The result you are shooting for from your domain name parking activity is revenue. That is it. You can’t and should never even want to do PPC arbitrage. Plus, the only investment expense is the annual domain name fee itself. Most domain parking services are free. So optimizing for ROI is a really simple equation. Just focus on the top line revenue.
Here are five basic steps to drive your domain name parking revenue:
- Select a high traffic domain name
- Use a .com TLD
- Optimize keywords
- Use multiple landing pages
- Don’t take a flat rate
Select a high traffic domain name
Domain parking revenue is first and foremost about type-in traffic. Therefore, the best way to get any sizable traffic is to choose a domain name based on keywords or phrases that someone is likely to just type in, rather than do a keyword search on a search engine.
What works best? First, think like someone doing a keyword search. You can use common keyword selection tools to come up with ideas, identify common misspells, and estimate the potential success of your domain. Second, single word and short phrase domains get the highest type-in traffic. Based on those two criteria, my ultimatetoilets.com domain is doomed if I stick with domain parking.
Use a .com TLD
The TLD (top level domain) also has a significant impact on traffic. Domains ending in .com receive the most type-in traffic by a wide margin. Someone looking for Bob Angus is significantly more likely to type in bobangus.com than bobangus.net or the â€œpersonalâ€ bobangus.name. The only extra consideration would be country-specific TLDs like .co.uk or the new .mobi TLD for mobile sites.
Take advantage of your keyword research again by providing a list of relevant keywords to your domain parking service. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what they may have been looking for when typing in your domain. By presenting information that visitors want upfront, you reduce the number of clicks before clicking on an ad. This leads to greater conversion rates and more revenue.
For services like Domain Sponsor, these keywords define your high-level advertisement categories and help further with the automatic optimization process. Until I put in keywords for ultimatebathroom.com, the automatic category selections displayed were all poker and gambling-related items. What do you think my conversion rate was for that? Zilch.
Use multiple landing pages
Cycling multiple landing pages and even custom ones helps you test what works and feeds the advertisement optimization engine. Some domain parking landing pages are completely lame. Assume that visitors are internet savvy. They recognize a link farm or lame site right away and quickly move on without clicking one of your ads. Similar to keywords, you can use a landing page design that shows you care why the visitor is on your site and that you are trying to add value.
Don’t take a flat rate
Your revenues come from pay-per-click advertisements. Just like Google Adsense, you should get paid more for ads presented based on popular keywords. Mortgage-related ads pay out more than ads for potpourri candles. Don’t accept a flat PPC fee from you domain parking service. Make sure that you are getting paid based on a percentage of the total advertising revenue.
Once you get these basics down, the next step is start buying a ton of domain names. And don’t fall into the “all the good domains are taken” mindset. With a little effort, you can capture some significant income.