Summer Recap of My Internship at Domain Holdings Building Minisites


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This is a copy of a Post I wrote for the Domain Holdings Blog. 

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to start working at Domain Holdings. It is an experience that I will never forget and I am so grateful for the time I spent working as a member of the team at DH. To my current clients, fear not, I will still be handling ministe development and consulting for DH remotely from up here in Atlanta.

John Ferber and TeenDomainer Brian Diener at a South Florida Domainers event in July
My main focus this summer was to assist with the rollout of the Domain Holdings minisites offering. Domain Holdings already offers rapid platform development – DomainPower – for larger portfolio owners and premium development for killer category names, but did not have a solid middle-tier option. Minisites fit perfectly between the two ends of the development spectrum. While a minisite is not the perfect solution for every name, there are many domain names that can utilize a minisite to increase their value.

Over the summer, Domain Holdings clients ordered hundreds of minisites and I had the unique perspective to pour over hundreds of data points and see what types of names people were building on and what was working on a macro level.

Why do people like our minisites?

With a Domain Holdings minisite, clients get a custom WordPress theme and unique content on all of their sites. The domain owner also keeps 100% of the revenue and can use their own Ad-Sense or affiliate accounts. Domains can be hosted on their own hosting account, so they don’t run into problems with having too many names on the same DNS. Finally, the WordPress sites are easy to customize and update.

To get an idea of the kinds of increase in numbers, here’s an example. Our co-founder Chad Folkening had us build out 30 minisites and we were able to increase traffic by nearly 40% and revenue by 13.5% over parking.

After looking at all of the data here are two types of names that seemed to work well as minisites.

Poorly Converting Parked Names

The first is parked names that get traffic, but do not convert well. For example, on Nanotechnology.com we were able to increase revenue by 900% and bring in over 50% of the traffic from search engines.  The reason for the increase is because a minisite will be able to provide relevant ads that parking feeds simply cannot.

Longtail Names

The second group of names that do well as minisites are longer domains that get no traffic while parked, but do get some searches. In the Google keyword tool, the numbers that seem to be working well are from as low as 300 up to about 2,000 exact matches. It does depend on how competitive the category is. The more competitive means a higher CPC, but it is harder to get ranked. If the area is more competitive, it just means that some link building or more content will be required to rank.

We built out a few different sizes of sites over the summer to fit all different markets. It has been said before and I will say it again, content is very important. The more you have the better off you will be. We start with a minimum of four articles and can go up as high as a client requests. Using duplicate content will not help your site in the long run.

If you think you might have some names that will work for minisites, I would love to take a look at them and give you some feedback. Email me at Brian@domainholdings.com.

Later this week I hope to write a post about how the start of college at Emory is going! (hint hint college is a blast!)

Related posts:

  1. Building Minisites Has Made Me Smarter

Comments

3 Responses to “Summer Recap of My Internship at Domain Holdings Building Minisites”

  1. Mark
    September 14th, 2011 @ 11:29 am

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    Hi Brian:

    Just curious if the mini-sites you developed were exclusively .com and if they were not, if the .com sites did better.

    Thanks.

  2. Jeff Edelman
    September 15th, 2011 @ 10:47 am

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    Glad to hear that you had such a productive summer at Domain Holdings. I hope that college is off to a great start for you.

  3. Jason Thompson
    September 29th, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

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    Brian,

    You and I have always agreed on minisites. The proof is in the statistics you just provided. I am glad to see that a company like Domain Holdings understands that this is a segment of the market not to be ignored. Glad to hear you had a great internship.

    Great post and keep up the good work.

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