“Either you bring the water to L.A. or you bring L.A. to the water”…Noah Cross/Chinatown

Domain names are the real estate of the Internet and the people that have invested wisely in them have become very rich.  When I mean rich, I’m not talking about the “Life’s Been Good To Me So Far” wealth of some of my search marketing friends.  I’m talking “F*** You” rich.  When I attended the 2007 Domain Roundtable, I was made keenly aware that I was in the same room with 2 Domainer Billionaires (Frank Schilling & Kevin Ham)…and I’m sure that others present were only 1-2 zeros shy of those two distinguished gentlemen.

How did these very smart individuals amass their wealth?  Clearly, they bought premium domain names before the masses had figured out their value.  However, they also had to know how to choose the “cream of the crop” based on nothing besides their keen intuition and while we’re not going to ever see the opportunity again that Frank & Kevin took advantage of, people can still make smart purchases using tried & true methods.  I’m here to share some insights into what one should look for in a domain name.

Domain Name Extensions

Everyone knows about “.com”.  It’s permeated the fabric of social consciousness.  You can’t escape it.  However, here’s a little known fact about what .com stands for…

.com = “Common”

At registration fees, pretty much all the .com’s have been mined out by the same herd followers who think they are smart enough to be the next Frank/Kevin (and to get a premium .com name is outside the budget of most folks).  .net & .org have been heavily mined as well.  So, what to do?

Get a unique extension where keyword rich domains are much more available.

Here’s a list of extensions and I’m sure almost the entire list is new to most folks.  There is an incredible variety of names to choose from when all these extensions come into play.

To illustrate, .co.ck is the domain extension of the Cook Islands and with a little searching, I determined that http://10inch.co.ck (and many similar variants) are available for purchase.  If these aren’t keyword-rich premium domains worthy of any domain portfolio, I don’t know what are.

Keywords In Domain

One of the strongest ranking signals used by Google is “keywords in the domain”.  Therefore, you really should purchase domain names that contain the keywords that you wish to rank for.  If you are a smart marketer, you know that to get lots of traffic to your site, you’ll need to rank well for lots and lots of keywords.  Therefore, it’s smart to stuff your domains with as many keywords as your registrar allows you.

As an example, most Internet Marketers know that the insurance space can be extremely lucrative online.  Many websites attempt to monetize many different types of insurance products (just as many insurance agents carry different lines).  However, if these sites were smart, they would put all their main keywords in their domain which is not only good for SEO but branding since customers will know what types of products are offered simply by examining the domain name.

So, when I see a domain name like http://www.cheap-car-auto-life-home-health-pet-travelers-insurance.com, I know that I’ve found a destination site that not only can services all my insurance needs but a webmaster that knows the intrinsic value of this important SEO (and domaining) principle.

Website Content

Domain parking revenue has collapsed and for a myriad of reasons, very few domains will get enough type in traffic to make domain parking a valid revenue model.  Therefore, a premium domain should be built out with rich keyword-focused content so that (combined with the other SEO factors) it has a chance of ranking well, bringing targeted traffic that can be monetized. 

Getting good quality content affordably can be a challenge but in the misfortune of others lies tremendous opportunity for the bold…

Google’s recent “Farmer Update” has decimated the traffic of many highly visible content-rich websites.  Lots of formerly visible content in Google has disappeared.  Since the content won’t get search traffic any more on the original site, there isn’t any reason why it shouldn’t get traffic on your site…after all, it’s the website that got penalized, not the content. 

So, go to one of the sites on the penalty list and search for a relevant article (like this one about mesothelioma).  Now, Google already has this article cached in one of their servers, so copying this article verbatim won’t be the best play here. 

Instead, copy the article into Word and do some smart & savvy “Copy / Replace” to make the text not only relevant to your website but uniquely yours. 

So, text like:

For people working in the trades describes above, make sure that workplace regulations as defined by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration for mesothelioma prevention are in place. Some asbestos fibers may attach to hair, skin, and clothing, and you can put your family at risk if brought home. For mesothelioma prevention, federal laws now require workers to follow several precautions including:

  • Showering before leaving the workplace
  • Storing clothes separate from work clothes in the workplace
  • Changing out of work clothes into street clothes before leaving the workplace
  • Washing work clothes at workplace (source)

Can be repurposed for your Drunk Driving Lawyers website as follows:

For people working in the trades describes above, make sure that dwi attorney regulations as defined by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration for dui lawyers prevention are in place. Some drunk driving law firm fibers may attach to hair, skin, and clothing, and you can put your family at risk if brought home. For dui lawyers prevention, federal laws now require workers to follow several precautions including:

  • Showering before leaving the dwi attorney
  • Storing clothes separate from work clothes in the dwi attorney
  • Changing out of work clothes into street clothes before leaving the dwi attorney
  • Washing work clothes at dwi attorney

Rework a few articles thusly and you have enough good content where, combined with strong link popularity, could produce an online revenue powerhouse.

Conclusion

I’ve given you an overview of how you can strategically purchase and develop your domain investments.  I encourage you to try out my process for yourselves…after all, people who won’t try to purchase and monetize domains because “it’s tough” or “all the good names are taken” are http://www.fullofsh.it

Todd Mintz
Todd Mintz knows PPC...knows Social Media...knows SEO...knows Blogging...knows Domaining...and knows them all real well. He is the SEM Consigliere for 3Q Digital and is also a Director & Founding Member of SEMpdx: Portland, Oregon's Search Engine Marketing Association, and he can be found here on Twitter and Facebook.
Todd Mintz

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