Home Google Page 25

Google

Great Domain Name Strategy: Vacations To Go

Travel planning company Vacations To Go employs one of the finest domain strategies I have seen. The company owns some fantastic niche travel domain names, allowing them to avoid paying high pay per click costs. While they seem to avoid the very expensive one word generic domain names (like Cruises.com), they do own a ton of great second tier travel domain names that probably receive some traffic. Just a few of the highly targeted domain names owned by Vacations To Go include:
AcapulcoCruises.com
AthensTours.com
LowCostCruise.com
LowPriceCruises.com
MexicanCruises.com
ItalyCruise.com
Showing their vast domain knowledge, Vacations To Go even owns some fantastic typo domain names, including:
BahamasCrusie.com
CheapCruies.com
Norweigan.com
The smartest thing about this strategy is that instead of paying $.50 – $10.00+ per visitor’s click on Yahoo or Google, they own all visitors to their domain names, and only pay around $7/year for each domain name. All of their names are forwarded to their main site, with a subfolder tracking how the visitor reached the main page. If a customer books just one cruise or vacation after landing on a domain name, they’ve almost certainly paid off the domain name for life (and then some).
One major issue I see is that many of the domain names owned by Vacations To Go don’t seem to be listed in Google. As you can see in the screenshot below, MexicanCruises.com isn’t listed in Google when the exact domain name is entered into the search bar. This isn’t good, as it means if a customer tries to directly navigate to the site using Google instead of the internet browser bar, they won’t even see the domain name. On some of the names where this is an issue, Vacations To Go attempts to alleviate this by buying the keyword of the domain name, but that is costing them money.
MexicanCruises.com
There are many reasons why Google could have removed the names, but it may have had nothing to do with anything Vacations To Go did. To rectify this, I would suggest that someone from Vacations To Go enters all of their domain names into Google, and take note of the names that do not show up in the results. They should then request reconsideration from Google. By doing this, Vacations To Go will have their domain names put back into Google, saving them from having to pay per click every time a consumer types the domain name as a search.
On other domain names, such as MexicoCruises.com, the domain name is listed in Google at the top. If a visitor accidentally types this domain name into Google instead of their navigation bar, they will see it as the top natural result, and they may click on this listing rather than on the paid search listing. Vacations To Go has protected itself by paying for Adwords keywords, which is another smart move.
MexicoCruises.com
Vacations To Go certainly has one of the best domain strategies I’ve seen. Not only are they building value for their brand, they are also building value for each of the domain names they own. If they were to ever sell the company, they could provide a traffic, click through and ROI for each domain asset they own, adding tremendous value to their portfolio. I give high praise to Alan Fox and his team at Vacations To Go.

Disconnect Between Buyers & Sellers

“This domain name can be developed into a great website!” This popular phrase amongst sellers is laughable to many buyers and developers who would argue that ANY domain name can be used for a great website. What some sellers don’t realize is the actual time and cost of building a profitable website. This can cause a disconnect between domain sellers and buyers.

For many buyers who plan to develop their domain purchases, the right domain name is essential, but contingent upon the price. When buying a domain name for a specific project, the buyer knows his overall budget (based on expected returns). In the budget, he allocates funds based on the approximate cost of the project, the cost of marketing, the cost of technical management, hosting, and other incremental costs. He also knows what he can afford to spend on the domain name. Most of the time, a buyer is willing to spend a bit more than he really wants on the right domain name, but there is a limit to the overage.

Developers typically think differently than domain investors. Developers believe that if they build a great website, visitors will find it no matter what the domain name is. Domain investors believe visitors will find the website more easily (and more quickly), and they will be able to recall the website much quicker if it has a memorable generic domain name. Both lines of thought are accurate, which can make bridging the gap more difficult.

In my opinion, the time to spend the money on a generic domain name is if you have a “category killer” product or service, and owning the domain name of that category will instantly make you the industry leader. If you are building a city directory for example, you want to spend the extra money and buy the city .com name rather than a “brandable” domain name. It gives you instant credibility when speaking with potential advertisers, and Google loves targeted domain names!

Hybrid Development: Increase the Value of Domains

While some domain names have high paying keywords, frequently the traffic isn’t significant enough for this to make a major impact on the name’s value. When the name is parked, you may generate a decent amount of revenue from targeted type-in traffic. However, unless something out of your control happens, there really isn’t much of a way to increase traffic to the name with a parked page.

One way that may boost traffic, increase revenue, and consequently increase the value of your domain name is to build a stripped down website. This is a hybrid development project where you add limited (but relevant) content, which should help you with your search engine placement. As a result, more people will find your website, and they may be more likely to click on the Adsense links, generating additional revenue. The more you continue to update your site, the more likely it is that people will find you and return.

In my opinion, the key to this is developing these hybrid sites in areas that are of interest to you. This will encourage you to post more often than if it was a mundane topic or something you didn’t care about. The more passionate or knowledgeable you are about a topic, the more likely it is that people will find you. The job of Google, Yahoo and other search engines is to present their users with the most relevant website based on their search query. If you are able to provide this, you will be placed higher. Of course there are things that make this more complicated, but that is the general idea.

Thank You, Jay!

0

A few weeks ago Jay blogged about requesting reinclusion in Google for a domain name.   Recently, I purchased an important domain name even though it wasn’t listed in Google.   I bought the name along with an information-rich website, and following Jay’s advice, I requested that my name be reincluded in Google.

After a few days, I noticed some traffic from Google on the website.   Interested, I did a Google search (as I had done before), and now appearing as the #1 listing is my domain name.   I wasn’t aware that I could ask Google to review my website for reinclusion until I read Jay’s blog, and I would like to publicly thank him for pointing this out.

Industry Veterans Launch TheDomains.com Blog

MostWantedDomains.com, a closely held company founded by domain industry veterans Michael and Judi Berkens, just launched launched their blog, TheDomains.com. One of the features they created is the “Domain Parking Stock Index,” a weighted average which tracks all public companies which either own large domain portfolio’s and/or make a significant income from parked domains or PPC revenue.

The initial DPSI index includes Google, Yahoo, Baidu.com, Dark Blue Sea, Marchex, and Banks.com. It will be interesting to see if the DPSI becomes a barometer for the health of the domain investment business.

I wish Mike and Judi all the best with their new blog, and I look forward to reading their insight.

Behavioral Targeting: Making Websites Smarter

1

Direct marketing is the art of presenting a consumer with a an offer that is compelling enough to elicit a trackable response. Creating a compelling offer continues to pose challenges in many marketing channels such as direct mail and telemarketing channels, but it is becoming easier for online marketing, with the help of behavioral targeting. By tracking consumer web surfing habits, marketers are able to use that data to offer consumers what they expect them to want, which can enhance their online experience and generate revenue for marketers.

Behavioral targeting is utilized to maximize the effect of “intuitive marketing,” giving consumers what they want the moment they probably want it. This helps websites stay ahead of the curve by enhancing the consumer web surfing experience. Online marketers know that if they make the consumer a compelling offer at the time they are most susceptible to processing the offer, it is more likely that they will react positively to the offer.

Applications such as Google’s  Gmail  and  Adsense  don’t necessarily need to rely on behavioral targeting, as their programs can detect content and provide related advertising links. Websites that might not have this type of keyword tags can be most positively impacted by behavioral targeting. According to an article appearing in  CNN, “Behavioral targeting brings capabilities to sites without good or reliable keywords — for example, a social-networking profile that touches on dozens of hobbies and interests at once.

Online marketing firm  eMarketer  believes that $1 Billion will be spent on behavioral marketing in 2008, and by 2011, the spending will increase to around $3.8 Billion, up from $220 Million in 2005. This shows the amount of faith marketers have in behavioral targeting, and it appears that its working. As technology continues to develop, I expect there will be new ways to detect what a consumer is looking to find, enabling direct marketers to successfully turn intuition into ROI.

Recent Posts

Thankful for These Domain Tools

9
There is not one perfect domain industry tool that does everything I need. In fact, there are quite a few tools I use regularly,...

Amazon Acquires AmazonFarts.com

5
I was looking through my morning DomainTools Registrant Alert email, and I saw an amusing domain name that caught my attention. I hate to...

Overpaying Today for a Deal Tomorrow

7
It is arguably more difficult than ever to privately acquire a great .com domain names. The majority of investment quality, long registered, domain names...

Sold 2 Weeks Ago for $4,190, FinWise.com Subject of UDRP

3
A couple of weeks ago, I saw that Finwise.com was pending delete and would be auctioned. I liked the name because it was a...

NARALO Talk: “The Secondary Market in Domain Names“

0
NARALO (North American Regional At-Large Organization) is a group within ICANN that is made up of individuals and organizations interested in Internet governance. The...