This is the last of a four post series on estimating direct type in traffic – the purpose of which was to come up with a reliable metric that can be used to assess a domain’s revenue parking potential. Results are based on the performance of 28 random descriptive domain names that were parked (using my DIY Domain Parking template) and monitored during January. So – having completed my analysis – had I found a useful metric that could help me going forwards?
Part 4 – Conclusions
The domains used in this experiment broke even in terms of their ad revenue earnings. This is important as it means that although no profit was made, holding on to these domain names will not be a burden financially. This is a positive thing for two reasons –
- I am free to develop the domains into mini-sites when I have the time.
- I am under no pressure to sell them or let them expire.
The real purpose of the analysis was to try and find a metric that could guide me for future descriptive domain name purchases. I was looking to find a sweet spot in terms of the number of words and letters that gave the best performance for type in traffic and CTR. It makes sense to look at how the number of words and letters affected these things in isolation and also in combination with one another. Let’s do that now..
What affect does the number of words have?
As you would expect, domain names that are made up of fewer words will get more type in traffic as a percentage of their monthly exact search volume. This was evidenced by the fact that 2 word domains (2.43%) scored better than 3 word domains (1.57%) in terms of their direct type in traffic levels. It is important to note that type in traffic for 3 word domains is not massively worse than it is for 2 word domains though (and we’ll come back to this later on).
CTR was much higher for 3 word domains (16.85%) than it was for those made up of just 2 words (10.06%). Having analysed the ads being displayed on the different domain pages, it is clear to see that those being shown on 3 word domains are more targeted than those that are being shown on the 2 word domains. As there are more words to define the subject of the domain, it follows that this would be the case and this brings with it a greater CTR.
What affect does the number of letters have?
First up and no surprise, domains names with 10 or less characters have by far the best amounts of type in traffic (6.31%) as a percentage of monthly exacts. However, their CTR is the lowest which follows the findings above and this needs to be taken into account. 6.31% is a pretty awesome amount of type in traffic though, so a killer domain with heaps of traffic in this group would still be the best kind of domain to acquire. Unfortunately there aren’t too many of these going spare anymore, so the reality is that we will need to look at domains with a greater amount of letters in them.
Interestingly, domains with 11-13 letters seem to be somewhat of a sweet spot in terms of both type in traffic and CTR. The level of type in traffic seen here is pretty impressive (2.69%) and a nice bonus to go along with this is that CTR is high at 15.13%. Clearly, domains of this length (perhaps even more so those with 3 words due to their higher CTR) perform well as an all-rounder and this was the real standout point for me in the analysis.
There is definitely something to be said for the 11-13 group, as domains in the 14-16 letter category fared worse for CTR (12.90%) and also pretty low for type in traffic amounts (0.60%). It looks like the jump up to this length of domain has a negative effect on the all important metrics – something I’ll bear in mind going forwards.
Having seen how things have panned out so far, we would expect domains of 17+ letters to give us the highest CTR and this is exactly what we got (16.42%). Type in traffic wasn’t bad (1.02%) for this length of domain and certainly holds it’s own in this respect.
How will all of this help me?
There are 3 main takeaway points to note from my analysis. These I will use going forwards to help my decision making when buying new domains. The first two points are really just confirming what I expected but the third is a new and useful nugget in itself.
- Fewer words and letters = higher type in traffic
- More words = higher CTR
- Sweet Spot = 11-13 letter domains (of either 2 or 3 words)
In fact, 11-13 letter domains that are made up of 3 words will most likely perform best for simple parking revenue sites as it’s been shown that the ads displayed are more targeted to the user and most likely to encourage click through.
I hope this series on type in traffic has been useful to you too. As ever, your opinions and thoughts on this would be really appreciated.