The line in the sand

Let me start with a foundation of things I believe. These few points are not debatable from where I sit. So unless you get to this point, you will likely not understand nor accept anything else I have to say.

1. Getting a GREAT domain name is/was a "Unique opportunity in time."

2. No other commodity in the history of mankind has ever gone up in value faster than a GREAT domain name. No stock, no diamond, no gold, no land.

3. Just like land may have "Mineral rights" such as oil, a GREAT domain may also have mineral rights in the form of "Type in Traffic" from folks typing in your domain name directly into the navigation bar. If someone types in and spells it right do you think they are not qualified? Not targeted? Is that visitor not valuable? Maybe even more valuable than most traffic because of the closing ratios they achieve? I'll talk more about closing ratios in a moment.

4. Fuel runs an automobile, TRAFFIC is what fuels the net. You can have a million dollar auto but without fuel it won't be going anywhere on it's own power. Same with a website. You can spend millions in development but until you add targeted visitors and can CLOSE A SALE you really have nothing. It just sits like the car with no gas.

5. Nothing on this planet happens until a sale is made. Nobody goes to work, not a truck rolls, not a plane takes off not a factory opens not a thing happens. Nothing happens until a sale is made and then you don't actually EAT until you turn a PROFIT. So you don't have to be a genius to sell hundred dollar bills for $79.95.

6. If you sell a product or service on the net via your website and your CLOSING RATIO is not your guiding light, not on the tip of your tongue, not on your radar.....Then you are lost. It is what I believe to be the single most important piece of data no matter what you are selling and less than 1% of all folks that run a site can answer that question. They are lost and are like a captain with no map, no compass, no plan. Your ratio is how many visitors do you need on your site for you to close ONE sale and then repeating those sales? Many sites are incapable of closing any sales. It may be for many reasons or even a single simple the visitor can't find the checkout button.

If you have 10,000 visitors and you only sold one order I would ask why you did not close TWO out of 10,000 or FOUR or FIFTY? Or more? I would ask what you did with those other 9999 customers? I would ask "Is the traffic no good or is it the website that is no good?" You MUST isolate and figure out both sides. You absolutely MUST! But almost nobody does. They are working in the blind and building without a plan.

TEST, TEST, TEST. Tweak, Tweak, Tweak, experiment, experiment, experiment. And when the result is worse, go back to what worked better and find out WHY it worked better and build on that.

I can go on all day long talking about #6. But that is for another day and you may be asking what the hell does a domain owner know about this? All I can tell you as I know how to close sales on the net and back in 1996 and 1997 and 1998 I made a name for myself by increasing the bottom line of websites by 15% in just FIVE MINUTES! There are certain NAVIGATIONAL MISTAKES that almost everyone makes. Fix those, change the font, change the color, change the location and sales can go up dramatically.

7. All the dead guys that built the corporations so many work for today are rolling in their graves because  those in position of power and leadership largely missed the greatest opportunity of their lifetime, their fathers lifetime and their fathers before them!
8. Not all traffic is created equal

9. SHIT traffic and TARGETED traffic likely costs the SAME

10. If you don't know the SOURCE of you're traffic you better find out and re-read #6 until you are blue in the face. Imagine what it would do to your business if your site (Your MOUSETRAP) could only close ONE sale in 10,000 visitors while your competitor is closing 50 sales with the same amount of visitors. He is EATING your lunch and you better start paying attention before you head to and look for a new job.

So here we are......
This may sound pretty basic to domain owners and developers, however it is GREEK to those outside the industry. They will doubt these beliefs. What they don't know is we are armed with stats to back up what we say. So my target audience is those outside the industry that still have a misconception of what GREAT domain names represent.

Note: This article was supposed to just run yesterday, but the interest level is high and the subject matter so important that I will leave it up a little longer

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

15 thoughts on “The line in the sand

  1. Tracy

    Straight forward lessons shared from your experience… I’m here to learn.

  2. owen frager

    Congrats on the blog. Great job so far and really looking forward to my daily dose of Rick.
    Speaking of founders turning in their grave, what would henry Ford think of the news I read on Forbes today that Ford Pays CEO $39.1M for $12.7 Billion 2006 Loss.
    When that is the state of corporate affairs, getting them to”get” this (or Ford to get will take not just a blog- but a blog on the head!

  3. Francois Carrillo

    I was a bit lost with your”close ratio” until I understood you was talking about”conversion ratio” (first time I hear speaking abut this ratio with the close term).
    I am agree with you and more when my main business for year is lead acquisition so that’s a point I follow and try to improve every day.
    Now I am a bit surprised about this speech that look likes more a clever marketer speech then a domainer speech.
    I am seeng that +90% of domainers simply update their domain DNS to have their them parked. So for them this speech have no intetest as they cannot do anything to improve the conversion rate. Or are you suggesting to start to forget about domain parking services and build sites?
    Rick it’s an interesting post that outlines very well that buy domains to just park them on parking services is simply idiot!

  4. Alex

    Do you think it is worth now start investing time and money into domaining business when competition is tough and best names are taken?

  5. Sahar Sarid

    “Rick it’s an interesting post that outlines very well that buy domains to just park them on parking services is simply idiot!”

  6. sam

    Great points, which to most”experienced” domain investors seems to be common sense.
    However, to the”newcommers” or those just getting started, a nice shining light.

  7. Miguel

    Great post rick I would love to know when you finnish the post on #6 you say another time I hope it is soon I need to learn alot on different test I should run

  8. David Burdon

    well put together. Seems that most people for get the basics of sales ratios.
    If you don’t mind I may even quote you at a conference I’m speaking at.

  9. Dan

    Well you definitely said a mouthful on this one! These are definitely great tips for all website owners to live by. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.


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