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Top 10 Travel Domain Acquisitions

Domains are big business.

According to Domaining.com, here are the top 10 travel domain acquisitions of all time.

DomainPrice
Hotels.com$11,000,000
Korea.com$5,000,000
Fly.com$1,500,000
Flying.com$1,100,000
Cruise.co.uk$1,099,798
Britain.com$1,000,000
SkiResorts.com$850,000
Singapore.com$800,000
Melbourne.com$700,000
Macau.com$550,000

But, why do people spend so much on travel domain names? Especially when there are free to register domains still available?

These aren’t questions that are easily answered.

Usually, it includes factors such as:

  • Increased click through rate on search engine results (and higher rankings).
  • Increased click through rate on pay-per-click campaigns (and lower costs).
  • Free type-in traffic.
  • Increased repeat business.
  • Reduced bounce rate.

The Importance of Self-Explanatory Domains

Pay-Per-Click & SEO Campaigns

More and more companies are choosing to brand themselves as a relevant keyword in their niche.

So, “Blueberry Farm” is a farm that offers fishing holidays. They’d look at acquiring a premium domain such as Fishingholidays.co.uk, rather than Blueberryfisheries.co.uk. And, there’s a good reason for this.

Take Cruise.co.uk for example. What would you expect to find on their website? It could be one or several different things. But, your expectation is that they all relate to cruises. It’s likely you’d click if you were looking for any of the following:

  1. A cruise booking search engine.
  2. Guides covering in detail, cruise destinations.
  3. User reviews of the best cruise destinations and cruise companies.
cruise travel domain names

And, Cruise.co.uk rewards users in this case, by offering them everything we’ve mentioned above.

The booking engine for cruises is obviously the most predominant part of the page. They don’t want to risk losing visitors that have come here to book a cruise, as this is their real money maker.

However, as you can see from the tabs at the top of the page, there are plenty of information pages such as: reviews, Q&A, guides, news and forum. This is for the users that are one step behind booking in the buyer journey.

Many people value a premium domain based on the search volume, and the CPC. They forget the importance of having a self-explanatory domain name.

Because a self-explanatory domain “does what it says on the tin”, this can lead to higher click through rates for both pay-per-click campaigns (PPC), and in search engine results. And, this is big news.

For PPC, this is going to lead to more conversions, at a lower cost. And, this is going to have an enormous impact on the bottom line for any business.

One of the biggest examples of a premium domain sky-rocketing a PPC campaign, is that of Beep.

Beep rebranded using Carloans.com.au. The results were spectacular. Their conversion rate increased by over 30%, and within 24 hours they had reduced their cost per conversion by 35%.

How did this happen?

They purchased a quality domain that is a self-explanatory extension of their business. Before users land on their website, by reading their domain name, they know exactly what they do.

And, being the category killing domain it is, users are filled with confidence that this company can offer them exactly what they need.

So, not only are they able to get more clicks at a lower cost, conversions increase too. All thanks to their self-explanatory domain.

The same is true of premium travel domains.

Imagine you wanted to book a cruise. You search “cruises UK” and the top 2 results are Cruise.co.uk and Thomascook.com. Assuming Thomas Cook was an unknown brand, would you click on that, or Cruise.co.uk?

The majority will click on a domain that matches (partly or completely) their search.

This isn’t just useful for PPC campaigns. We can see Google rewards domains with high click-through-rates with a lower cost per click and higher positions.

Naturally, they do the same for their organic search results. If a website is getting abnormally high click-through-rates in comparison to its search engine rank, there’s a good chance it’s rankings will improve.

So, every £ spent marketing a domain like Cruise.co.uk, is going to outperform a generic domain such as globalholidays.co.uk.

One shift in position for PPC campaigns, or increased rankings for SEO campaigns, could see a premium travel domain name literally pay for itself.

Repeat Business

A lot of marketers get caught up in PPC & SEO campaigns, just a little too much.

The biggest and best businesses in the world focus on a range of strategies to improve their businesses year-on-year; not just SEO and PPC.

The fact is, retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones. A retention strategy that shows improvements of 5%, could lead to 25% more profit. And, it’s easy to see why, when other statistics like the one below start to surface.

info travel domains

It completely makes sense. If you book a cruise on Cruise.co.uk and it’s a success. There’s a good chance next time you book, you’ll be going straight back to their site.

One of the simplest retention strategies is to choose the right domain name. Short and simple travel domain names work the best.

Why? Because they are easy to remember.

Sure, you run PPC ads, you rank in search engines and post on FaceBook. But, most the time the potential consumer is not ready to purchase.

But, if you have a domain they can remember, there’s a good chance they’ll type it in when they need to.

All the above marketing techniques work as a branding tool, to impregnate your brand name in the mind of the consumer, to get the cheapest traffic and most profitable web traffic of all; direct and repeat traffic.

Bounce Rate

Search engine rankings and click-through-rates are only part of the puzzle.

It stands to reason that if more visitors are confident your website has what they want, the clicks are worth more. It’s likely the website will see increased pageviews, therefore a lower bounce rate, but more importantly, increased revenue.

And, it’s a known fact that major search engines now factor in user engagement to determine rankings.

No longer is a first page ranking in Google down to “quality content” and “relevant links”. The better users interact with your page once they land on it, the better chance you have of improving your rankings and traffic.

By having a self-explanatory travel domain name (like Cruise.co.uk does) and then backing up that domain with features users expect to see, you’ll be able to decrease bounce rate dramatically.

Acquiring Domains

Acquiring Premium Travel Domains That Are Already Taken

With over 326,000,000 domains currently registered, there’s a good chance the one you want is already taken. And, you’ll find that almost all premium domains have been registered for a decade or more.

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t get hold of them for your business.

Understanding a Domain’s History

After deciding on a travel domain, it’s important to check the history.

SEO is a big part of online marketing and there are a lot of domains (even premium ones) that have been hit by various penalties from search engines. Most of the time, they are easy to spot.

As an example, this tool allows potential domain buyers to check whether a domain has previously received a Google penalty.

If there are large drops in organic traffic just after a major search engine update, this signifies that a penalty might have been given. At the very least, it means that the domain has been devalued in the eyes of many search engines.

We ran a quick search for a company we know has been hit by various penalties. And, it’s obvious when they got a slap on the wrist!

google penalty domains

Penalties don’t necessarily mean that a domain won’t return to its former glory. It can mean that efforts are devalued, and a SEO recovery campaign might need to be put into place. If a graph for a domain you’re purchasing looks like the one above, speak to an SEO specialist and ask for advice.

Your history lesson shouldn’t stop there.

If the domain was previously an active website, search Google for the domain name, and see if there are negative brand mentions. This is yet another thing you’ll be investing time and money to fix.

Typically, a company using an exact match keyword domain may have had a different company name. You’ll be able to find the old company name using the WayBackMachine.

Where to Find Travel Domains for Sale

Armed with the above tools, you can now start the search for your perfect travel domain.

Typically, travel domains that are for sale by their owner will be listed via a broker, or websites such as Go Daddy, Name Jet or Sedo.

If a domain is not listed here, there’s a good chance the owner wants a high price to consider a sale, but this isn’t always the case.

Find the contact form on their website. Send them email requesting if they’d sell the domain and how much they are looking for.

If the website doesn’t have a contact form, sometimes the details of the owner can be found using a Whois search.

We have a range of premium travel domain names for sale. But, our portfolio is constantly changing. If you are looking a specific travel domain, please get in touch.

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