I got together with some of my former colleagues a couple nights ago at a memorial party for a colleague who died suddenly last week. We were discussing the progress of my former group, and we started discussing the Internet strategy they have and where it’s headed.
They are in the process of launching a new stand alone product website (their first stand alone site), although they were only able to acquire domain names that are variations of the product’s name (for example MyProduct.com, ProductOnline.com, MyProductOnline.com…etc). I asked why they didn’t go out and buy the straight up Product name from its current owner, and they didn’t really have an answer other than the fact that it’s owned by someone else.
This got my mind turning. Here is a group at a huge company that has seen tremendous growth, are about to launch a serious Internet campaign/website, yet they don’t really understand the value of domain names and what it would mean to own the Product.com domain name. I assume many companies are in a similar position, and educating them is difficult.
I would imagine a numbers argument would be the way to educate them, showing that the Product.com domain gets a % of traffic (intended visitors) which could be lost if they don’t search to find the correct website. Figuring out the lost business as a result of not owning the domain name should be the amount of money they could/would pay to acquire it. However, once the site is launched, it’s unlikely that the owner would sell it, especially if he is fearful of a litigious response.
How do you educate people about the value of domain names?
I use the example of Loans.com which was bought by Bank Of American and Books.com that was bought by Barns&Noble as examples. Basically tell me them that even though those are major companies, the type-in traffic they get from those domain names has tremendous value. I have them check out much those keywords like “loans” and “books” will cost to advertise on “google” and how expensive that would be to get the same amount of traffic the domains get the type-in traffic from. Usually, if they have any common sense they will get it.
Now my friends who think I been crazy on spending over X,xxx,xxx on domains since 1999 and now showing more interest since I am semi-retired now off those domain investments. Now some of them are willing to listen but for those first 7 years of domaining while I was building things up, they thought I was just wasting my money away.
I would start with the following:
1.The Credibility aspect of a generic domain
3.SEO factor of keyword specific domains and ranking
4.Stress the low cost of maintenance once initial acquisition
5.Branding / Marketing of a generic domain
6.The growth potential of a generic domain
7.The value that a domain acquires and holds once revenue and traffic are established. If the company needs to liquidate, a domain is an asset that can be sold.
8.Type in Traffic and that it has the highest conversion rates over any online marketing or referral program/system.
Thats typically my starting point and the list is in no specific order.
I hope that helps Elliot…
Jacob N. Nojoumi
This is really no different than starting a business in the brink and mortar world. You can start your business on Main St. and reap the rewards of Main St. traffic, or you can find a less expensive shop on a back street with little or no traffic. You can save money by renting/buying the back street location, but you’re going to have to spend a lot of money to increase traffic. In the long run, the Main St. location is less expensive.
one of the best ways to teach people about the value of domains (and anything for that matter), is to leading by example, I think.
just keep giving them great examples!!!
Answering to your question,
and try to make those ‘not in the know’ understand
You know, interestingly enough (I’m 35, btw), until I became interested in domaining I never typed into the address bar a genericname.com to look for something I was interested in. I have typed in brands–zappos, amazon, ebay, etc.–but never have I thought about shoes and typed in shoes.com. If anything, I’ve always used search engines and that’s probably true of many people my age and younger. Which is probably as good a reason to start developing as any. No hurry, of course. Type-in probably has another 10 to 20 years before it dies off completly. Which is not to discredit generic names which will still prove to excellent investments but parking will die.
If we are talking about (small)business owners, then I see the following ways to educate them about domains:
1- During internet marketing courses in their primary business education (if they had any).
2- Good articles about domains in their (business owners) information circulars. This can come from the business organizations they are member of.
In general, business owners are just too busy to spend time reading about something else then their own business. So the ‘domain education’ must come from a trusted information source, quick and easy.
People just don’t know and/or understand. I see it in my own business field but also in others.
Just an example: As recently as just a few days ago, I registered the Dutch (my language) equivalent of concretedrilling .com: betonboringen .com. The .nl and .be extensions were already taken. In my small country, there are a few thousand concrete drilling services present. Many businesses are using domain names like johnsbetonboringen.nl/.com, abcbetonboringen .com etc. Apparently, no one seemed to care to register just betonboringen(concretedrilling).com In my country, the .com extension is often used as well.
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