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Eric Lyon

My View On Local Geo Targeted Domains

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By Eric Lyon, Mar 23, 2015
  1. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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    It's no secret that I often tell developers to stick with geo-targeted domain names as an investment. There's a good reason that I make this suggestion. It’s because I have found them to convert better, compared to a national or international generalized brand.

    Let me begin by touching a few bases on why I love geo-targeted domains.

    Local Comforts:

    I think that it's human nature to feel more comfortable doing business with thy neighbor than an outsider. In short, many consumers prefer to do business with local establishments that they can walk or drive to and shake hands with a person rather than handling issues over the phone with someone else in another state, region, or even country. The comfort factor of a localized development can increase the conversion rate on even the most overlooked micro-niches.

    Wouldn't you feel more at ease knowing that if anything went wrong with your purchase, you could go a few blocks down the road in order to speak with a representative in person?

    Geo Conversions:

    In my experience, I have found that the smaller the niche, the better the conversion ratio. It's no different for geo-targeted domains, especially if they are a long tail keyword phrase micro-niche. With local comforts in mind that increase trust factors, it's a no-brainer that your sales are going to increase locally.

    Geo-Targeted Traffic:

    As expected, the traffic a geo domain receives will be much less than what a national or international name receives. This is actually better for you for a couple of reasons. For one, there will be less server load due to less traffic. Secondly, there will be higher conversion rates due to better geo-targeting and trust factors.

    Geo SEO/SEM:

    Frankly, it's ten times easier to optimize your on- and off- site campaigns for a local market than it is for a global market. We all want to be in the top search engine results, but not many can achieve this with low budgets. For those struggling to compete with the big boys of the industry, it's smarter to start smaller in a targeted area where there is less competition and then slowly expand outward rather than trying to tackle the whole world at the same time.

    Geo Extensions:

    With all the new gTLD-based geos flooding the market, it’s easier than ever to grab a local keyword or phrase for development. Don't be afraid of them; embrace them. There's already signs of big search engines indexing new gTLD's on the first page for geo search terms. So, don't rule the new gTLD’s out of your test development process.

    In Conclusion:

    Over the years, my personal geo-targeted campaigns on assorted cc/TLD’s have proven time and time again that once developed, they pay off. Whilst none of them generated immense traffic, they all converted the traffic they do receive at ten to fifty-five percent, which is unheard of in most markets.

    An example of one of my lead generator long tail geo + service sites would be SanAntonioLogoDesigner.com and SanAntonioLogo.com, the latter of which is used as a redirect to the former. This long tail geo + service domain is simply a lead generator to feed my primary brand. It only pulls between twenty to fifty visitors per month; however, it converts at upwards of 55% on good months and as low as 24% on bad months. These are still outstanding conversion ratios. Breaking that down with a service that averages $100 to $500 per sale and converting an example of ten out of twenty visitors, that's $1000+ per month in revenue.

    Remember, it's not always about size. Sometimes it's simply about the road less travelled.
     
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  4. Eric Lyon

    About The Author — Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon is located in Houston, TX and has been a registered member of NamePros since Aug 17, 2009 with 355 followers and 19,424 posts. From those posts, 899 members have been thankful for them and 1,433 members have liked them.

    This is Eric Lyon's 15th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (35)

  6. DANEYAL

    DANEYAL Member VIP

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    Thanks @Eric_Lyon for a very detailed informative piece on Geo Targeted Domains.

    I was wondering when it comes to buying geo domains what would be the better approach, like I bought eManama.com with an idea to sell to ecommerce & digital business, and other electric, telecom, networking, & everything IT. I didnt even tried to search for an emanama.bh (since Manama is the Capital of Bahrain).

    What do you say, still the dot com leads in the geo targeted niches or the cases could be different with different domains.
     
  7. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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    Honestly, I've had success with various ccTLD's in development. As long as your ccTLD + Native Language keywords + Native Language content in development match, it should do fairly well in that regions search index. Keep in mind that search results are different for each region based on local search values.

    As for City + Extension, sure that can do ok and even be sub-domained or sub-foldered to expand into the smaller micro-niches of the city making it a huge development project with lots of doorway potentials. That's a whole different ball game though. In this article and to keep things in-line with it, I'm more referring to long tail local geo niches that are so targeted, that conversion ration increases.

    In addition, the local geo market doesn't do as good when you add an "e" or "i" to the domain. Granted, its still marketable and can succeed. What I'm referring to are actual dictionary word sequences that form a phrase. Such as: Mumbai + India + Textile + Manufacturing + .in << ~~~ This is a long tail that is targeted geographically on both the name & the ccTLD.

    In short and to now go back to your question in simple terms, Both the .com & the ccTLD work just fine in a local geo campaign. You just have to remember "ccTLD + Native Language keywords + Native Language content". If English is a dominant language even in a country with a different native language, then it could still work out fine.

    Hope that helps, I kind of jumped all over the place in that answer.
     
  8. DANEYAL

    DANEYAL Member VIP

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    Yes, indeed very helpful, thanks for the generous & detailed tips, highly valuable.
     
  9. DomainGist

    DomainGist Active Member VIP

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    I'm a big fans of GEO+Service domains (e.g. PlaceProperty, or CityEscorts, or AirportCarHire), simply because:

    1. They are evergreen
    2. They have a certain liquidity about them. They are the type of domain that you could pick up the phone and sell to somebody from the phone book.

    They are pretty much the only domains that I ever purchase from Godaddy Auctions, because of the two reasons above.
     
  10. briguy

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

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    Great article! Now I wish more buyers would read this!
     
  11. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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    Fastest way to get more eyeballs on something you want to educate buyers about is to share it in as many places as you can. Just don't spam it. :P ha ;)

    Note: This article may or may not assist in closing a Geo deal (Results may vary) :p
     
  12. TheFifty9Sound

    TheFifty9Sound Established Member

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    I think the ccTLD factor can't be underestimated. I'm sure everything I'm about to say is different in the US, but here in Australia I know when I do a search on Google, I'm scanning for a .com.au result, because quite often the .com company is from overseas.

    I would suggest, and maybe @Eric_Lyon can confirm if he has had the same experience, that Geo + Keyword is best for services - Electricians, designers, cleaners, lawyers etc, where as when it comes to products Keyword.ccTLD is often best for that e-commerce space.

    I know I don't know care where a company is based if I'm buying something online, as long as they're based in Australia.

    I've worked on two pretty successful webstores (One turns over 1.5m per year, the other about 100k over summer/christmas), and in both cases the analytics showed that searches for Geo + Product were much, much lower, and didn't convert as well as those that arrived by searching Product + Country.
     
  13. N-A

    N-A Account Closed

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    At $11.90 for the .okinawa new gTLD, I have been selectively investing in a few that I can go out, (self)promote them and walk away a little richer than $2000 with a dot com.

    In addition to that, I am embracing and building businesses on them (or have some lined up for development).

    Even though there is .ryukyu and Okinawa is known as such, I chose against that new gTLD and have been focusing my efforts on this one, combing through the zone files and seeing what is taken, what are speculative and if others are embracing them as well for adding to my pitch.

    No sales as of yet, but haven't been actively seeking end users at the moment.

    And yes, I am nabbing keywordokinawa.com if available for a package deal as well.

    After development, I will be able to see if these local new gTLD's rank better for their region with selective keywords.
     
  14. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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    I've had about the same experience in both service and product developments, where City+Service+ccTLD & City+Product+ccTLD converted about the same. In either case I found that people trusted local companies whether it was a service or product more than overseas companies. Not just that though, most times the local search algorithm only displays local region results, which is a primary factor. Granted, some will type additional keywords to break free from local algorithms in search to find the lowest price, which might be china for a product.

    In short, in my opinion, local is more powerful and converts easier based on local comforts and trust for both products & services, whilst targeting regions outside ones comfort zone on mixed values (e.g. English keyword+City in China+.gTLD) works better for lowest price queries. But, naturally "Mandarin Keyword & .Cn (ccTLD)" would work better than an English one for targeting local Chinese in that region.
     
  15. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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    Sounds like a fun project. I have a Top Secret "New gTLD" project on the back burner that I may end up paying someone else to develop for me due to time constraints, or I may just do 30 minutes to an hour a day and have it ready by next year to launch (Not sure yet). In either case, it will also be primarily used to test the new gTLD markets in regards to algorithmic positioning for keyword+New gTLD. That's a topic for a different blog article though, which I'll write next year or when ever it launches and has been tested for at least 60 to 90 days for good data. :P ;) lol
     
  16. SHINOJ G.S

    SHINOJ G.S Established Member

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    what about GTLDs other than .COM ?

    .NET / INFO / Biz with geo targeted keywords ?
     
  17. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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    those work as well, however many just don't seem to get the same value in serps as others for various countries. Generally the best combinations to stick to in a geo campaign is the cctld of the target or the top gtlds popular in that country.
     
  18. turnkey

    turnkey Established Member

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    So true, working with my local clients and putting together local SEO with a Local domain name makes my life so much easier. The amazing thing is local can be used in any format, from Youtube to your site optimization.
     
  19. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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    Exactly, even though it may look limiting to some people being so tight/ small of a niche sometimes, it's really a very powerful approach that can still be scaled in other creative ways. At the end of the day, the bottom line is really about the conversions anyways and not the mass volume of visitors that just tax the server resources. ;)
     
  20. FUTRS

    FUTRS Future Trend Domain Names VIP

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    I'm a big believer in Geo+Service names myself.
    I always have a few in cue to flip just for a couple hundred bucks.
    ...although the one thing to point out in my experience, is that not all services relate to a demand in online marketing... ideally, you want a business or an industry that 'gets it'

    There is a nice balance in regards to the industry's to target ... such as a balance between small enough to be able to talk to the decision maker but not too small where they are still sitting on a first generation website and only have that website because people have told them they need one... local plumbers, handymen, landscapers, beauty salons, dry cleaners..etc.. while there may be SOME that do indeed GET the value in a domain name or even the marketing possibilities of a strong GEO+Service name, many of these businesses are not exactly web or marketing savvy or care to know about it either. It is what it is.

    Local doctors, chiropractors, attorneys, real estate agents..etc... target the smaller ones for the same reasons above (being able to easily get in touch with the decision makers). Research which industries are spending money in online marketing.

    Another side note...'creative' industries are a tough sell as well... in my experience, I have found marketing and advertising agencies just not eager to look at an exact match geo+service name. I have WestVirginiaMarketing (.) com for example and pretty much can not give this away to any marketing agencies in WV... they're too..um..'creative' i guess to stoop so low :)

    As far as serps... if you are a local business, this is hands down the easiest way to earn eyes - keep your existing company name and website all day long - but buy the geo+service and build it - even a half way build will earn you first page with that name... just for lead gen of your own company or to build value in a domain you want to flip - it's the best, cheapest and easiest way to earn business.

    One last thing... do NOT forget to pair your domain up with the major social media accounts - this is key and should NOT be overlooked.

    :)
     
  21. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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    I agree with most of what you said. Though, there are some targets or alternatives to market a geo+service to if you hit a brick wall in some of the industries you mentioned. I also wouldn't rule out some of the local plumbers, landscapers, etc. that have been told they needed one but don't understand it. The problem with most those is that someone just tried to sell them on the idea but never really sat down and took the time to teach them about it properly. All these people really need is some heartfelt consulting prior to an up-sell.

    I ran into the same thing you said with some of those industries and still had success with them. One client of mine (When i first met them), had a small landscaping business with 4 people that worked for him. He had a 1990's style 2 pager up and never thought about it anymore because it suited the purpose of providing contact information online. After about an hour of friendly conversation and educational direction, he decided to not only buy a landscaping domain from me, but also wanted me to rebrand his primary company at the same time I branded his lead generator (The domain in question was just to feed leads to his primary brand).

    To this day, he is still a client, but more on a consultation level than anything else. I get emails from him with random questions now days about how he can expand his reach or requests for some design work for a new set of flyers he wants to canvas his local area with.

    I much prefer the long term client than the quick sale. I think the biggest obstacle for some of the smaller service industries you mentioned is their fear of being sold. Another handy article I wrote a while back may help some of my blog followers break that ice here: Domain selling Psychology - An inside Look

    Everything else you said was pretty much spot on :)
     
  22. FUTRS

    FUTRS Future Trend Domain Names VIP

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    ya know.. there's a good friend of mine who is also in the domain game and we talk about our findings constantly... and your reply here to me just pretty much backed up what i have recently said to him.

    I think the business model is to sell 'digital marketing'... you used the word 'consulting' but i'm going to say digital marketing. ... you sell the digital marketing package and once you have built that same trust - you explain the domain and suggest purchasing the name... not in a deceitful way - but very educational and legit.

    I remember telling my friend, "I wish i could get all these people in a room and explain to them WHY they need to not only have the domain name, but WHY they need to improve their online presence". Same thing - first generation websites.. .long tail, hyphenated dot nets... haha.. horrible.

    but yes - i think that's exactly what needs to be done. In many cases like this, offering the domain name is putting the cart before the horse.
     
  23. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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    BINGO!!! That's the ticket :) - its as simple as C.A.R.T.S. ;)
    (CARTS) Commonalities, Affirmation, Rapport, Trust, Solutions
    Commonalities - Find something you both have in common to talk about to break the ice
    Affirmation - Offer emotional support, understanding, and encouragement in their goals
    Rapport - Express a clear understanding and passion for their business model
    Trust - Establish trust before moving into any domain, product or service pitches
    Solutions - Now you can offer solutions to the problems they trusted you knowing about (The pitch)
     
  24. towhidzaman

    towhidzaman Established Member

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    Some serious facts. Loved it :)
     
  25. nickole

    nickole Established Member

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    got kansasvacationhome.com..i'm thinking of developing into a site....please is this feasible as a future profitable flip?
     
  26. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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  27. Jman92

    Jman92 keep grinding VIP

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    @Eric Lyon , thank you for this blog post. I just had a quick question. Would you still recommend the cctld+geo+keyword formula if the cctld was a relatively weak one. Forexample, like .us.
     
  28. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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    Personally, I think that .us is strong when used properly. I have had several developed .us projects over the years that were successful when it came to dominating the search index in the U.S.A. for a niche targeted keyword phrase and flipped them easily. However, if you are just talking about investing in geo .us without any intention of developing, then you may want to be extra cautious. It's a bit tougher these days to flip an undeveloped ccTLD asset that isn't a category killer.
     
  29. Recons.Com

    Recons.Com Active Member VIP

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    @Eric Lyon

    Thank you for the great article!

    I am starting project on Houstonians (dotcom, of course). Does that count as geo-targeted? )
     
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