Web Hosts Add Value by Integrating with the Domain Market

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While primary registrations of popular .com and .net names continue to increase year after year, purchases of pre-registered domains is growing twice as fast.

The potential revenue streams within the domain market can no longer be ignored by Web hosts, registrars and service providers. At the same time, there is often concern that working with the domain market will direct customers to competitor offerings, and result in loss of customer loyalty and revenue. Fortunately, there are several innovative ways for registrars to actually improve customer loyalty and revenue through new partnerships.

For Web hosting customers, finding the ideal name for their business is paramount to success. However, the problem is that domain name value is increasing, as a result of the scarcity of premium virtual real estate. Test it for yourself: Go to any typical Web hosting site and type in your company name or marketplace. Chances are, the best “.com” domain names are already registered.

Why build a website when you can buy one? Flippa.com is almost solely focused on website sales, a grossly underserved market with huge potential — as evidenced by the $28 million in websites they have helped sell since their launch. So what sells best? According to founder Matt Mickiewicz, sites with unique content and designs that have a steady stream of organic traffic and a long revenue history garner the most bids and the highest prices. “Website Buyers are looking either for 'hands off' income generating websites that require minimal upkeep, or for high-traffic but undermonetized properties that they can improve — and even potentially flip for a profit,” said Mickiewicz.As an added value to businesses, Web host companies can work with domain brokerage services to help customers find pre-owned, premium domain name registrations that are for sale, alongside unregistered names. This will bring pre-registered domains to a wide range of consumers and businesses, enabling them to make a more informed choice from the very start of an online project.

Investing in a memorable Web address can help drive tremendous amounts of traffic to a website. By tapping the domain market, Web hosting companies can ensure their customers start their businesses off right, becoming a valued business resource beyond simply hosting a website. Consider these helpful guidelines:

Country-specific or International: If a business is only active in a single country, it might be adequate to use a country-specific extension such as .us, .co, .uk, or .ca. If the client wants to appeal to a global audience, it is best to present generic extensions such as .com, .biz, or .info.

Importance of Keywords: If search engines are a major source of traffic to a client's site, make sure the domain portfolio you recommend includes domains with one or more of their principal keywords to help with search engine rankings.

Risk for Traffic Diversion: Choosing the wrong domain name can result in thousands of lost visitors due to typos. To reduce this risk, avoid hyphens, numbers, misspellings, and exotic extensions. Users should be able to determine the domain’s spelling from the way it is pronounced: e.g., “Yahoo!”

Length: Shorter domain names are better, if the domain name is going to be typed-in often. A shorter domain reduces risks of typo errors, is easier to remember, and offers more flexibility in promoting the domain.

Descriptive Factor: Users type in generic or descriptive domains expecting to find goods related to that subject — such as Fly.com or Toys.com. Securing a short, descriptive domain name ensures the benefit of natural, type-in traffic.

By integrating with the domain market, Web hosting companies can add value to their services. Premium domains are becoming rare but remain an essential part of online success. Present customers with options and a valuable domain portfolio to go along with their vision and help them successfully operate in a highly competitive Internet environment.

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.

 

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2 comments

MikeG 01-20-2010 9:17 AM

100% agree and aweome topic!  You didn't discuss much about the "how" though. Like how are hosting companies integrating? Do domain companies offer api's for these type of affiliate situations?

Peter A. Prestipino 01-21-2010 1:55 PM

Really good point MikeG - I know that eNom, Godaddy and Tucows have API's. There's used in a variety of ways so it's probably safe to say that a developers creativity is the only variable.

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