but I just don’t like how it looks. So, I am doing something about it and building a completely new website.
When I first launched Burbank.com in July, I was under the gun. Every day that I wasn’t live Google links were being lost and the site’s ranking was being impacted. The site was previously a great Burbank online newspaper, but once I purchased it, the owner redirected the links to his new site. I feared losing Google’s trust, and I didn’t want to make it difficult to regain position once the site relaunched.   It was also very close to my wedding, so with many things going on then,   I essentially built a makeshift site. There are few images on the site, and there are Adsense ads to generate a bit of incremental revenue. This isn’t the idea geowebsite, in my opinion.
After spending the past several weeks working on the new site, I am getting closer to relaunch.   I am hoping the relaunch will happen next week or the last week in October. When I do relaunch, I will write another blog post about what I did and why, to help others who may be in my position. So take a look at Burbank.com now so you can get a good before and after comparison when the new site is launched.

GeoDomain for Sale – BerkeleyHeights.com – Great NJ Town

Subscribe to Elliot's BlogI am looking to sell BerkeleyHeights.com for $9,000.   Berkeley Heights, New Jersey is a town that’s similar to Secaucus, NJ (I paid $11k for Secaucus.com at the GeoExpo and am now making $2-4/day with my mini-site – and very little SE traffic so far).   Here is some info about Berkeley Heights, NJ:
– In Money magazine’s 2007 Best Places to Live rankings, Berkeley Heights ranked 45th of out of a potential 2,800 places in the United States with populations above 7,500 and under 50,000
– Population: Just under 14,000 in 2007
– Median Household Income: $107,716
– Median house/condo value: $638,600
– Transit: NJ Transit Bus and train stops in Berkeley Heights for commute to Manhattan – 40 minutes by car/bus without traffic, less on a train
More information about Berkeley Heights can be found here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Heights,_New_Jersey
http://www.city-data.com/city/Berkeley-Heights-New-Jersey.html
http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&safe=off&q=berkeley+heights&btnG=Search
This is a strong domain name that can be developed much like I did with Secaucus.com. At the moment, after my recent acquisition of FrenchRiviera.com, I am looking to sell a few names and work with what I have.
First person to respond to buy it will get this gem at a good price.

Steps to a Quick and Easy Geodomain Geosite

Subscribe to Elliot's BlogFull-scale development like PalmSprings.com or PigeonForge.com can be very rewarding, but it is also time consuming. These are full businesses, and they should be treated like full businesses with developers, marketing specialists, sales staff and office staff – either on the payroll or in a freelance position depending on the website and management company. These sites are difficult to develop and grow, but they are certainly rewarding once the strong foundation is built.
Some people don’t want to have those responsibilities even though they have good domain names, and there are opportunities for geodomain development on a smaller scale. If you have a strong geodomain name (.com, .net, .info…etc) but an actual city name, I would like to recommend a few steps to launching a scaled down version of a geowebsite that will have less upfront costs, and it will be similar to what I did for Secaucus.com – which I continue to build out every day.
1) Do keyword research to see what people are looking for in the city (directions, weather, hotels, restaurants, homes…etc)
2) Contact a domain development service, find a nice free template, or create your own design template
3) Find photos of the city using a royalty-free stock photo site or Creative Commons site like Wikipedia
4) Write several articles targeting the keywords you found for your research
5) Place your articles in your template and add meta description, keywords, and titles to target those keywords and keyword variations
6) Add Adsense or other monetization option if desired
7) Add Google webmaster tools tag to your site and make sure it’s included in Google, Yahoo, MSN…etc.
8) Contact related websites asking for link exchanges
9) Contact local businesses offering inexpensive advertising placement
I’ve found that one of the biggest drivers to my geowebsites is mentioning local businesses. For example, if you add free listings for lawyers in the area, some people will find your site when searching for that lawyer. As I’ve been told, however, it’s much more difficult to get an advertiser to pay for a listing once they’ve received it for free. If you plan to build your site into a larger site down the road, this might not be a good option.
While I believe a fully developed site is of much more value, some smaller towns or non-touristy towns may not bring a huge return if they are fully developed. Building a mini-site can be a better option to build traffic to the site and bring a nice return – especially if you have a non-.com that wasn’t as expensive as the crown jewel .com. By adding pages daily, you are increasing the reach of your site at a convenient pace. Sometimes building a huge website can sound daunting, but if you do it slowly, it may be more rewarding.

Nice Geo Domain Landing Page from Trafficz

I was watching the New York news tonight, and I saw the Mets opened a new baseball facility in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. While I don’t care much for the Mets (nor the Yankees), I was more interested in learning a bit about Boca Chica. Of course I did a Whois search for BocaChica.com and saw that it’s owned by a well-known domain investor, and I wanted to see what he was doing with it.
While it’s not fully developed, I think Trafficz created a great landing page for it. There are some flash images with different keywords on each. When you click on the particular keyword, related links populate the screen on the left. I think this is a nice step up for the standard landing page, and I think it could be very good for a geo domain that isn’t developed, since CTR tends to be low for parked geodomains.
While I think the best approach to geodomains is to develop them, I do think this is one of the nicest PPC landing pages I’ve seen for a geodomain.

Geo Domain Expo Recap on DNJournal

Ron’s final analysis of the Geo Domain Expo was published today, and as always, it provides some great insight into the show. The show gave me some great ideas, which I am in the process of implementing on Burbank.com. Developing a business on a geo domain isn’t easy, but the show gave me the confidence to invest more money into Burbank.com to make it the best site about Burbank, California. I will be launching a full directory sometime in Q4 2008.

Geo Domain Expo Recap

Those who know me, know I don’t particularly like to fly – scratch that – it’s taking off and landing I don’t like so much. Today it wasn’t a problem, as I slept like a baby on the flight, exhausted from the great weekend I had in Chicago.
Th geo domain industry is unlike any industry in which I’ve ever been involved. There is a sincere feeling of camaraderie, and everyone I met seems to have a genuine desire to help others. I started my blog to share what I know and have learned, and the geo domainers that I met at the show seem to have the same objectives of helping others learn and succeed in this industry.
At the show, there was very little talk about declining revenues and PPC. The real money is in development and building a business on geo domains. From what I saw and heard, there has never been a better time to develop domain names with the technology that’s available. While I felt a bit like I was behind in the times by using HTML, I learned more about solutions like eDirectory, and as I grow my sites, I plan to make the change to their platform.
Everything positive you hear about David and Michael Castello, Skip Hoagland, Dan Pulcrano, Josh Metnick, Jess Bookstaff, Sarah and Mark Mannix, Fred Mercaldo, Mike Ward,….etc.. is 100% true. These people have amazing success stories, and they are very approachable and willing to share advice and feedback. I met some great people at various stages of their geo domain development, and my best piece of advice was to grab the business cards of the most successful geodomainers and stay in touch. As someone said at the show, in 10 years from now, these people won’t just be geo domain pioneers, they will be the heads of major media companies.
This show was open to all geo domain investors, and I’ve learned that there are tons of ways to make money from developed geo domains. I believe we are on the cusp of something great, and I believe that the geo domainers are leading the way for all domainers.
Some takewaways from the show (aside from my hangover)
While the geo domain pioneers have great revenue-producing websites, the sky is literally the limit with geo domains. You can create goals for yourself and your sites, and once you hit those, you can improve on them. With new technology, new thinking, and determination, there is no stopping what you can do with your websites.
Trafficz’s involvement in domain auctions is going to change the game. Ammar and Jay have great ideas, and coupled with their technology, I think we are witnessing the growth of a giant in the domain space.
If you have good domain names but might not have the ability to execute your plans, try to parter with someone who has the expertise. Nearly everyone with whom I spoke has partnerships of various degrees, and they are able to balance their skills with those of others. Being a one trick pony is kinda cool, but you can’t be a jack of all trades – so find someone who has the skills you don’t and work out something amenable.
Patrick Carleton, MidwestBusiness.com, Jess Bookstaff, and Associated Cities know how to put on a professional show. Attendance more than doubled from last year’s show in San Francisco, and as a betting person, I would wager that it will be continue to grow. This space seems to be where the smart money’s at right now.
If you own a city .com and someone else owns a city + keyword name (Burbank.com & BurbankRestaurants.com for example), you can work together to improve both sites and make money. Just because you don’t have a pure city .com, doesn’t mean you are left out. This is an inclusive group and partnerships can benefit everyone.
While the live auction result wasn’t really impressive, I think that’s more related to the domain names that were auctioned rather than the state of the market. There were plenty of buyers in attendance (myself included – Secaucus.com), but the names weren’t great for the most part. I think that much of this can be attributed to the fact that most top city/state/regional geographic domain names aren’t for sale at domain auction prices.
Special thanks to Steve Morales. In addition to helping promote the geo domain industry, he is proudly serving our country.

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