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Thread: Monetizing on a local niche.

  1. #31
    Loko's Avatar
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    This will be the last update about the project since I have decided to drop it entirely. I will explain why at the end of this post.

    Rankings...
    The site ranked #2 for a few months until it disappeared from this position overnight. The intermittent ranking position led me to think that the site was, and still is, sandboxed. Days and weeks passed by where I could find my site only on the 8th page of Google results until it appeared back at the number 2 or 3 position for a few days. After some time it stayed at the 8th page or beyond and almost no traffic.

    ...and Backlinks
    So I thought the site just didn't have a lot of backlinks to maintain its number 2 position according to Google's algorithm. Not a problem, so I worked on getting more backlinks, submitted site links to local and global travel related sites and directories and made small updates to the pages. It just takes some time and after some work, it would probably return to its original rankings.

    Sales Leads
    The most interesting fact about this small project was that there was relevant traffic to the site. On average perhaps 15 visitors a day at best but keep in mind that it is only a locally targeted site that -as expected- will never attract thousands of visitors a month. With sufficient backlinks and some offline marketing, it doesn't have to depend too much on Google or its rankings as well. Those 15 visitors a day could, and some did, create interesting sales leads. Several people contacted and asked me for a quote for multiple group trips or just a taxi ride to various destinations. When properly connected to the local taxi world, these sales leads can generate small commission earnings.

    Strategic Retreat and on to Something New
    I had to drop the project however. The time and effort versus potential earnings weren't just feasible for me. But, it can work for someone else. The main reason is that since some time, I am working on something bigger where the subject has my genuine interest since practically my whole life. Additionally, it takes a lot of time to build it besides my freelance job and time for the family.
    The most important thing is what I have learned from this project, as well as from the forum, I will use in my current and future projects. So thanks to NB for the support and the piece of cyberspace provided where I could write down my rookie webmaster diary!

    Thanks for reading and given feedback.
    Cheers,
    Jeroen

  2. Thanked by:

    Aquarezz (3 January, 2010), Aziz (3 January, 2010), bogart (10 January, 2010), tmongy (10 January, 2010)

  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loko View Post
    Rankings...
    The site ranked #2 for a few months until it disappeared from this position overnight. The intermittent ranking position led me to think that the site was, and still is, sandboxed.
    I don't believe that the issue was the sandbox. Google has different datasets that use. At any given time you could see a different dataset depending on what ip you hit. Which makes it appear that you have ranking fluctuations. When in fact you are seeing different builds of the index based on adjustments to the Google algorithm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loko View Post
    Sales Leads
    there was relevant traffic to the site. On average perhaps 15 visitors a day at best but keep in mind that it is only a locally targeted ... Those 15 visitors a day could, and some did, create interesting sales leads. Several people contacted and asked me for a quote for multiple group trips or just a taxi ride to various destinations. When properly connected to the local taxi world, these sales leads can generate small commission earnings.
    The site would need to target hundreds of keywords to get enough traffic to make a go up it. A lot would depend on the metropolitan statistical area. A large enough MSA would yield a large variety of local keywords.

    Another problem with the local is that many keywords are dominated by the big local directories. It could take some time to establish authority and trust in order to out them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loko View Post
    I had to drop the project however. The time and effort versus potential earnings weren't just feasible for me.
    The idea is good. The suggestion that I have is to target niches that have deep pockets like attorneys, real estate, resorts, professional services etc. These niches can could afford to pay a good rate for a lead bases on the revenue that a lead can generate for them.

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    Loko (10 January, 2010)

  5. #33
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    Thanks Bogart,

    I wasn't aware of the IP/dataset issue, sounds plausible. I'd like to look further into this. Regarding the rankings, I checked those from different geographical locations in Europe, I just had the chance to experiment with this. It did not matter from which location I was searching and whether I used google.com, google.nl and google.be, they showed consistent results over time and location. Anyway, I found it interesting and experimenting will help me understanding better in my next SEO project.

    Quote Originally Posted by bogart View Post
    The idea is good. The suggestion that I have is to target niches that have deep pockets like attorneys, real estate, resorts, professional services etc. These niches can could afford to pay a good rate for a lead bases on the revenue that a lead can generate for them.
    Last week when I talked to my bookkeeper, it appeared that he doesn't have the bookkeeper[cityname] domain in .com and cctld while they are still available to register. I guess that there are still opportunities there

    cheers

  6. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loko View Post
    Last week when I talked to my bookkeeper, it appeared that he doesn't have the bookkeeper[cityname] domain in .com and cctld while they are still available to register. I guess that there are still opportunities there
    I think to make money with this technique you will need to find niches that have deep pockets. For example, a lead for a dui attorney, mortgage broker or real estate agent is a lot more vaulable than a service that cost $100 or so.

  7. #35
    de'somad is offline Unknown Net Builder
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  8. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by de'somad View Post
    Finding a right Niche may make much money.
    It's not so much as finding the right niche. What is needed is a market vertical that can get a high return on lower volume local traffic. The type of businesses that can benefit the most from going local are services costing $200 or more. Even two or three extra clients per day can make a big difference.

    For example, I don't believe that a business like a cafe would be a good candidate. It isn't so much that the business doesn't need a website. But rather they need a "design" solution as oppossed to an "SEO" local solution.

  9. #37
    Loko's Avatar
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    My little journal wouldn't be complete without reporting that I sold the domain name to a local taxi company. Keeping a domain with relatively low exact search volumes such as this one won't be a viable option without developing and maintaining it, although its Adsense revenue paid for the registration fee and hosting. Again, when the site was up, it created some sales leads and I think it will do better in the hands of more knowledgeable party like a taxi company.
    Out of privacy reasons for the taxi company I will not reveal the sales price but I think its something we're both happy with.


    Lastly, I'd like to share the email template that I used (Translated from Dutch language).


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dear [person in WHOIS]


    I have decided to sell my internet domain name ****.com. This domain name contains the 'keywords' **** **** which may make it easier to promote a website on the internet. Besides, it is an easy to remember domain name which can be used in addition to your other domains.


    The price is € xxx and the domain can be transferred to a registrar of your choice.


    In case you are interested, please send an email to:
    admin@****.com


    Kind Regards,


    [My Name]
    and phone number

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    Note that I wrote to the person in the WHOIS. This way, changes are better of hitting a more knowledgeable person than writing to a general customer email address. This mail was sent to about 30 companies with two replies.

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    Aquarezz (1 April, 2010), bogart (31 March, 2010), Will.Spencer (1 April, 2010)

  11. #38
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    This has really been an awesome thread. Thanks Loko!
    Submit Your Webmaster Related Sites to the NB Directory
    I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

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    Loko (1 April, 2010)

  13. #39
    Loko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will.Spencer View Post
    This has really been an awesome thread. Thanks Loko!
    I really appreciated all the replies from our kind community

  14. #40
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    Very informative stuff, Loko.
    Thank you for sharing! I'm glad that, even though the plan didn't work out, you were able to come out ahead.

    Make sure you keep us updated with future projects.

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