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James Iles

How Do You Sell Geo-Targeted Domain Names?

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By James Iles, Jul 25, 2016
  1. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Geo-targeted domain names have often been a popular source of income for domain investors, with some still making a living from buying and selling this category of name. However, there are some common questions that need answering. How do you sell a geo-targeted domain name, and what should you take into consideration before acquiring any geo-targeted name?

    In this article, we will cover geo-targeted names and why they are popular amongst domain investors. For those who are unaware, geo-targeted domains consist of a combination of a geographical location and a business or profession. Here are some examples of geo-targeted domain names:
    • NewYorkRealEstate.com (Location: New York. Profession: Real Estate)
    • BaltimoreDentist.com (Location: Baltimore. Profession: Dentist)
    These names don't necessarily need to be .COM domains, but since .COM is the most popular TLD amongst consumers worldwide, this will be the extension that we concentrate on in this article. If you're in a country other than the US, you could target your local ccTLDs, but this could have mixed results. As always, this isn't investment advice, it's simply an observation on geo-targeted names and how to sell them.

    In order to effectively sell geo-targeted domains, you will have to choose a desirable keyword/business and a location with which that business or profession can be associated with. Traditionally, the professions that spend the most on online advertising are real estate agents and dentists.

    Real estate agents have a heavy presence online, with most understanding that a good online presence means more leads. This desire for a good online presence has lead to sales such as TorontoRealEstate.com for $140,000 and JacksonHoleRealEstate.com for $85,000.

    Dentists also spend a lot of money online. Cost per click estimates that involve dentists and dental products are extremely high. I have read numerous reports of dentists spending around 30% of their gross revenue on marketing.

    Finding suitable keywords isn't easy, but looking for professions that already have a strong online presence and have a history of spending money on web development and advertising is a good place to start. Real estate agents, dentists and brokers are three prime examples. NameBio has released a list of the top 100 keywords for geo-targeted domains, which you may find useful.

    Teaming the keyword with a popular location should be a priority. You could have the most lucrative keyword, but putting it together with a location that no one's heard of, with a population of just 5,000 isn't going to give you a sellable name.

    Personally, I would stick with cities with a population above 100,000 since you'll have enough businesses within that city that want to beat their close competition for leads, and a domain name might be the secret weapon they were looking for. For reference, this Wikipedia page contains a list of all US cities with a population of over 100,000.

    There is one keyword that should be avoided at all costs when you're buying geo-targeted names, and that keyword is 'realtor'. Although it is a term that's used regularly in the US, it is trademarked and is policed by lawyers for the National Association of Realtors.

    Finding names that are of investment quality could be difficult. There may be some opportunities to hand register domains, depending on your keyword and location, but in general, I've found the best names are found via private acquisitions or via expired domain auctions.

    Once you've found an adequate name, you'll no doubt be looking to sell it on to an end-user. If you're doing this via outbound sales, you'll need to find suitable leads by manually searching through Google, or other search engines. You may also like to use services such as LinkedIn, but you'll want to concentrate on Google.

    Finding advertisers on Google, as well as those companies listed near the top of Google's search results (and even those on the second page), may prove to be good prospects to target. Advertisers may want to own the domain as another form of online advertising, while those vying for the top spot on Google may jump at the chance of owning the generic geo-targeted domain. Remember, there's only one company in the entire city that can own that name. If it's a good enough domain, you'll have a number of companies inquiring about it.

    To effectively sell the name, you need to speak to the right person. Typically, for geo-targeted names such as real estate domains, you'll want to speak to the business owner, as they usually take on numerous roles within their business, with marketing manager being one of them.

    Your personalized email should be fairly brief, outlining the fact that you are looking to sell your domain. I believe that initial emails shouldn't take up too much of the prospective buyer's time, and if you get no answer, you may wish to follow up on your initial enquiry. As always with outbound sales, please be aware of email marketing legislation such as the CAN-SPAM act of 2003.

    Are you a successful geo-targeted domain investor? Share your own tips below.
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    James is the lead writer for NamePros' Blog and founder of Iles Media, a domain name broker working on both acquisitions and outbound sales. For all inquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 230th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (45)

  6. London555

    London555 Top Member VIP

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    James-thank toy for this article. We own LondonPeriodontist.com . In a city of 9 million where a periodontist makes $500K pr year we think this could be a great name but really have no idea what it might be worth and it's a bit long. I assume the best way to figure is to see comps which isn't easy with these names sometimes.
     
  7. London555

    London555 Top Member VIP

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    "you" sorry for the typo-no edit on the reply button.
     
  8. ben pedri

    ben pedri Top Member VIP

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    Hey james ,good article,I really dont know what real estate people pay per click ,but I can tell you this. For professionals that make up to 6% when they sell your home , These people are the cheapest,lowest grubbiest domain buyers ,if they actually ever do buy. Put them on the bottom of your geo names ,if they ever do buy they wont pay more than 300-400 bucks . Maybe in the higher brackets you may have better quality buyers ,but the typical realtor is Tight as can be. Im sure other domainers will agree.
     
  9. London555

    London555 Top Member VIP

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    Agree lol We have JacksonHoleListings.com and the homes are $3 million and up and the offers are LOW!!!
     
  10. Brandingtheweb.com

    Brandingtheweb.com 123Capital.com VIP

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    Scalable hyperlocal solution

    Years ago I saw value in geo (suburb) plus keywords. Suburbs are as local as you can get, area codes are ok but most people will identify more personally to their suburb. Anyhow it wouldn't be financially prudent as well as difficult to say the least if not impossible to get every large suburb name with associated keyword .com. Scalability woll be an issue.
    Problem Solved:
    Suburban+keyword.com - Highly credible name that resonates locally and easily scalable.
    I own most of the major keywords, like lawyers,doctors,loans,yp, etc.
     
  11. briguy

    briguy Guru In Remission! VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  12. Sumit Agrawal

    Sumit Agrawal Established Member

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    Thanks for writing such a wonderful article @James Iles.

    However, in most cases target prospects already have live websites. So, in this scenario how they should use the newly acquired geo-keyword domain to their advantage? Should they be advised to redirect the domain in question to their existing website?
     
  13. jstenn13

    jstenn13 UltraDomains.com

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    Thanks @James Iles ! I have a few questions:

    1) How do you typically respond after they ask "how much?" ?
    2) Do you offer a value proposition in your initial email explaining possible uses and value of the geo domain?
    3) Do you ever call up potential end users or do you always start with an email
    4) How would you put into words what the value of owning a name such as sandiegodentist.com is to a dentist in san diego?

    Thanks!
     
  14. elevator

    elevator DnCombo.com VIP

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    Aha! very nice article @James Iles. Especially with the additional tools added.
    Can we consider the entire USA as a geo location for domain selections; such as USAPropertyInsurance.com though very long but is it ok?

    Thanks once more.
     
  15. WilsonM

    WilsonM Established Member

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    Nice article. Haven't thought of geo-targeted domains yet. Perhaps I should be looking into it.

    However, there is no doubt that these domains have value when you see it from a PPC and SEO points of view.
     
  16. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Names I've sold have ended up either being forwarded to their existing site, or they've set up another site to take advantage of the name.

    They can sometimes work well on offline adverts too.
     
  17. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    1. Since you're the one contacting them, it's usually best to send back an asking price.

    2. I don't write too much in my emails. Long emails don't get read.

    3. I start with emails.

    4. It's difficult to put values on geo names. But I would say that a dentist in San Diego would put a higher value on that name because there are a lot of competing dentists and a large catchment area for potential patients.
     
  18. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    It depends on the companies in that field, I think. USADentist wouldn't necessarily work as a dentist will only be working in one or two cities. However, USAPropertyInsurance might be better since it's a more generic term that doesn't necessarily need a specific location to operate (I think).
     
  19. elevator

    elevator DnCombo.com VIP

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    OK thanks.
     
  20. MR Harrist

    MR Harrist Established Member

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    I think everyone in here would love to read about articles how to sell CCtld domain, rather than geo targeted domain! just saying :) anyway nice info,
     
  21. moviedeo

    moviedeo Established Member

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    LondonPeriodontist.com Freq: 1,900 Searches: 89
     
  22. elevator

    elevator DnCombo.com VIP

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    When you are talking of cctlds; it means you are referring to the extensions of those keywords and cctlds has its own limitations in this context. Though one could use cctlds for domain hacking. But when you are eyeing at a particular set of business pros who are looking for ways to improve their business and to surpass their opponents or rivals, such could make use of geo domains to supersede their rivals, then you can talk of geo domains that will have to do with a particular location and it has to do with .coms. And cctlds are not suitable for such.
     
  23. MR Harrist

    MR Harrist Established Member

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    yep, my opinion are out of the context! but it could be nice title, in the next articles! cause I am sure many people in here would love to hear how to change 88 cents to hundreds dollar! :) lol

    just kidding
     
  24. London555

    London555 Top Member VIP

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    I wonder what the stats are on JacksonHoleRealEstate.com that sold for $85,000
     
  25. jstenn13

    jstenn13 UltraDomains.com

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    Thanks for the reply. What do you think about the fact that Ali Zandi says 95% of the time after someone asks how much he tells them to make an offer so that he doesn't potentially leave money on the table? What's been your experience with giving a price after "how much?" vs having them throw out the first number?
     
  26. moviedeo

    moviedeo Established Member

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    London 555

    Go to Valuate dot com and enter the DN in question.
    Also you can use DomainTools dot come that gives you more info.
     
  27. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    I've always been told that if you are the one contacting them, you should name your price. It makes sense to me.
     
  28. equity78

    equity78 Top Member TLDInvestors.com TheDomains Staff PRO Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Exactly if you are contacting someone you need to have a price in mind. If someone contacts you then you can tell them to make an offer.
     
  29. London555

    London555 Top Member VIP

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    Yes Im aware of valuate and here's exactly why its pretty much useless with GEO names. It gives JacksonHoleRealEstate.com a value of $87,000 ( what it last sold for) then it gives AspenRealEstate.com with 10x the freq count of JHR a value of $8,000. My point is that if someone wants our LondonPeriodontist.com or other names like it for that matter the metrics won't make one bit of difference because they'll be buying it with the intention of driving those metrics. But thank you for the reply.
     
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