So far, we’ve had an introduction into the art of making money from domain names. We’ve learnt what domains are, and we went deeper and learnt about domain extensions and saw that choosing the right extension will improve a domain’s value. However, the really valuable part of a domain name is not the extension, it is the second level domain. You may recall my example of sex.com being significantly more valuable than sex.net. The domains, however, derive their value from the word “sex” – which is the second level domain in both cases.
Domain keywords are what make up your second level domain and, indeed, they are key. They account for almost all of any domain’s value.
It is possible for the keywords of a domain to contain absolutely no relevant words and still be valuable (e.g google.com, squidoo.com) but this happens after a lot of time and effort from the domain’s owner(s). Google.com is valuable because of the google brand – on day 1 of its registration, its value to a domainer would have been pretty close to nothing. However, other domains (like sex.com) are valuable from day one. Why? This is because the word making up the domain (e.g. sex) is inherently relevant. It is a key word. Keyword based domains have an inherent value and are much more easier to sell as a domainer.
Successful domainers usually have a portfolio that mostly consists of keyword-oriented domains since these have more obvious value and appeal better to search engines.
Researching Keywords For Your Domains
An easy way to come up with valuable keywords for your domains is to follow trends, seasons, fashion and major events/happenings. For example, many domainers made lots of money by taking advantage of the opportunity presented by Micheal Jackson’s death. Another example: I know of a domainer who quietly buys a portfolio of summer related domains (barbeque, camping, etc) during the cold months and then sells them at a profit when summer finally comes. He lives in the USA though – where this is possible.
Another approach to getting valuable keywords is found in SEO concepts. I mentioned before that domainers have to be SEO-conscious and I repeat it again: as a domainer you have to understand how SEO works. Domain keywords are a huge part of search engine optimisation and should be picked carefully and always with SEO in mind.
Researching search trends is a good way to assess the potential traffic of a domain as well as to get ideas of how valuable that domain could be. The basic idea is simple: analyse search engines like Google and find out what people are searching for (their search terms are your keywords) then develop those keywords into keyword-based domains.
How do you do this? Fortunately, there are several tools available:
Tools To Analyse Search Trends:
Google Trends – With Google Trends, you can compare the world’s interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most.
Google Insights For Search – With Google Insights for Search, you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties.
Digital Point Keyword Suggestion Tool – This is a handy little tool will show you the results of your query from both Wordtracker and Overture for determining which phrases are searched most often. Enter a search phrase to see how often it’s searched for, as well as get suggestions for alternate (but similar) keywords.
Generally, keywords that receive a lot of search engine traffic would be more valuable and you therefore want to get those. However, competition should also be put into consideration. For example, if you found a keyword that gets searched only about 25,000 times a month (which is low) but there is hardly any competition, it would be a good keyword to develop a domain (or domains) around. The Adwords Tool is useful in analysing competition.
Getting Your Domain Name
Researching search trends will leave you with a list of keywords. You know want to get a nice, brandable domain name based on these keywords. How do you do it? Well, you can sit down and brainstorm. Or you can use a domain name generator like DomainsBot. Domainsbot allows you to sort domain suggestions based on extension, availability, and by synonyms. It’s a fantastic tool
This article is part one of a series of articles that will fully explore making money online from domain names. The other articles in this series are: