Written By: Tom Ogg, Co-Owner – Travel Professional NEWS
Last month (January, 2020) we explored the idea that it is imperative that travel professionals dump their AOL (and others) email addresses in favor of establishing a more professional vanity email address. Since the article appeared in Travel Professional NEWS I have been contacted by agents who face the fact that someone else has taken their specific domain name and what should they do?
If your business name domain name is already taken then the way to go is to find the best domain name that defines your specific niche. Keyword domain names can be exceptionally beneficial, especially if you have a very narrow niche. As an example, let’s say you specialize in selling SCUBA diving trips to Hawaii. HawaiiSCUBASpecialist.com or HawaiiSCUBAExpert.com would be a great url as it spells out exactly what you do and would rant high in the search engines for those keywords. BTW, both urls are available to register right now.
As you can see, finding the right domain name is all about finding the right keywords that express what you do. You will be amazed at how many keyword domain names are available for registration. For instance, the example we use throughout this article, TravelInsuranceAgency.com is also available for registration and would not require you to purchase it from someone that already has it registered. But, when it comes time to purchase a domain name from a current registered owner here are 6 secrets that will make it easy.
Define Your Keywords
For the purpose of this article, I am going to use a very specific example to show how the process should work for you when buying a domain name. Let’s assume that you intend to sell travel insurance and are going to offer detailed information about travel insurance and the ability for consumers to purchase travel insurance on your website. You perceive your site being at the top of the search engines for the search terms “Travel Insurance”. You should try to purchase a keyword domain name that includes those keywords in it. TravelInsurance.com, TravelInsuranceAgency.com or TravelInsuranceAgent.com would all be excellent choices. Obviously, all of these may already be registered, so purchasing one of them is the only way to meet the objective. Of course, there are many other variables that could work, but to simplify the process we will just stick with these.
Research Your Domain Name
The first thing that you should do is see where the domain names point and as it turns out only TravelInsuranceAgent.com points to an active website. The other two names are parked and are probably for sale. A quick look using these terms in Google’s Keyword tool reveals that there are almost 5,000,000 monthly searches using the keywords “Travel Insurance” with tens of millions of monthly searches including the words “Travel Insurance”. This makes a domain name with the keywords “Travel Insurance” a high value domain name. In addition, there are roughly almost 700,000 monthly searches using the keywords “Insurance Agency” making the url TravelInsuranceAgency.com an extremely attractive domain name for the project. Just enter “keyword tracker” in Google and you will be presented with tons of tools that will help you find keywords and see how effective and competitive they are. It is interesting that the keywords “Travel Insurance Agency” are not at the highest level of competition, which also adds value to them.
Establish a Budget
While establishing a budget to acquire domain names sounds obvious, you should really understand the value of a quality domain name in relationship to the website that is going to reside at the site. Each website has a specific value proposition and it should be completely defined along with the potential revenue flow it will create. As an example, how much should you pay for a quality domain name would be dependent on the potential revenue flow. Travel Insurance is a high profit item and you have already established the search traffic is in the millions and that the competition is not as stiff as it could be. Also, with the keyword domain name “TravelInsuranceAgency.com” you have met the test of being both memorable and highly descriptive. Along with that, you are virtually guaranteed that you will capture a high search engine placement for the keywords “Travel Insurance Agency”.
Assuming that one could sell 1,000 policies per month at a yield of $45.00 per policy, the site could easily generate revenues of around $500,000.00 per year. Budgeting for the acquisition of the keyword domain name “TravelInsuranceAgency.com” should be commensurate with the reality of the opportunity.
Deal with the Owner
A quick search using “Domain Names For Sale” will reveal dozens of domain name brokers such as BuyDomains.com, Afternic.com, GreatDomains.com and Sedo.com. These are fun sites to explore values and what is available for sale. But, if you buy through them you are guaranteed to pay the highest possible price for the domain name. By using the whois directories (WhoIs.net and others) you should be able to locate the owner of the domain name. The registration information should include all contact information including a telephone number and email address.
Make a Credible Offer
I own a ton of domain names and get offers for one or some of them every month. I can say that I don’t think that I have ever sold a domain name where the initial contact was a low ball offer that came as an email. Just about every meaningful sale that I made started as a telephone call, or an email from either the buyer, or an attorney. The most effective way to buy a domain name is to contact the owner via telephone and to be knowledgeable about the value of the domain name. If you sound like you have researched the domain name and are serious about purchasing it, you are in an excellent position to negotiate the very best price with the owner. Most owners will generally have a price in mind that they would like to get for the domain name. If they are investors in domain names, there is probably not much wiggle room in their pricing, as domain names just keep going up in value. If the quoted price is within your budget, buy it. If it is way over what you want to pay, discuss the rational that you used in establishing your budget and try to negotiate a lower price. Never lowball an owner of a domain name, as they will immediate dismiss you asirrelevant.
Use an Escrow Service
Once you have agreed to purchase a domain name, you should open an escrow that holds your payment and settles with the seller upon your satisfaction that the domain name has been completely transferred to you. Sites such as Escrow.com offer a safe way to make sure that you get what you paid for and also assure the seller that he or she will also get his or her money once the transfer of the domain name is complete. Never pay for a domain name before it is transferred to you.