How to Find Valuable Geo-Targeted Domain Names: NamesCon 2017

Steven Kaziyev of New York Media

Steven Kaziyev of New York Media

How good are you at spotting a great geographically-targeted domain name in the wild? Steven Kaziyev, CEO of New York Media, led a NamesCon 2017 session on geo-targeted domain names, sharing over 12 years of hard-won experience. As Day One of namesCon is all about the basics, Kaziyev showed a jam-packed roomful of NamesCon attendees how best to monetize geographically-targeted domain names. 

Kaziyev got into geo-domains in 2009, starting with names based on New York City neighborhoods. Now his company develops geographically-targeted domain names (such as QueensLawyer), and then lets potential customers know that those names are available. "We package these assets and rent them out." 

When New York Media leases out its domains, they have it built into the contract to have the lessors provide web content. This builds value for both the customer, the owner, and the brand being built around the geo-targeted domain, says Kaziyev: "One article a week. I'm doing him a favor!" Kaziyev's content management platform of choice is WordPress, because it's so easy for customers to use.

Kaziyev got licensed as a real estate agent just to get access to the IDX feed used in that industry, for lead-gen purposes: he could build custom geo-targeted websites that would be plug-and-play for a real estate company. By teaming up with related professionals with whom they already work, the cost gets distributed to the point that the original site-leasing real estate company is effectively getting the web property for free. To draw attention to these available web properties, Kaziyev uses social media and search-engine optimization (SEO) to bring in visitors. (This is that developed skill that DomainSherpa's Michael Cyger talked about earlier in the day!)

It's the same thing as a long-tail keyword, said Kaziyev: you want to develop a simple real-estate site and solicit realtors in the area. Pick a neighborhood and area, and get the version with "realty" at the end, for example. It's easier with the geographic TLDs, he adds: something like co-ops.nyc; because people end up identifying so strongly with where they're from and where they're working.

"Hey, Page, how many long-tail keywords you got?"

Throughout his presentation, Kaziyev displayed an impressive personal familiarity with the people in the room: as NamesCon newcomers will find, this can be a pretty small world.

Purchase building names, Kaziyev urged his audience: they're valuable as lead-gen for real estate agents, and they're relatively uncontested. While he prefers .com as a TL, he has a soft spot for .org. Geo TLDs can be quite valuable indeed: one Q&A conversation mentioned the number of a dollar per resident per year. This, of course, depends on factors like the popularity of the location and the value of the traffic you can drive to that web property once you own it.

Think Beyond the Name

Kaziyev's larger point was the value of a domain beyond just the sequence of letters that make up its URL: "We don't sell domains anymore. We want to put 'em in a package."

Day One of NamesCon is always about exploring the fundamentals. Keep an eye on NamesCon.blog for more hot tips from seasoned pros as the conference continues.