Why I Like GeoDomains

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Based on my recent acquisition of Burbank.com, mini-development of Salinas.com, and recent launch of Lowell.com, you can probably guess that I like geographic domain names. I do have several other non-geographic domain names, so I am not just a geodomain buyer/developer, but I happen to really like these names. There are a number of reasons for this, and if I haven’t stated my reasoning before, I am happy to do so here:
1) People are always looking for information about large cities or tourist hotspots. Judging by the type-in traffic my geographic domain names receive, I can say for certain that people look for city information simply by typing the city .com domain name into their url browsers. Whether they are looking to move to the city, looking to visit the city or looking for information, the goal of my development projects is to offer all of this and make it easy for them to make travel plans for find a place to move. I am sure good PPC could be made, but that limits the growth of the domain name. While developed geodomains may take some time to develop and generate revenue, the upside is much greater than with PPC.
2) There are no products that I need to sell with a geographic domain name. Geodomains are almost always informational, so there is no inventory, fulfillment, or customer service to worry about. Sure there is client management, but I will get to that in a minute. Geodomains can be a great source of information, and if it is presented in an easy to read format, visitors should return.
3) To generate the maximum amount of revenue, relationships need to be established with local businesses. Unlike other types of product/service related websites where potential clients are located around the country (or world), all of the businesses I will be reaching out to are located in the same general vicinity. I can and will meet with local business owners and managers, explain why they need to advertise in the local directory, show them that their neighbors are advertising and try to convince them to advertise as well. Maybe it sounds easier said than done, but if the pricing is competitive and the businesses receive a return on their advertising dollar, the advertising will sell.
4.) Once a geodomain business model is successful, the model can be replicated in other city .com domain names fairly easily.
5.) Travel, Job, Ticket and other similar affiliate sites were practically made for geodomains. Most will actually help you create a white label solution so the affiliate site is fully integrated into your geodomain. While jobs.lowell.com might not look exactly like Lowell.com, it is pretty close.
6.) There are always people who are fully committed to their city. If the domain name is beneficial to the city, others will be very willing to help. With Lowell.com, I worked with a top photographer who not only provided images, he also gave me some great advice about things that should be included in the website. He is also going to introduce me to some of the city decision makers so I can introduce myself and let them know I want to help the city.
I don’t think geodomains are any easier to develop than any other type of domain name. I do recommend that the owner have a tie to the city he wants to develop and that the city is large enough that it can be fully developed. With smaller, non-tourist towns, it can be more difficult to get enough advertisers to generate revenue. One of the most important things to remember is that the website should not only reflect the personal tastes of the owner, but it should also be reflective of the city.
For now, I have enough geodomain names in my portfolio to keep me very busy with development.

1 COMMENT

  1. The rea$on$ for inve$ting in Geodomain$ are obviou$.

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
    Rumor has it that you drive around in a Hummer painted with 24k gold – and you have diamonds on the soles of your shoes. Can you confirm this?

  2. Nope, Michael has the Hummer (with Rate.com on the license plate). I much prefer my convertible Jag (cute Prius owners don’t give me the finger as much).
    And no diamonds on my shoes. I steer clear of the nouveau riche ghetto look.

  3. Congrads on Burbank.com!… completely agree, people live somewhere, travel and do business in Cities, States & Countries…can’t go wrong! My portfolio is 65% Geo & travel related, 25% Wedding related the balance odds and ends(mostly Fashion related).

  4. Sounds like it’s primarily about location, then web content; a melding of terrestrial and virtual world, all in an icon, the URL. I love it. Congrats

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