Steps to a Quick and Easy Geodomain Geosite

Subscribe to Elliot's BlogFull-scale development like or 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 – 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 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.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Elliot –
    Excelent info. I’m in the process of building mini-sites on several geo-plus domains and really just flying by the seat of my pants. It’s good to see that we share some common thoughts. Any time I can get step-by-step instructions on what I am struggling to do, I’m excited.

  2. And never forget rule #1:
    If you live in the area show your face. Go to Chamber and CVB functions. Hand out your business card to anything with a pulse. Don’t try to sell. Simply socialize and have fun. Believe me, they’ll start asking questions. Nothing is more effective for generating real revenue.

  3. Elliot,
    Do you use AdWords Keyword Tool? If so, what sort of search volume per month would you say warrants developing a mini site? I’ve found some “Keywords + Geo”.coms that have a range of 400 to 12,000 searches per month for the exact phrase.
    I’ve heard opinions ranging from 1000 searches per month to 100,000! I don’t think I’ll be finding any of the 100k variety anytime soon though 🙂
    I don’t use that tool. Most of my domain buys are based on gut feel. I cross-check with Aaron Wall’s tool though.

  4. Elliot…
    I always read about city and country related domain names, but yet to hear about “county” names. There are lots of counties in the U.S. What´s your opinion on county names. Do you think they are any good for development? I know it depends on what county we are talking about, but how would have you done?

  5. Biggest thing people look for in local search you won’t find in Google because it’s not a commodity you can put a price on- but rather one you can monetize after building:
    people seeking like minded people.
    We just opened first forum: “Anyone here from LA?” How often do you see this. Car collectors, crafts, alcoholics here on business looking for a meeting. And so far the geo guys have totally blown this handing all the opportunity on a silver platter to Twitter where money being made of the meetups organized at local venues makes the sponsor worth the whole price of building the group relationship. Fruit for thought.

  6. @Owen,
    You’re right. There is a great community building opportunity on a domain. *Many* more people than you think will come to your community page, forum, classifieds ads etc. multiple times per day because they feel the sense of community in it.
    That adds up to lots of eyes looking at your advertisers product.
    – Richard

  7. Bravo! and Thank you, very well written as usual.
    Exactly the approach I have taken with my .com’s, .Net’s and .Ca’s Geos.
    Keeping the sites updated with Local events, festivals, news, updated Tourism info keeps fresh and visitors and potiential advertisers on site and coming back is a big key to the sites success.
    With a few affiliates and adwords helps the sites stay affordable, allows me to introduce affordable advertising.
    I completely agree with David, although most of the Cities I have are in the US and I am in Canada, whenever I visit a city I take time, shake hands and let them know I have a site representing that city.
    Cheers Elliot
    Geo Domains Group @ FaceBook

  8. Concerning “counties”, I have some pure county “.com”s. I have found that counties without a large city can be attractive, as the residents tend to identify with the county before a small town. These type of counties will tend to have a newspaper based on the county. I have a county domain with a population of 100k that I believe has more potential than another county I own with 500k. Hope this helps.

  9. Hi Elliot:
    Thanks for the informative post.
    As a newbie, I do have a coupla questions:
    1. When you refer to a domain development service, are you referring to a GoDaddy type service? I am completely new to this and I thought you once mentioned GoDaddy?
    2. When the domain development service has done the original design template, how do you add pages? Dreamweaver? Some other tool?
    1) Service like,, or friend who does quick and simple good looking sites like
    2) I personally use Dreamweaver, although I know of people who use Frontpage.

  10. Great tips, Elliot. Congrats on! A quick clarification about your statement above: “If you plan to build your site into a larger site down the road, THIS [my emphasis] might not be a good option.”
    What is “this”? Are your referring to letting local businesses list their services for free is not a good idea if one is planning to build a larger site for ones’s geo domain? Any additional tips for how to work around it?
    “THIS” refers to giving free listings. While it can be good for traffic to a mini site that relies on Adsense, it would be difficult to convert that free listing into a paying customer if you revamp the site and add a directory. I am told that some people don’t want to pay after getting the listings for free. This is info I’ve heard, so not based on personal experience.

  11. I have really enjoyed this thread.
    I own about 600 domains with roughly 30 or so being geo domains. My idea with the first one is to give away free ads to the local businesses which would look like:
    Joes Restaurant
    100 N Main
    Yourtown, State 84000
    This would be free for any/all businesses.
    In addition they will pay a small monthly or annual fee the addition of their tele# and another fee for a link to their website.
    Beyond that I want to have the opportunity to give them an entire site with their logo, bio and a blog where people can post and comment about the business. The business owner will be able to monitor all of the comments. This too will be an additional fee.
    Any comments on this?
    Again thank you for this valuable thread.

  12. An alternative might be to:
    1. Identify your best 3 prospects for a City+Service category. Wait.
    2. Give free listings and keyword oriented descriptions of 3-5 other companies who aren’t such good prospects. This would at least allow you to build some relevant content to help you rank in this category.
    3. Later, when traffic for this page is high enough approach your top 3 prospects and sell them advertising. Replace the free ads for the less good prospects.
    One of the leading Geodomain developers would not recommend this. It’s very difficult convincing someone to pay once they’ve had it for free (from what I’ve been told).

  13. The advice mentioned here was outstanding. We’ve learned over the years, since the early 90s, that if you start giving them free listing it will be hard to convert them to paying later.


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