My company acquired 4,893 domains, all of which are idle or partially developed. What can I do with them to cover costs? — Sarah Brentwood
Your situation is not unique, many business get the domain bug as easy as anyone else. After securing their trade names, prospecting for potential marketing domains can create huge portfolios quickly. Fortunately, you have a few options.
You will benefit by first consolidating the domains under one registrar, I've been moving everything to my HPD Domain Registration (or GoDaddy Domains) Choose a platform that lets you search and filter search domains.
Once you have everything in one place, I would ask yourself, “How much do I want these domains to produce?” and “What would I like to accomplish with these domains?”
What can be done with domains?
- Park. Parking can help you determine which domains have organic traffic. If you are parking to sell choose SeDo, otherwise Parked provides the ability to customize landing pages.
- Develop. Once you know which sites have traffic, developing can be as simple as building out 5-10 pages of content, plus core elements described in my B2B Website Profits program.
- Auction. Even with 100 domains you can get coverage auctioning off the domains at popular portals. I recommend Sedo or Afternic for domain auctions, they have a good audience of buyers.
- Sell. Selling at a fixed price is better if the domain has been appraised, most domain sales portals provide this for a fee. Look into Sedo or Afternic to sell your domain, but for bulk, use auctions.
- Redirect. Using a 301 redirect can help gather up page rankings, update search engine links, consolidate organic traffic, and boost visitor count to existing sites. This is also good if you want to use some domains in marketing. (Using 302 redirect of a whole domain is a spamming technique, sure to ruin good domains.)
- Joint venture. You may be able to find a group of people willing to develop your domains for you in exchange for a large percentage of revenue. They provide the labor, you provide the domain, both of you win if traffic is good.
If these domains don't support your business objectives you will benefit greatly to start auctioning them off, rather than invest in domain development. These domains also need to support themselves producing at least current domain name registration fees (between $6-9 a year.)
Induced by higher registration fees and lower parking revenue, current practice is to run fewer domains of higher quality. Every domain needs a purpose, or it's not worth managing.
With fewer domains you can hire developers and content producers to create mini-niche-sites around various revenue models. Plus, if you decide to sell, developed domains sell for more.
The strategy you use depends on what kind of business you are in, your marketing objectives, and resources available. These mini-niche-sites can drive traffic to your core business website, generate leads, or cultivate communities around what you offer.
Even a billion dollar company I worked for only had 3,800 domains, most of which redirected back to their core content (and application) sites. They have all the same problems I have with my small portfolio of 300+ domains.
Like stocks, each domain must grow the portfolio or it needs to find another home. Periodically I auction or sell good domain names to refocus my efforts on increasing producers. You might consider a little triage to get your portfolio in order.
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Justin Hitt helps technology businesses grow on-line and off, turning business relationships into profits guaranteed. For consulting services and technical project management visit https://www.jwhco.com/