How To Pick Which Domains To Develop – Three Easy Steps

I don’t think a week has gone by that I haven’t received an email from one of my readers asking me how to pick which domains from their portfolio they should develop. Of course if you had infinite time the correct answer would be – all of them…but you don’t so picking the domains with the best potential to generate revenue is key.

When I first started my business in 2007 I developed the names that were the most interesting to me. I used the Warren Buffet approach of investing in what I know. It can be very easy to think that because something is of interest to you then it must be interesting to everyone else! In 2008 I developed a much more data-driven system for determining which domains I should develop. Follow the three steps below and you’ll be able to pin-point the five domains in your portfolio that have the most development potential!

  1. Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to find-out how many searches the keywords in your domain gets – focus on “Phrase” and “Exact” – write down the number of searches for all of your domains
  2. Now find-out the CPC for the keyword or keyword phrase in your domain, i.e. if your domain is look at what the CPC is for “buy shoes”
  3. Take this list and pick out your top five by taking the domains with the highest volume or searches and highest CPC

This is a method I’ve used for a while now and I can tell you – it works! Yes – there are plenty of other metrics you can look at but this is what I’ve found works the best for me. So it’s 2010 – you’ve probably made a New Year’s Resolution to develop more of your domains…but you don’t know where to start – now you do!

Have your own method for picking which domains to develop? Please comment and share!

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Nameclerk January 4, 2010, 1:17 pm

    I also check the competitiveness of the keyword to see if I’m likely to rank for it. I use a handy piece of software that checks pagerank, back links and various other seo variables of the top results. This gives me a snapshot of how much work I’ll have to put in to get my site ahead of the others.

    If the task is too daunting, I’ll move on to lower hanging fruit.

  • Andrew Douglas January 4, 2010, 1:26 pm

    If 2009 was the end of ppc, then why factor high cpc into your development decisions. If you don’t plan to monetize using ppc ads then you would almost want to develop when you see low cpc so that it’s cheaper to advertise.

    • Morgan January 5, 2010, 4:18 pm

      Great question @Andrew – the CPC is a useful metric because it shows how much advertiser competition there is for the keyword. This is very useful data when coupled with monthly search volume.


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