I’ve been using a great keyword search tool to help me target domain acquisitions. Using KeywordDiscovery.com, a tool created by Trellian, I am able to find popular search terms related to specific keywords. I can then target specific domain names by putting the popular terms together. While I presume the main intent of this tool is to find keywords for developed website content, this tool helps me target potential domain acquisitions.
Oftentimes, the names that I find aren’t the obvious $100,000 domain names that many people target. These names are usually the strong second tier names that could sell for anywhere between $10,000 – $50,000 at auction or private sale. The advantage for me is that most of these names are less mined, meaning that the owners receive less solicitations. As a result, the owners are more inclined to discuss the sale of their domain names, and I am more likely to complete a sale.
As a rough example, using the keyword “cheap,” the most common searches are for “cheap tickets,” “cheap flights,” and “cheap airfare.” I would imagine the owners of CheapTickets.com, CheapFlights.com, and CheapAirfare.com receive hundreds of domain inquiries a week for these particular names, even though two of those are developed and one is parked.
Using the KeywordDiscovery.com search tool, I can see that “cheap bridesmaid dresses,” “cheap textbooks,” and “cheap lingerie” are all fairly popular search terms, indicating that the corresponding domain names would have some value. If I was looking for a name in this genre, I would probably hone in on these names.
Now that the Overture Search Tool isn’t work much (if at all), KeywordDiscovery.com is a great tool for domain investors to find potential domain names. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean that corresponding domain names receive traffic, it is indicative of the search term being desirable.
Also, I am not being compensated to write this. I am using the free trial.
Large travel companies like WC Travel are making it easier for people to start their own travel business. I believe that if a person creates enough unique content on a website, visitors will find the site either by search engine or word of mouth. If the site owner offers visitors relevant advertising, the visitor is much more likely to click through. More (qualified) traffic and trust in the website lead to higher click through rates, and higher click through rates generally mean higher close/sales rates, generating more revenue for the site owner.
For a person that loves to travel and write about traveling, using an affiliate site like WC Travel to create a white label reservation engine is a great solution. Instead of having to seek out potential advertisers or rely on Google’s Adsense to display relevant advertising, affiliate travel sites can actually brand a travel search engine using the website’s logo and header. This can lead to much greater revenue opportunities than other alternatives.
For my Lowell.com project, I will be using a few affiliate sites in areas that would be difficult for me to maintain. If I give visitors the most efficient way to book travel, find tickets or a job, they will benefit, and they will surely return to my site in the future. Associated Cities is a great organization for city .com owners as they have relationships with many affiliate sites. In a few days, I will provide more details about where I plan to use affiliate relationships on Lowell.com and give reasons why I believe that’s the best option.
There are many different affiliate sites out there who are willing to build a white label product to help you generate revenue for your website. Although you may generate less revenue through an affiliate than if you were to sell your own products, it can be much easier to start an Internet based business using affiliate relationships. You don’t have to worry about customer service, fulfillment, credit card authorization, billing…etc. However, since your site will be associated with the affiliate companies, it is important to do your due diligence on the company to make sure their standards are as stringent as yours.
I have a great deal of respect for David and Michael Castello and what they’ve done for the domain industry. Not only do they own an incredible group of developed geodomains including LagunaBeach.com, WestPalmBeach.com, and Nashville.com (among others), but they also have some other great generic non-geo related domain names names as well.
Aside from their tremendous portfolio of domain names, the Castello Brothers are genuinely nice guys who are always willing to give advice. I am especially thankful for the advice they have both given me for my Lowell.com development project. Recently, they were interviewed on SimplyGeo.com in a two part interview. Part One of the interview was posted yesterday, and Part Two was just posted today. This interview is a must read!
As discussed on TheDomains.com, Oversee.net received a commitment for a $150 million investment from Oak Hill Capital Partners. The transaction is expected to close by the end of January 2008. Oversee.net recently made news with their acquisition of domain registrar Moniker, and the transition to working as one collective unit has already begun. I received an email this afternoon with the subject, “SnapNames and Moniker Collaborate on Internext Domain Auction.”
According to Conde Nast publication Portfolio.com, “the funds will be used to boost growth and to acquire technologies that will enhance its suite of services.”
Let’s hope future acquisitions continue to help individual companies build upon the strong foundation of its buyer.
There have been plenty of times that I’ve seen certain people in the business build a successful website, and I admired their vision, work ethic and execution. On more than one occasion, I’ve even said to myself, “I’d like to work with that person if I ever have an opportunity.”
With all the consolidation that has been occurring in the domain industry, it would be smart to continue to see various individuals and small companies putting their collective heads together to create something truly unique. I am sure that Bido is going to be very successful without even knowing exactly what it is, simply because Sahar, Darren, Ron and Jeff are involved, and these guys know the domain industry.
More often than not, domain investors and developers work individually or with a single partner. While this can be productive, it doesn’t always allow for new ideas to germinate. Working with a partner can teach all parties new things and new ways to solve problems. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one.
Obviously for this to work, the partners have to be able to work with each other, which can pose many challenges in and of itself. My advice is to be upfront with a potential partner if it doesn’t look like things will work out. A partnership can be a great thing, and it can help propel your business and the domain industry forward.
For those of you who are unable to attend DomainFest, I am organizing a Domainer Dinner in New York City on Monday, January 21 at Dos Caminos in Manhattan. If you are interested in attending, please drop me a note ASAP. We have several people commited so far, and I need to confirm the reservation by this Thursday.