I know a lot of people who own city keyword .com domain names, and I own several of them as well. I want to share a development idea I have, as I have found most of the longer tail geodomain names I own (most are attorney or lawyer names) don’t get much type in traffic and make very little revenue as a result. I haven’t put this idea into practice yet but want to share it with those who might wish to do so.
Using a modified classifieds theme or a directory package, create empty directories that cost anywhere from $9 – 99/year to sign up. The advertiser will receive a full page within the website to promote his business, and the company will be listed on the primary page. It will be very similar to Frank Schilling’s MontrealRestaurants.com. Payment will need to be made via Paypal and should be an annual subscription for easy re-billing.
The idea is that once you create and customize your platform for a few hundred dollars (unless you are able to do the work on your own), you can then version it out to your other similar domain names to lower your development cost per domain name. Contrary to what some people might say, I do happen to think a site like this should look good so potential advertisers are more interested in advertising. I received many more comments about DogWalker.com’s look and style rather than its searchability and functionality.
By doing this, it will help generate revenue, once you’ve done enough SEO work to get it ranked in Google. As a comparison, DogWalker.com ranked #1 in Google for the term “dog walker” within 2 months of launching it, and it had been a Godaddy landing page for a while, so the SEO aspect isn’t as difficult as it might seem.
Like I said before, I haven’t done this yet so I can’t give any feedback about the likelihood for success. I tried to sell HattiesburgAttorney.com, LynnAttorney.com, BozemanAttorney.com, and a few others similar names without much luck, so I will probably try this model out on these names before the end of the year. If it fails to yield any signups, I imagine getting these names ranking in Google for their keywords will at the very least increase their saleability and value.
Feel free to share your experiences with this.
Excellent, thanks… one of the topics I’ve been looking into.
Have you looked at Octane360? They’re doing some things along this line. I have a few hundred such domains in with them now, it’s early yet, but I like what’s been happening so far.
Great article…. i did some website development for an overseas business where the website is a geo-related domain in a different niche and although the website is at its infancy, it is getting paid registrations.
Really like what you’ve done with DogWalker.com
Can you share with us what script you used for DogWalker?
We do something similiar with our long tails like BaltimorePhotographers.com with one exception, we augment the directory listing revenue with lead generation. Last month, we made $76.00 in leads on Baltimore Photographers in addition to several new listing sales.
IMHO Long tail geos are a perfect match for lead generation. Some potential advertisers will NEVER pay for a listing, they only pay for performance. Otherwise, will NEVER pay for leads, clicks, or calls.
By offering both a pay per inclusion and pay per lead model – you cast the widest net to reach the maximum number of advertisers.
Dogwalker runs on wpclassipress, with some heavy modifications. Inexpensive but effective! I’d been doing this for about three months, my terms are a bit more competitive so simple SEO won’t do much.
Directories are definitely a great way to develop a domain, and it can be done with any domain, regardless if it’s geo or not.
Everything I wanted to do five years ago, but was not smart enough or dedicated enough to do…
Your detailed report here, El, is fantastic. Thx for helping out the noobs and the old timers…
Good thoughts! (‘Was surprised though at Franks MontrealRestaurants.com; I tried 11 restaurant website links; and all were dead. Hope he’s seeing live revenue.)
George — I’m a little confused by what you said. You do charge for listings on BaltimorePhotographers.com, correct? That was my understanding. If that’s the case, isn’t lead generation simply over and above the amount you are charging for listings?
Thanks for your help!
@LouMindar Most of our advertiser base (80%) will not pay for an enhanced listing. They don’t mind paying $4.00 per lead for any lead generated by the site. This insults them from the possibility of signing up for a year contract that produces very little results.
The other 20%, are turned off by pay per lead, they desire predictability – knowing the max yearly cost up front.
Our directory blends together both types of advertisers.
To answer your question, the leads program is not a value add on top of the listing program.
One additional comment, last month we generated leads from over 30+ geo long tail domains. While several of the long tails that produced revenue (like BaltimorePhotographers.com) were acquired off snapnames, the vast majority of the sites that generated revenue were sitting un-regged.
SacramentoVideographers.com is a prime example of an unregged domain. Last month, it generated $26 in lead revenue for an $8 reg. That is above and beyond any $199 (Silver) or $299 (Gold) listings we’ve secured as a result of owning that brand.
These is still alot of micro-gold sitting unregged. When we are finished, we will have over 1,000 geo long tail directories in our network. If you can average $20-$50 a month, you have the start of a nice businesss.
If you can average $20-$50 a month (per domain), you have the start of a nice businesss.
Hi George, I think you have a pretty good strategic plan in place concerning directories. I’ve been interested in this area, and have purchased a ‘niche’ market geo specific too. I wanted to know if you have a webinar or ebook – or do consulting in this area? Can you provide your website if you do? If El doesn’t mind. Thx
I don’t have a webinar, ebook, or blog. I’m going to launch a blog, but it is tailored toward small business owners, not domainers. I’m always happy to give my opinion and tell you the challenges with any online business model – feel free to email me using the whois record.
@ George, thanks… will do. Appreciate it.