The current landscape of Internet economics has many domain investors abandoning domain name parking and turning to mini-site development as an alternative means of monetizing their domain name portfolios. Domain name owners have seen their parking revenues dwindle to levels as low as 33% of what they were just a few years ago. Many domain names that were once profitable under the domain parking model are no longer able to cover their own yearly registration fees. The exception to this trend are rare, premium domain names that receive large amounts of “type-in” traffic and continue to perform well with parking pages.
Mini-sites give domain investors much more flexibility in both revenue and content generation than the standard domain parking page filled with PPC (pay per click) advertisements. Mini-sites can be developed into a stand alone business complete with informative content, product offerings and newsletter services.
What is a mini-site?
Mini-sites are condensed, concise websites built around a tight niche focus that is related to the domain name they are developed on. Mini-sites can be built using HTML editors or a number of content management systems like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. Mini-sites usually target a specific keyword, or small group of keywords that the developer hopes to eventually rank in the search engines for and thus capture traffic from a targeted audience. These sites can earn revenue from a variety of sources including product offers, PPC ads, affiliate offers and even email newsletter subscriptions.
What are the advantages of mini-sites over domain parking?
- Flexibility – Mini-site developers are able to create unique content and present it in any format they choose in an effort to attract targeted visitors to their website. There are also unlimited ways to monetize a mini-site to earn revenue compared to a parking page that contains primarily PPC ads and little to no content.
- Visibility – Through the presence of unique content, mini-sites are able to rank in the search engines and capture targeted search traffic. Traffic can also be obtained from natural backlinks and using link building techniques. This is a huge advantage over parked pages which are often completely disregarded by Google and other search engines and have policies in place that prohibit backlinks to parked pages.
- Profitability – Mini-site owners get to keep a higher percentage of the revenue their websites generate by cutting out the middleman, or in this case, the parking provider. The availability of other monetization models also increases opportunities for profitability by allowing the website owner to decide which products to promote and how to promote them.
- Liquidity – Developing a mini-site on a domain name increases the value and desirability of that domain to other investors and might even attract the interest of end users who also do business within the mini-site’s product or service category. More prospects will equate to quicker sales at higher prices when it comes time for the domain owner to sell.
In conclusion, mini-site development can help domain owners bring out the full potential of their domain names in usability, usefulness and profitability.