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Bob Hawkes

Is Domain Name Presentation Important?

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By Bob Hawkes, Jul 9, 2020
  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    In a recent NamePros Blog post, I looked at the different ways a domain name can be found. One of the most important is through the lander.

    Over the last few years additional marketplace choices, and additional lander options at marketplaces, make it possible to add a variety of presentation elements to your lander. These might include descriptions, images, logos, video content, etc.

    This article looks at the options available, and whether the presentation of the domain name influences the chance of a sale, or the likely selling price.

    A poor domain name is unlikely to sell, no matter how brilliant the presentation, while the most desired domain names sell irrespective of presentation. But what about the middle ground? Is a name more likely to sell, or more likely to fetch a higher price, if it is presented in an engaging and elegant manner? Can a sound description help persuade a potential client that a name is the right fit for them? Does including a logo with your domain name help?

    A poor domain name is unlikely to sell, no matter how brilliant the presentation,
    while desired domain names will sell irrespective of presentation.

    Spoiler alert: this article poses numerous questions on the topic of domain presentation, but provides few definitive answers on the overall effectiveness of enhanced presentations for domain names. I hope readers will contribute their ideas, experiences and opinions in the comments section.


    Logos

    The brandable marketplaces, such as such as BrandBucket, BrandPa, and SquadHelp, present domain name choices via an individual logo for each domain name. If you set up an Efty personal marketplace, the domain names will also be presented by logo or graphic.

    The general purpose marketplaces, such as Afternic, Sedo and DAN, present domain name search results in list format. In some cases, however, a logo or image can be displayed once a potential buyer selects further information on a domain name from the list. At DAN you can specify if a logo is part of the package displayed and sold with the domain name.

    Does a logo help a domain name sell? This topic has been discussed a number of times on NamePros, including in this thread that was started by shorterwinters. Among the points made, logos are more likely to matter for brandable names, most buyers will not use the logo even if it is provided as part of a package, and a good logo may help build interest in a domain name.

    The view was expressed that, in most cases, the logo will not hurt prospects for sale of a domain name, unless it is a really poor logo. However, the alternative view was also mentioned. Poor quality logos, or those that represent only one of multiple possible uses for the name, are most likely to be detrimental.

    I see merit in the following point mentioned by Joakim. The logo can help the potential purchaser see the intended structure of a domain name more readily than simple camel case presentation. It can also help an ordinary name seem more special.
    If you do decide to use logos, there are multiple free sources for logo generation. These produce logos of varying quality. Another option is to hire a NamePros member to create something a bit better for your domain name through the Design Contests section.


    Images

    It is well known in marketing that the right image can play a key role in an effective advertisement. Some marketplaces, use images on their landers, while others do not. In some cases, such as Epik, it is possible to select your own custom image for each domain name.

    Does the right image help your name sell, or at least get a second look? I don’t know. It seems to me, it must help in some cases. However, if the image suggests a different use from the one the potential buyer has in mind, it could be a negative as well. Also, be sensitive to any possible negative connotations in an image.

    When promoting domain names on social media an image or logo definitely helps the name get noticed, and probably increases the probability that it will be shared by others.

    If you do decide to use images, and have the option to upload images for your landers, some sources of royalty free images include Pixabay, UnSplash, StockSnap, Flickr and many others. Check carefully the specific terms of use for each service. In particular, Flickr has a variety of license types, so only certain images are free to use for domain presentation. Of course, if you have high quality and appropriate images that you have taken or created yourself, that is even better.


    Descriptions

    Many marketplaces now allow you to write detailed descriptions, customized to each domain name, but should you?

    This topic has been discussed a few times on NamePros, including in this thread started earlier this year by kalkar. A number of the arguments in favour of descriptions come with both positive and negative aspects. For example, I noted that
    but
    While taking the time to present a carefully worded case for the domain name might be a signal that it is a worthy name, on the other hand I noted the possibility that
    Over the years, I have personally expended a lot of time writing domain name descriptions. I am not convinced that has been worth the effort, or even that it has positively influenced sales. That said, I still think some sort of description has merit. I have evolved to thinking that very short descriptions, just a few sentences might be best.

    A short description might consist of the following three elements, each presented in a single sentence.
    1. In the opening sentence capture why this domain name is exciting and valuable.
    2. In a middle sentence emphasize one aspect that might help convince the user to consider the domain name in more detail. For example, does the name have great search characteristics? Alternatively, provide further information, such as renewal rate if it is an unfamiliar extension, or recent trends in use of that extension.
    3. The final short sentence should be a call to action, perhaps stressing that most domain names sell only once, or that this one has an optional payment plan to ease acquisition, or that the acquisition and transfer could happen easily and quickly.
    A few points with respect to specific lander choices.
    • Note that at Afternic and Sedo, which lander option you choose will determine if the domain description will appear on the lander.
    • With Efty landers, you can customize both the bullet points and the description itself.
    • With DAN landers, don’t overlook that you can use line returns to make your description more readable. Also, italic and bold text can be set, if desired. To invoke this while editing the description highlight the text and the symbols B and I will float above for selection.
    • Epik landers give you full customization of the formatting of text, even allowing external links if desired. That might be helpful if you have FAQ documents on things such as how transfer works, the value of a quality domain name, etc.
    One final potential advantage of including descriptions, and in fact one that argues in favour of longer descriptions, is that descriptions may help the ranking of your domain for-sale pages in Google search. It is unlikely that your domain lander will get much ranking or traffic, but I think there is at least some chance that a potential purchaser will find your domain name that way. I was recently doing a Google search on a topic related to one of my two-word domain names, and was surprised when the marketplace listing for the domain name appeared on page one of search results. It is important to link from your own website to the domain listing to establish one link, and also to include in the description important keywords.


    Videos

    There is substantial evidence that increasingly video presentations are preferred in general, and indeed are often expected in marketing of products and services. Does that also apply to domain names?

    In a few lander options, it is possible to add your own videos. Also, if you use your own hosting for landers this is possible for any name. Whether your lander allows video linking or not, a video can be created for any domain name, and shared on social media.

    While preparing video promotions for an entire portfolio is probably not feasible, the effort and cost may be worthwhile for a subset of your domain names. An engaging video with a professional presentation will help your domain name get noticed, and shared, on social media.

    For domain names that could be used in very different ways, it is possible that the use hinted in the video will be in conflict with that under consideration by the potential purchaser.

    I hope some with expertise in video production, will share in the comments some tips for getting started, along with recommended tools and platforms. If you have already tried video presentation of domain names please share your experiences.


    Other

    What is possible is only limited by your creativity. This year we have seen domains promoted by celebrity endorsements, others with captivating social media presentations.

    What additional presentation ideas have you tried, or are considering using?


    Final Thoughts

    This is a topic that has interested me for years, but clear evidence on whether presentation really matters seems elusive.

    Perhaps the most important presentation choice is lander style. Both Sedo and Afternic now permit a variety of landers, some more minimalistic and others with descriptions and additional details. NameSilo give you a choice of five lander styles, Dynadot currently have few lander choices, and their CEO indicated that lander and marketplace updates were on the way, and Epik landers are like small websites. Efty offer a large number of customizable choices. While DAN do not give you multiple lander choices, you can customize things such as what is presented and whether you use custom images or logos.

    When GoDaddy added their own branding to both landers for names listed via the GoDaddy listing service and on Afternic, there was an immediate improvement in performance due to familiarity and trust of the GoDaddy brand.

    Other key aspects include whether pricing information is given on the lander, and the communication option(s) offered, such as an email form or a number to phone or both. But those are topics for separate articles.

    When I look at other businesses, it seems that emphasis is placed on presentation. Clients expect real estate professionals to provide information sheets and online image-rich presentations, often with interactive video. Auto sellers have graphically engaging online materials, as well as elegantly presented brochures. I think, for at least some domain names, there is potential to increase sales through more engaging presentation of the domain names.

    With several virtual domain shows and conferences coming up, it would be interesting for them to have a competition for the most effective presentation of a domain name. This would provide a platform to see some creative professional examples, and of course give those domain names additional exposure.

    Please share in the comments section your own experiences and opinions on the topic of presentation of domain names. I would be particularly interested if you know of data on whether presentation elements make a difference in domain sales.

    While don’t use the comments to promote a bunch of your domain names, please do feel free to share, if you wish, one or two examples from your own portfolio that you consider effectively presented.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
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  4. Bob Hawkes

    About The Author — Bob Hawkes

    Domain analyst, writer and informal educator, with particular interests in domain name phrases and non-business uses for domain names. I am a risk averse domain investor who only invests modest amounts in a variety of extensions and niches. Don't hesitate to contact me - I like to help!

    This is Bob Hawkes's 47th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

    Home Page:
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  5. Comments (62)

  6. SAGAR BAHADUR DHAKAL

    SAGAR BAHADUR DHAKAL Established Member

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    Thanks for information. Will keep in mind, maybe having a custom website/single page with everything you mentioned helps a lot
     
  7. TheBaldOne

    TheBaldOne Top Contributor VIP Gold Account ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If you are a 'newbie' then this is surely a 'must read' to identify ways to develop your landing pages and entice you along the path to possible success.

    If you are an 'old hand' then this is surely a 'must read' to bring many points to the fore, ideas you might have missed or dismissed previously.

    Overall this has to be classed as a 'must read' IMO.

    Hopefully Bob will keep updating this as other aspects and methods develop.
     
  8. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer BrandableInsider.com PRO VIP ICA Member

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    Does presentation matter?

    You're damn right it does.

    Ask any store owner, brick/mortar or online, they will tell you presentation matters, big time! This is backed by millions of dollars and decades of sales research by retail companies worldwide in every culture. Billions of dollars are spent on displays and packaging every year.

    It's the same for domains and especially for brandables. Value is relative. Yes a diamond ring will still catch your eye in a pile of trash in a dumpster but it will appear 100 times more attractive and valuable, to the common person, in a glass case at Tiffany's.

    Any domain name looks less valuable mixed in with a long list of other domains. You MUST consider presentation.

    What's debatable is HOW to present. A lander? a BIN? a Description? Phone? Email? Logo? A story? A video? Color scheme? Design? Picture? Payment plan?

    That's what's keep us up at night.
     
  9. NickB

    NickB Wales.org VIP

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    agree - but what about those domains that don't resolve, that have no lander, no listing etc etc and still sell because there is a motivated buyer who really wants it.....

    Presentation is important but if the name is s*** then you won't be seeing any $$$ no matter how you wrap it up....
     
  10. biggie

    biggie Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Hi
    I agree that a diamond ring will catch your eye, in a pile of trash

    however, putting that diamond in a glass case at tiffany's,
    makes it even less obtainable to the "common person"
    they'd have better luck, digging thru the trash or grabbing the "low hanging fruit" like I do

    Hi
    when you say "Any" then it makes the post above seems contrary to the above "diamond" scenario,
    because if you consider that even if "diamond quality domains" were "mixed in with a long list of other domains",
    that they wouldn't look less valuable, even in the eyes of a common person.

    that, I feel, would be on a person by person basis, based on what they were looking for, if they were looking and each individuals knowledge of domain values, if any.

    still, I get it, that presentation has it's place, but quality domains always speak for themselves,
    so no lipstick is needed.

    imo...
     
  11. Maximinus

    Maximinus Established Member

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    Great article, @Bob Hawkes!

    I can only agree with @Keith DeBoer!
    For my part I can only suggest the presentation to include a question. This captures potential buyers mind and he passes longer time on the presentation.

    Thank you for this article, Bob!
    Greetings, Maximinus
     
  12. equity78

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

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    I agree Don, look at Blue.com it needs nothing because it is Blue.com. Does Voboxo.com need better presentation? Yes.

    But sometimes not Olema.com sat on a boring Sedo lander for 11 years and then sold for $15,000.

    The less quality the more work. Brad Pitt can just show up to set, Brad Garrett needs some time with the makeup artist.
     
  13. trelgor

    trelgor Established Member ICA Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If we are talking logo or not, there is a conservatory streak that argue they don't matter. If they did it could just as well be detrimental, they say. It's more or less the domainer opinion still. For exact match descriptive and generic domains that have no brand juice - logos are awkward. Sure.

    For brand prospect domains they are natural. Every brand has a logo. Even if it's "Blue". The presentation is in line with the clients. AND. Even though the logo in itself may represent something not in line with the idea of the buyer, what a logo does (if it don't suck) is spark the imagination. Very necessary. It's not makeup, it's visualization of potential.

    "Lipstick". Tss.
     
  14. Reddstagg

    Reddstagg Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Bob, a brilliant article as always. I certainly need to think more as an end-user rather than just as a domain investor.

    Afternic question...when loading names we can give each a category and a secondary category i.e Society and General for example.

    How do consumers search by category rather than through direct input of name.

    Am I missing something?

    I have individual landers at Efty but haven't used Afternic before.

    Regards,

    Reddstagg
     
  15. Joakim

    Joakim SalesBusiness.com VIP Gold Account

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    Nice topic, thanks for sharing Bob.

    While I believe a good presentation can be helpful in many ways, I don't think it's important. But in my case, I enjoy working with visual presentations, and it is only a part of how I portray my marketplace and domain names.

    I do however believe I've created interest and made sales by presenting domain names with logo and/or description. And it is likely that I will continue doing it.

    An example:
    [​IMG]
     
  16. ultradog

    ultradog Established Member

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    On Afternic, they allow you to choose the capitalization when you submit your domain -- but then, when someone searches for it, that capitalization is abandoned and it's all lower case. I don't know why they do that. I think capitals for each word help you read it, for example.

    On Sedo, the text description you can add for a domain listing can enhance it if it's well written. Much more so if it's an end user.
     
  17. oldtimer

    oldtimer Do some good for humanity and the environment VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    @Bob Hawkes , thanks for a comprehensive analysis of the effects of doing the right kind of domain presentation.

    I registered "NorthStar Domains" in .com last week and used one of my accumulated account credits to make a free one page website for it which is more like a placeholder for now. I got to admit that as simple as that website is, but it kind of looks very elegant. (At least to me)

    IMO
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
  18. Mytz.com

    Mytz.com ww.MYYM.com IEIE.com CUTU.com KKIK.com HRAD.com VIP Gold Account

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    If you have a good domain name,
    You have a better chance of winning
     
  19. Interesting topic @Bob Hawkes. Thank you for putting this and all your other previous articles together.

    I don't have any quantitative stats on whether or not a pretty, stats filled landing page offers a better STR.

    However, I prefer to increase the perceived value of anything I'm selling online - be it domain names, seo, writing services, physical products, etc.

    Since online selling is virtual, the higher quality a product "looks and feels", the higher price you can fetch.

    For example, we've spent considerable time and effort to create the following landing page for our domains: http://www.trst.com which redirects to the LP on onlinebusiness. (still a work in progress as we're still tweaking)

    Some might say all that data is useless and unnecessary and I can't definitively say they're wrong. However, as mentioned I believe that it makes a difference.

    Sales on our end since updating our landing pages have been increasing. Not only by volume but also dollar amount.

    So short answer is yes all things considered equal I do believe the look and quality of the presentation of domain names matter for STR.
     
  20. ddfenton

    ddfenton Established Member

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    I think that a "hard sell," with TMI can be a turnoff. Clip art or stock photos, ditto. I don't know why top players like Sedo and GoDaddy, haven't changed the face of their sites in years. Likewise, some of the template landing offerings are tacky. It kind of astonishes me, that's our industry, right - websites? It's like "the shoemaker's children will go barefoot." I used a lot of creative images, that were not logos, but captivating - on my company site. My names aren't parked there. And if they were, I'm guessing for all the effort I'd have to put into SEO stuff to scare up traffic, I'd get window shoppers and not buyers. It's not only how you present, it's whether you have the platform to draw in a targeted market. Here's the other thing - people like to go to auctions. There are no image options that I know of other than - Flippo? I haven't checked. And in the auction, it's the name, but it's also the timing and placement. If you've got a hundred plus parked names, mostly under six figures, I've found the less said, the better. I just sold 3 names that I had sitting for a while from the hard-won practice of just waiting. Rocking Thread, btw!
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
  21. equity78

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

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    I like that for poptalk and another funny thing you beat me to that name by a minute on Sedo. All the best.
     
  22. Not sure that traffic stats, page ranking (obsolete and not even relevant anymore) and stock photos create a "hard sell" environment.

    What we have going on seems to be working. Either way I think what matters most over anything else is that the domains being sold are at least decent quality.

    Do you mean the contrary?

    When selling six figure domains less might be more as they don't need to be sold as they sell themselves.
     
  23. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Thanks for your kind comments, @Reddstagg .
    Although I have used Afternic for some time, I am not sure that I have a definitive answer to this obvious question. The two categories show, of course, once a person finds a name and clicks on it, but I can't see in the Afternic user search a way to search on specific categories. I suspect their agents can search on categories when looking for options to present to a potential buyer, though. Maybe I am just missing how the consumer could do it. I presume if you do parking with them, the two category settings influence the advertisements that are presented.
    Hopefully someone with a more complete answer will chime in.
    Bob
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
  24. ddfenton

    ddfenton Established Member

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    That is also true. I mean, names someone is going to like, have a vision for or need without a suggestion of how to use it, which is what I think images should do. Betting.com is obvious. But I've found that interesting imagery for names that I thought needed enhancement, maybe increased the confusion. I'm not saying not to have a presentation, I'm just saying don't try to present your domain by inflating it. Stylistically and by price. And none of this applies to brand bucket type names or names that should have a logo.
     
  25. NameZest

    NameZest Top Contributor VIP

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    First impressions go so far however there is an old saying....."Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".
    For a while there i did think you were going off on a how to rather than question and answer.
    However you like to articulate yourself @Bob Hawkes and we appreciate you for it.
     
  26. HotKey

    HotKey Made in Canada VIP

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    I love a good presentation, because I think it emotes pride in product. Must be done effectively to get the message across though. Too much glitz and glamour, takes away from the raw element. Too little, and it loses impact.

    Some people need to know why, and who, and this is where a solid presentation may turn a quick glance into something more. Most importantly, a good presentation leaves a lasting, comfortable impression. Potential buyers will want to follow through beyond just seeing the name.

    With domains, they are such a unique product, different in anything that we really know of. Just because essentially even if there is no presentation, it may be said the name is a presentation in and of itself. It's one of the beauties of domain names. We may never know if a domain sold because of how it was presented vs. a simple easy contact method. Unless the same domain may be replicated across multiple venues using different presentation criteria, but even then there is venue popularity bias (more eyes) so that would have to be taken into account.

    As mentioned, endorsement and/or exposure are key as well. Ultimately, they may play bigger roles than the actual presentation, at least for high-quality domains.
     
  27. ddfenton

    ddfenton Established Member

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    I spent a lot of time a few years ago, inputting categories, and keywords and whatever else into SEDO and it disappeared within a blink of an eye. I did it and continued to hone it because I thought it would help get traffic. It seemed to do the opposite. And I went back a few months later and did nothing and it got more traffic. I think this stuff conflicts with algorithms that are smarter than me. I have been able to search on Sedo by category - never checked on Afternic but same deal, I leave it. alone. I think it's for sellers to be able to direct the ADVERTISING - which may or may not affect how the viewership is indexed. Sorry if that's the wrong term - not technical.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
  28. Reddstagg

    Reddstagg Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Bob,

    Thank you for your reply. It does seem a little counter productive if the consumer cannot search by category. Many people I would suspect who are starting a business would not have a name in mind but they would surely know their niche or the industry that they will be operating in.

    I have mine set on make offer rather than BIN but again, I can't see that this would be the reason.

    I hope someone has the answer.

    We live and learn.

    Regards,

    Reddstagg
     
  29. Recons.Com

    Recons.Com Top Contributor VIP

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    I assume no one really come to Afternic to brainstorm. They either type in and end up on the lander, or find the name on registration path on partner registrar's site.
     
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