By Jeremiah Johnston, COO of SEDO
More and more, consumers are bypassing
search engines and typing terms relevant to their
searches directly into Web browsers. As a result, many
businesses are using generic or descriptive domain names to
capture these prospects — they generate tremendous natural
type-in traffic and are highly relevant to searcher intent.
In fact, the value of these domains was validated by the results of Sedo’s Q2 Market Study for 2009 which revealed ongoing,
strong demand with more than $15 million in sales for premium generic domains.
These domains provide an effective way to maximize Web presence, drive traffic and ultimately bring more customers
to a company’s doorstep. For example, if you type “loans.com” into your browser, you will be immediately
redirected to Bank of America’s website. Bank of America purchased the domain to encourage loan seekers to use
their services. Not only does the company profit from being associated with loans, it’s receiving a large amount of
additional traffic to its main website. Another example is the domain “Money.com,” which redirects to CNN’s
This growing interest in acquiring additional domain names has been encouraged by new and easier methods
of attaining them — most domain registrars help businesses navigate the secondary domain market, even
if those domains are already owned. Many top generic domains will come with a lofty price, but with a little
keyword research and creativity there will be many domains available that can help drive qualified, type-in
traffic to your website.
When considering a generic domain online marketing strategy,
consider these tips:
Think like a Web surfer. People type generic terms expecting to find goods or services related
to that subject. Try to stay on-target with your generic domains so that users feel secure when
being redirected to another domain.
Consider using quirky names that are also relevant to your business. Examples might
include slang terms or catch phrases. Like CNN’s Money.com, PennyPincher.com might
attract a particular audience.
Don’t be afraid of the long tail. While single-word generic domains like Money.com
are the most desirable, there is plenty of value in longer variations. Catchy long-tail
domains are easy to market if they are memorable.
Flip that domain. Just because you don’t sell a product related to a good generic
domain doesn’t mean you can’t profit. A good domain is attractive to many
buyers who didn’t take advantage of the opportunity. There are many places
to sell domains including Sedo.com, Bido.com, Flippa.com, Moniker.com
and even eBay.
About the Author: Jeremiah Johnston is chief operating officer of the online domain name and
website marketplace, Sedo. Johnston oversees a variety of responsibilities
for Sedo including marketing, legal and strategy. He represents Sedo as
a founding member of the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) and
sits on the Board of Directors in the role of association president,
helping to shape the future of domain names in the political space.
Go Global Quickly
The Web has few
borders, so take
advantage of the widespread
extensions such as .co.uk
(United Kingdom) and
.com.mx (Mexico) are available
for purchase and present an
excellent opportunity to brand
your business internationally. This
becomes even more important if you
have a product of value in a particular
country or region.
Do a little research before purchasing
generic, country-level domains. Find out
what items or services are popular there,
and watch out for any regional dialects or
differences in meanings of particular words.
Also, a website in the native language or at
least the ability to translate the site into that language