Domain name strategies -5 Step Process to "Domaining" for targeted traffic and lead generation
5 Steps for Getting Targeted Web Traffic with Strategic Domain Names:
Simple Do's and Don'ts to help you successfully get key word based traffic for your brand, product or service.
Purchasing and using strategic domain names has been around long before it was given a name. A common term for using key word based domain names has been tossed around by web marketing strategists as "domaining". Coming up with creative and key word rich domain names is one of my favorite visioning or market expansion activities.
We have helped clients and our own traffic and lead generation strategies greatly in some cases, and poorly in others by "domaining" or strategic use of domain names, and here are a few tips and ideas to help you get the ball rolling for your own efforts. In this, we also share a few pointers from real marketing experience where we have been very successful, as well as where we have fallen short in this process.
Here are 5 solid steps we have personally used for ourselves and clients in
building solid domain name traffic and conversion strategies:
Conversion starts with the Domain name???
Though this is categorized under "Web / Internet Traffic Strategies" it is also technically a Conversion Strategy.
Here's an Example from the world of golf.
Jack Nicklaus - arguably one of the best golfers who ever lived rebuked a popular phrase in golf, and rightly so when he said,
"Drive for show, putt for dough. . . not in my book"
(taken from his video series - "Golf My Way")
How in the world does this relate to traffic and conversion? Looking at traffic as the preparation for getting the sale, we can look at Driving the golf ball as preparation (or setting up) for the birdie putt. Simply stated, he considers putting while standing on the tee. He knows where he wants to land the drive, so he will have the best angle of approach to the flag, so that he will have the best chance at making the putt!
What an analogy to the simple web success formula, "traffic + conversion = revenue"
#1: Before you buy domain names for traffic generation, consider whether the domain names can or will convert to revenue.
Test the domain name with the Google Key Word Tool
Early in my internet strategy career, I was a bit zealous (and lacked a lot of knowledge in areas that I was aggressively pursuing) I kind of missed the whole point of Proverbs 19:2 - "It is not good to have zeal before knowledge" and spent a lot of money on domain names that I never got around to using. Eventually, I realized that I did not have the capacity to use them all effectively, and had bought many in haste, hence the purpose of this report. When you are searching for domain names, yes, you may have your main brand names, and if you can afford it, you should purchase the derivatives, different extensions and hyphenated versions of your own brand name to protect it.
Domaining or buying strategic domain names that are rich with your targeted key words should be tested first with the Google Key Word Tool.
1) Because it will reveal to you the potential monthly global and local traffic if you are able to optimize a page or site using that domain name
2) Because it will give you other ideas for key word rich domain names that could potentially bring targeted traffic.
Before you buy domain names, test it and it's potential cousins with the Google Key Word Tool
(or another reliable key word tool that gives real Search Engine Metrics)
Test your key word phrase conversion value with PPC
(Using Pay Per Click to test your key word rich domain names)
If you read our work, (or work with us) you will hear the "T" word a lot: "Test"
It is actually a foundation of our philosophy as it should be for everyone who is serious about marketing, sales improvement and ROI (return on investment).
1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, "Test everything. Hold on to the good."
Claude Hopkins pointed this out (paraphrased):
advertising (marketing) if done scientifically is the surest, safest way to great returns for your money.
He helped pioneer this, he proved this, and he lived this principle and became very wealthy while building wealth and national brand names for many of his clients in the process.
One of the things that grieves us is when a company does not understand this principle, will not invest the time to implement it, or prefers legacy or opinions or popular vote (not the customers but the strategic team's vote) or pride rather than scientific, proof-based marketing.
This often leads to the downturn in our marketing relationship with a client when we are unable to convince our clients that testing and tracking and change based off of proven sampling returns is always better than the team vote or pride.
When it comes down to it, it is difficult for some clients to accept the facts and with a "gulp" realize that they may have been senselessly wasting marketing money for years.
Before investing in Search Engine Optimization or domain names, test.
Test them for their potential traffic value by purchasing at a bare minimum of 100 clicks (probably best to purchase a few hundred clicks if it fits the budget). Then begin to make your strategy based off of these returns. Poor conversions based off of good key word phrase clicks can also be caused by your landing page, so be careful and know which key words will do well before investing in domain names and/ or SEO campaigns.
Have a solid landing page strategy
Imagine opening up a bakery, spending thousands of dollars on good, targeted advertising and enticing people to come to your store to get great donuts, and tons of potential donut lovers stampede your doors down, but then can't find the donuts in your store, or worse, the donuts are hidden behind some boxes in the back room that can only be reached by going through a series of doors and hallways that form a confusing maze!
Worse yet, what if they somehow mangage to find their way off of your gauntlet of a site, leave and tell all of their friends (social media working against you) how confusing and impossible, and misleading it was and they never could find your donuts that your advertising enticed them to come and try!
This is exactly what happens to your site visitors when you have great traffic funneled to a crappy landing page.
(well not exactly, but you get the point)
Your landing page should have a clear strategy, and if it is not a sales page, squeeze page, or opt-in of sorts, you should still have a goal for your visitors.
So how can you avoid this embarrassing waste of money?
Start with AIDA for landing page success
(Run split tests or multi-variate (MVT) tests on all 4 aspects of your copy)
- Attention: Craft and test appropriate headlines and graphics, font size, color, etc.
- Interest: Be sure your copy draws them in- make it interesting and in alignment with the target
- Desire: Arouse appropriate desire by adding value and serving their initial need (let them sample the donut)
- Action: Make the "call to action" clear and in alignment (Help them easily buy a dozen donuts or more!)
Before investing in domain names, have a solid, testable landing page strategy in place
From our story about Jack Nicklaus earlier, Jack had a mapped plan for each hole. He knew where he wanted to hit his drive, because he knew from where he wanted to approach the green with his second shot. He also knew where he wanted to putt from on each green to have the best chance at birdie. Having a good landing page in alignment is similar to knowing where the best place is on the green to putt from. . . and it starts on the tee box.
Figure out how the domain name will fit your "Big Picture" Sales and Marketing Funnel
Know and test how this domain name will fit into your overall sales and marketing strategy.
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Aaron Schulman for Aim Advantage