How To Turn Web Domains Into Profit
You’re probably aware that a great web domain is part of the key to a successful website. There are certainly plenty of other important factors to consider, but if you’ve got a long or obscure looking domain the site probably won’t go very far. Here are ways to invest in domains that increase your chances of profitability.
Start With Relevant Keywords
Various resources such as WhoIs allow you to research available domain names. Most short common names have already been taken, so you might begin with the keywords that define your niche. If you can get a domain with 5-8 characters that sum up your business, you’re off to a solid start.
Some sites like Google, Facebook and Yahoo have been successful using unique names that don’t necessarily tell you instantly what they’re about. But keep in mind these popular sites have millions of dollars in marketing behind them. If your startup has a tight budget, then you should stick with names that paint an instant picture of what your site is about. You can still be creative, such as creating new names out of two common words such as “YouTube.”
Many times you can get an edge in SEO by using the name of your city or its abbreviation in your domain. If you live in San Francisco, for example, and run a local business, an effective strategy is to use “SF” plus your niche in the domain. Avoid dashes because they are hard to remember unless people constantly view your logo through visual marketing. If you want to launch a national or global site, chances are you’ll have to do heavy marketing, so that gives you the opportunity to use more innovative names.
Use a Top Level Domain
“Top level domains” mean the most widely used extensions, but essentially dot com is still the most popular extension. In April 2017, 48% of domains on the internet used dot-coms, while the rest were split among dozens of other options. No other extension comes close, although dot org (4%) is useful for non-profit organizations. Dot-coms are usually easier to remember than dot nets (5%) unless you heavily promote your site through traditional media.
After You Purchase a Domain
Once you’ve purchased a domain the next decision to make is whether you want to build an actual website, park the domain or sell it at a higher price. Domains typically initially cost about $10 and must be renewed every year. An auction site such as Sedo allows you to put your domain on the market, which can result in bids from prospective buyers. Keep in mind, unless the domain is very special and eye-catching, it may not attract interest since it’s easier and cheaper for people to think up alternative names.
If you decide to turn your domain into a money-making website, you will either need to add an e-commerce solution or a method of capturing leads (such as using forms or email). If you have a big budget, consider outsourcing to a developer that can build you a proprietary enterprise solution. There are plenty of existing e-commerce platforms on the market if you only have a modest budget. Shopify is a widely used affordable e-commerce store platform. If you have no budget, PayPal is a free option.
You can build your website without knowing any code using a low-cost content management system. Another option is to buy your own web design software, which can also bypass learning code in favor of user-friendly drag and drop tools. You can also outsource to a web development team, which often provides the most professional results, but at a much higher cost.
How to Attract Online Traffic
After you’ve built the foundation of your website, you will need to add unique content, which is what search engines look for. If you can demonstrate that you are an authority on a specific niche, you will increase your odds of getting high rankings in Google for your keywords. Make sure the content is original, useful and comprehensive. Most website traffic is driven by search engines. You can also attract traffic by promoting your domain through online or traditional marketing.
Domains can be seminal to developing a profitable website. Some people make money flipping domains on auction sites. Remember, however, that the most likely way to profit significantly from a domain is to promote an e-commerce website.
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