Examples

If you already own a domain name on which your business is operating you might be asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Can a business have more than one domain name?
  2. If yes, how would that benefit me?

First of all, yes, you can own as many domain names as you like. Your only limitation is the cost of acquiring them, either as new registrations or in the after-market, and paying the $10 renewal fee for them each year.

Large companies often own hundreds or even thousands of domain names. Some are in the country codes of different countries, others point to particular brands, products and services, and some are registered in anticipation of future business expansion. And a few are purely defensive, aimed at protecting the company’s reputation. For example, it’s not at all uncommon for companies to own the “CompanyNameSucks.com” domain name… just in case!

In fact, some of the most valuable one- and two-word keyword.com domain names on the internet have been acquired by large corporations. Here are some examples:

  • Books.com – owned by Barnes & Noble
  • Clothes.com – owned by Zappos
  • Flights.com – owned by Expedia
  • Flowers.com – owned by 1800Flowers
  • Golf.com – owned by Golf Magazine
  • HealthInsurance.com – owned by Benefytt Technologies
  • Loans.com – owned by Bank of America
  • Meals.com – owned by Nestle
  • Mobile.com – owner by AT&T
  • Mortgage.com – owned by Citigroup
  • Pets.com – owned by PetSmart
  • Scooters.com – owned by Honda

Now, why would companies want to shell out millions of dollars for domain names like these? Partly for status and prestige of course; the idea that if you’re the best in the business, only the best will do. But also, don’t forget, it keeps the domain name out of the hands of competitors who might use it to their advantage. And this shows the power of exact-match keyword.com domains: not only do they give companies the higher ground and attract type-in traffic that can lead to life-long customers and sales, but also they’re instant, all-encompassing brands, ready to be released at a moment’s notice.

So, given the importance of exact-match keyword.com domains and the fact that there are no limitations to how many domains you can own, perhaps you’re wondering:

If I use a second (or third or fourth…) domain, doesn’t this mean I’m just going to be duplicating the information I have on my existing site?

Not at all. There are many ways to use keyword-targeted domain names to bring traffic to your main website or indeed to get potential customers to pick up the phone and call you. I’m going to show you seven different ways in which exact-match keyword.com domains are being used right now within the golf industry. These are:

  1. Re-directs;
  2. Brochure sites;
  3. Lead generation;
  4. Authority sites;
  5. Information products;
  6. Product reviews (affiliate marketing);
  7. eCommerce sites.

Re-directs: If you typed any of the domain names listed above into your browser bar you’ve already seen what a re-direct looks like. Rather like using a fishing net, its purpose is to capture this search traffic and filter it into another website, either the company’s main site or perhaps a particular section of it.

For example, watch what happens when you type the exact-match domain name “GolfBags.com” into your browser bar. Immediately, the page re-directs to Rockbottom Golf, and specifically to the section featuring golf bags and carts. Thus, non-specific search traffic looking for any kind of golf bag (the equivalent of tyre-kickers or window shoppers in the real world) is now being delivered to the exact page where such items are presented. Had it not been for this re-direct, the searcher would have received a “Page Not Found” response and then they most likely would have entered the search term into Google, which could have led them to a different store. Now, I don’t know if they own the domain name or if they’re leasing it but the bottom line is that Rockbottom Golf gets the first crack at making an immediate $100-$600 sale and potentially gaining a repeat customer who might come back to them again and again for other types of golf equipment.

And here’s another example: just type “GolfCarts.com” into your browser bar and see what happens. Again, the page re-directs, but this time it goes to Venture.com, a site that leases premium domain names. Note the cost of leasing (not purchasing, just leasing) this domain name: $5000 per month at the time of writing. Can you see now how valuable a short, exact-match keyword.com domain can be? That’s the equivalent of renting a luxury apartment in a big city. But can you also see the benefits for the golf cart manufacturer or retailer who leases this domain if the average cost of a new golf cart is, say, $10,000?

Now, without getting too technical, different types of re-directs are used for different purposes. Just think of them as instructions that tell your domain registrar (e.g. GoDaddy) where to send the visitors who are trying to access your domain. For example, companies can use re-directs to switch the website being presented to a visitor depending on the language they speak or when a company’s website server is down for maintenance. The only ones we need to know about are called 301 (Permanent) and 302 (Found Status) re-directs. A 301 re-direct is used for transferring all traffic from the old domain name into the new one. It can be used when companies have upgraded their domain name to a better one or where a number of separate businesses have merged and are now operating under a new corporate identity. A 302 re-direct is also used for moving traffic from one domain to another, but it is only for a specific time. There are differences in how these types of re-direct are interpreted in terms of search engine rankings but let’s not be concerned with that here. For our purposes, setting up a 301 re-direct is the simplest thing you can do if you want to filter traffic from one domain to another, such as into your main site.

So, suppose you acquired an exact-match keyword.com domain name and wanted to re-direct any type-in traffic or in-bound links it had into your main site. How complicated would it be to set up a 301 re-direct? Not complicated at all. You would just have to go to the website where the domain name was registered (again, that might be GoDaddy, for example) and log in to your account. Then select the domain name and look for a command called DNS Settings (or something similar). Then follow the simple instructions. It should take you or your webmaster no more than a couple of minutes and after a brief delay while the change propagates through the web, you’ll be able to check by typing the domain name into your browser bar to verify that it’s re-directing.

I should say something about the ethical approach to using re-directs. The general rule on the web is to seek to enhance the user’s experience, not to harm it. If you type “CallowayGolf.com” into your browser bar you will be re-directed to a parked page on which there are pay-per-click advertisements and an offer to purchase a certain domain name. Clearly this is not Callaway’s doing; instead, it’s someone who’s trying to cash in on the type-in traffic that comes from people misspelling the Callaway name. This is unethical and Callaway would be within their rights, I believe, in pursuing this person for trademark infringements. So do not infringe on trademarks and use re-directs ethically.

Brochure sites: By and large, professional business services (including golf course architects, golf course builders, golf course agronomists, golf course brokers, golf club management companies, and so on) tend to use what are called brochure sites. These sites are usually rich in eye-catching photography and graphic design but often contain only basic information about the company’s history, mission statement, services offered, clients, a few testimonials and contact information. There is little or no use of compelling sales copy to attract business leads, when in fact, leads are the life-blood of any company.

Very few companies in the professional services sector use exact-match keyword.com domains and most domains are based on the company’s offline name (or the owner’s name). That’s fine if your name happens to be Jack Nicklaus or Gary Player but how can smaller, less well-known companies or indeed newcomers to the industry set themselves apart? One company that is doing this effectively through domain names is Golf Agronomy International, a golf agronomy consultancy based in Williamsburg, VA. They operate on the domain name GolfAgronomy.com, which not only describes their business perfectly and projects a global image but also enhances their credibility by having the key domain name for the sector.

At the time of writing, there’s still a chance for other companies in the professional services sector to upgrade their domains in a similar fashion because the most important domain names for most of the categories represented are still available in the after-market. However, as soon as companies begin to realise that a single new lead acquired through one of these domains could be worth tens of thousands of dollars (or maybe even more) and that the name is an intangible asset that can be re-sold if the company ever ceases trading, these domains will disappear quickly.

Lead generation: As mentioned above, leads are the life-blood of any company and building a simple lead generation website on an exact-match keyword.com domain name is one of the simplest and most effective ways to capture potential new customers. Online lead generation was pioneered by the legal, financial, insurance, medical and real estate professions, and within the last few years other trades and service businesses have begun to follow suit.

Let’s take a look at what happens when you type in these exact-match keyword.com domain names into your browser:

  • AutoLoans.com
  • CarInsurance.com
  • DallasDentist.com
  • GuitarLessonsBoston.com
  • InjuryLawyers.com
  • InternetMarketing.com
  • PlumbersPhoenix.com

Some of these are what we call category-killer domains – in other words, there’s nothing better in that category – while the others target a specific geographic marketplace. Either way, notice how the primary purpose of these sites is to capture the visitor’s contact details so they can be quickly followed up with offers. This is highly efficient both for the company and potential customers, who get results almost immediately without having to wade through long-winded verbiage about the company’s corporate vision and all the sustainability awards their website has won…

So how can exact-match keyword.com domains be used for lead generation in the golf industry? Well, think of any personal or customisable service that can be offered to the general public or the industry: custom golf tours, golf real estate, golf insurance, golf lessons, golf course marketing, etc.

Here are a few live examples:

These easy-to-remember, exact-match domains are equally suited to attracting highly targeted prospects from browser bar type-ins, from pay-per-click advertising, or from offline marketing. There are excellent opportunities for golf industry professionals to apply the well-established principles of lead generation from other industries in combination with exact-match keyword.com domains to dramatically increase their customer base.

Authority sites: If you’ve already included a method for capturing leads on your main site you might consider building a separate authority site with the aim of showcasing your knowledge and expertise. This approach is called content- or article marketing.

Content marketing is a tried-and-trusted promotional technique that has been used offline for decades, often in the form of advertorials and syndicated columns in newspapers and magazines covering topic of interest to consumers. As it crossed over to internet marketing it became popular when it was discovered that these high content, keyword-rich sites ranked well in the search engines and attracted significant amounts of free, targeted traffic. Unfortunately, many people then tried to game the system by publishing poorly-written articles from article directories or freelancers, which provided little value for visitors and led to search engines changing the way they ranked these sites.

Despite this, article marketing is still a very cheap and effective form of self- and website promotion provided the articles are unique, well written, thought-provoking, and add value for the visitor. Doing article marketing the right way allows you to attract a loyal group of followers who will visit your site and engage regularly, often independently of the search engines. These sites can then act as a platform for selling online information products (newsletters, ebooks, courses, etc.), as well as for private consultations and for promoting your existing site.

As an expert and someone who is passionate about golf you could easily put together a collection of short 500-1000 word articles about topics that are relevant to your particular niche. Everyone has knowledge to pass on and stories to tell. Yet ever since taking English in school, many of us feel intimidated about putting our thoughts down on paper or posting them online. In truth, though, if you can type an email to a friend and tell them an interesting story you have all the basic skills required to write good, compelling articles that will enhance your reputation. What’s more, they will sound authentic as they will be written in your own “voice”. So just make a list of topics, set aside the time to jot down your thoughts, hone the material, make it flow logically, spell-check it and it’s done. Remember, you are not trying to get a paper published in Nature and the only editor who can reject it is you.

There is an alternative, of course, and that is to hire a ghost-writer. But as with everything in life, you get what you pay for – which in this case can be as little as $5-$10 per article. So before you go down that road, just remember this: your perceived authority level will be “zero” if your collection of ghost-written articles about golf talks about “swinging the golfing stick”, “making sure the golf ball is parallel to the hole”, or “golf swings are easy to carry”. Sadly, this kind of writing is all too common at Ghostwriter Central so write your own articles because no matter how bad you think you are, you really cannot do any worse than that!

Information products: People who work in a service business, like tradespeople, doctors, dentists, chiropractors and so on, are limited by the number of waking hours they have in a day. But if you’re in a knowledge-based business (e.g. teaching a skill of any sort or providing specialised information) you can expand your presence to 24-hours a day, with no geographical limitations, by creating information products (e.g. ebooks and courses, audio or video lessons, private membership sites, or paper-based books and manuals). The entire internet marketing industry is built around these types of products and there’s no shortage of information on how to create and market them because some of the very best direct marketing, copywriting and sales professionals from the offline world have migrated over to teaching online marketing.

The first information product I ever came across was a manual that was advertised in golf magazines on both sides of the Atlantic during the mid- to late-1970s. The headline was: “I Was A 116 Golfer. In 10 days I Got Down To 74”. The ad was the work of a copywriting genius and I, along with probably hundreds of thousands of other golfers, couldn’t resist buying the product. It was called “The Magic Move of Golf” and in fact, I still have it today.

A more recent example was an advertisement that ran in some of the US golf magazines during the mid-1990s. It was written by a world-famous copywriter, John Carlton, and featured “Dr. Michael O’Leary” and the “Amazing Secret Discovered By One-Legged Golfer Adds 50 Yards To Your Drives, Eliminates Hooks and Slices… And Can Slash Up To 10 Strokes From Your Game Almost Overnight!”

Who could resist that one either…

Anyway, since the information products industry began to move online I’ve paid close attention to the quality of golf information being sold and, to be honest, I have not been impressed. The advertising is still based on hype but a real golfer can easily spot that while the copywriter might be good at hitting the right “hot buttons” they’re not accomplished players and so their words and promises do not ring true. And in terms of the material itself, most of what I see is re-hashed, re-heated and overpriced.

Even the “golf gurus” are not extending themselves very much into this space. Perhaps they are happier running their schools. But I think they’re leaving money on the table because now there are unprecedented opportunities for genuine, talented and results-driven golf teachers to serve a global golf market, concentrating on the specialisations they really excel at (e.g. beginners, women, seniors, advanced players, long hitting, short game, putting, psychology, fitness). And again, exact-match keyword .com domains should be used in designing these information products to attract the most highly targeted customers.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about, where the domain, the advertising graphics and copy all work beautifully together to draw in highly targeted prospects: Golf fans will remember the legendary Canadian golfer Moe Norman for his incredibly accurate single plane golf swing. Indeed, Bryson DeChambeau has brought the single plane swing very much back into the spotlight again in recent years. Well, if you type “TheSinglePlaneGolfSwing.com” into your browser bar it will bring you to an information product about the single plane golf swing produced by Moe Norman’s protegee, Todd Graves. Given that the domain name represents exactly what’s being offered and resonates perfectly with what these hungry prospects are looking for, thus pre-selling the product and building expectations, I’d expect conversion rates from clicks to sales to be extremely good.

Product reviews (affiliate marketing):

Exact-match keyword.com domain names are also used for product review sites. These sites are a form of affiliate marketing in which the site owner (publisher) is paid a commission if a visitor clicks on a link and purchases products from the merchant’s website. Review sites typically contain reviews by the site owner (and sometimes by registered visitors) of a variety of products in the specific niche.

Although there is a temptation for review sites to only give positive reviews of products (with a view to motivating the visitor to purchase), a good review site will strive to carry impartial reviews because this enhances their reputation, builds trust with readers and encourages greater engagement with the site. Within the golf retail industry there are several relevant examples of such sites, including GolfReview.com and IndependentGolfReviews.com.

eCommerce sites: – One of the first sectors of the golf industry to understand the value of exact-match keyword.com domain names for online marketing was the golf travel industry. Many golf travel businesses now operate on these kinds of domain names, including GolfHolidays.com, GolfBreaks.com and GolfScotland.com. These domain names resonate with site visitors, build trust and confidence, and help convert browsers into buyers.

The golf real estate industry is also very competitive. The market includes residential golf homes, golf rental homes, golf apartments and condos, and gated golf communities; it is also categorised by geographical area. Exact-match keyword.com domains are being used effectively in this industry also, as is evident from the dominant positions of GolfHomes.com and GolfProperty.com.

The major golf equipment sites are brand names, including Amazon.com, GolfGalaxy.com, The Golf Warehouse and Dick’s Sporting Goods. However, there are also smaller ecommerce sites that sell golf-related products from exact-match keyword.com domains. These benefit from the fact that the domain name itself is a ready-made brand. Examples include GolfClubs.com, GolfBalls.com, GolfTees.com and GolfTrainingAids.com.