Generating leads is a necessary part of any business. You need customers in order to stay in business. There are plenty of ways to go about this, but one simple way is with keyword domain names, an effective tactic that very few entrepreneurs take advantage of.
Generating leads for your business using keyword domain names
In this guide, we’ll be covering the following:
Let’s get going.
What are keyword domain names?
First, it’s important to make a distinction between keyword domain names versus the primary domain name you use for your existing website.
Your primary domain name is the domain that you likely already own and do business with, like godaddy.com.
Keyword domain names are additional domain names that include specific and targeted keywords to drive traffic to your primary domain.
Simply put, this tactic involves generating very targeted leads, super cheaply, using keyword domain names.
Keep in mind that this tactic doesn’t involve changing your company name or primary domain name. This tactic involves using additional domain names that you will register to drive targeted traffic to you.
You can use one additional domain name, a dozen or hundreds — the choice is yours. The underlying goal here is to drive motivated customers – people who are already looking for the products and services you offer – to your website.
For the sake of this article, we’re going to pretend that you run a cupcake shop in Boise, Idaho called Creative Cupcakes. Let’s also assume you already have a website for your business and receive orders through it at creativecupcakes.com.
How much would you pay to have a potential new customer come to your website if you knew that website visitor was already interested in buying cupcakes?
In this guide, I’m going to show you how to drive qualified potential customers to your website (or social media page) for an entire year for less than the cost of a dozen cupcakes.
5 steps to create effective keyword domain names
There are five steps that I recommend when brainstorming and utilizing keyword domain names. We’ll take a closer look at each below.
1. Begin with an audit of your products and services
Start the ball rolling on this tactic with an easy and creative exercise. Do an audit of the products and services that you offer to customers. What are the services customers buy from you? What are the products?
Just make a list, if you don’t already have one, of what it is that you sell.
For our Creative Cupcakes example, you obviously sell cupcakes, so “cupcakes” will be the start of your list. But then you need to drill down and get more specific about the products you offer. That would probably lead to the specific flavors of cupcakes you sell and anything else you offer, like coffee or other pastries.
Then start to think about the events or occasions that trigger your customers to buy from you. This may lead you to think of “birthday party cupcakes” and “cupcakes for baby showers.”
Even if you think of yourself as only being in the product business, ask yourself what services your potential clients may seek you out for. For Creative Cupcakes, this could be “custom cupcakes” or “cupcake catering.”
2. Be specific
If your customer base is predominantly in a local geographic area, continue to add geographic markers to your list, such as “Boise bakeries” and “cupcakes in Boise” and “Boise cupcake shop.”
If you are able to accommodate clients with special requirements, such as dietary restrictions in the case of a bakery, add those specifics to your list, such as “gluten-free cupcakes” and “vegan cupcakes.”
Is there a product or service you are especially famous for? If so, make sure that’s on the list as well.
Is there something that you offer that is incredibly unique, either a product or the way you deliver that product or service? If there is, then put that on the list as well.
At this stage of the process, you are building the list of products and services that existing and potential customers may be looking for and that you offer or you can easily offer.
Begin with the products and services that you already offer, and supplement this list with products and services you could easily offer if asked by a customer to provide. Do not, however, put things on your list that you won’t or can’t offer.
You should now have a long list of products and services and related items specific to your business.
3. Think like a customer
In order for the keyword domain tactic to work best, you need to think like a customer.
Business owners tend to get very self-absorbed and think, “We’ve got this memorable business name, and a great product, and everybody will know how to find us.”
Nope, it rarely works that way.
Put yourself in the mind of a potential customer, someone who would make a great customer of yours but does not yet know of your existence. Using your existing audit list for inspiration, ask yourself what that person would type into a search engine if they were looking for the products and services that you offer.
Sure, they’d probably type “cupcakes,” but what else would they type in order to find you?
Remember, they’ve never heard of your business, so they aren’t going to be searching for your brand name, Creative Cupcakes. They might, however, search for things like:
- Boise cupcakes
- Cupcake store in Boise
- Boise cupcake bakery
Jot down any potential keyword phrases that come to mind.
4. Find inspiration for your list
Here’s a little trick to help inspire other relevant search phrases to add to your list. Head on over to Google and start typing in the first word or two of your existing phrases and take a look at what Google suggests autocompleting the search with.
Those Google suggested search phrases are popular search phrases that Google has observed. Maybe when you type “Boise cupcake” into Google it will autocomplete with “Boise cupcake delivery” and — like magic — now you have another search phrase for your list.
At this point, you should have dozens of keyword phrases related to your products and services. These are keyword phrases that you believe a potential customer might use to search or find your business.
If you have come up with a huge list and need help prioritizing the phrases that are the most important or relevant, there are a number of search tools you can access that measure search patterns on the internet.
One such tool is Google Trends. You can type in different keywords and keyword phrases and see how relatively popular and important they are. You can even filter by geographic area and time period.
5. Turn your keyword list into keyword domain names
Next, for each of the phrases, you’ll want to do a domain search to see if you can register the matching phrase as a .com domain.
You’re going to see if you can register birthdaypartycupcakes.com and boisecupcakestore.com and whatever else is on your keyword phrase list.
Ready to give it a try?
It’s completely up to you how many of the available domains you want to register. You could start with just one or two of them, or you could register dozens if you’re feeling adventurous and can afford to. Once you own the keyword domain name, you can forward it to your website.
The goal here is to register the matching .com domain for the most relevant keyword phrases.
Don’t register domain names that are related to a competitor’s business trade name or any of their trademarks, even if those domains are available to register.
It is unethical, likely illegal, and you simply shouldn’t do it. But go ahead and register as many domains as you want that are generic phrases related to your (or a competitor’s) product or services.
How does a keyword domain generate traffic?
You may be wondering at this point how this tactic will generate traffic for your website. Have you ever decided you wanted to research or buy something and typed it into your preferred search engine?
If someone is looking for Boise vegan cupcakes, they will probably type “Boise vegan cupcakes” into their search engine or they might even type in the actual domain, boisevegancupcakes.com, to see what comes up.
Either way, because you own the exact match keyword domain name, boisevegancupcakes.com, that potential customer is likely going to end up at your website, either directly or indirectly.
That’s a motivated potential buyer.
And what has it cost you to get that customer? Only the cost to register that specific domain name.
The math is simple: if you get one customer a month out of that forwarded domain name that costs you $10, and each customer order generates $10 in profit for you, you will have gotten $120 in customer value out of a $10 investment.
In order to keep tabs on where your traffic is coming from, I highly recommend you use Google Analytics to determine the source of your traffic and — more importantly — the source of the leads or customers you get. That way you will know for sure which of the keyword domains you registered are delivering traffic and customers to you, and which are not.
There’s also a simple and low-tech way to figure this out: ask your new customers how they found you. If the new customer tells you they did a search for “Boise vegan cupcakes” and ended up at your website, chances are that is the result of the matching keyword domain you acquired, although the traffic could be attributable to SEO work you may have been doing.
Summing it all up
The cost of entry for this marketing tactic is modest, which includes maybe an hour or two of your time brainstorming and researching keyword phrases, then a set budget for the domains you want to purchase.
I recommend you start with a handful of domains as a proof of concept. However, make sure that you find a way to attribute the traffic and business you receive from those keyword domain names.
Good luck and have fun with this tactic. I hope it brings you lots of new customers. Now I’m off to order some cupcakes.