What is a Lawyer Domain Worth?

by admin on April 29, 2008

I was recently approached about buying a domain. It is a pretty good, narrowly targeted domain name. But what is it worth? This is a difficult question to answer, and it depends on a number of factors.

Open Market Value

There is a huge market in domain names. They are bought and sold on specialized sites like sedo.com and even on ebay. Domain name traders generally value them based on two factors:

Investment Value

Domain names are considered “internet real estate”, and this real estate market is booming. Only one person can own “lawyer.com”, and the millions of other valuable names. There is considerable speculation in this market about what domains are worth, now and in the future.

Parked Income Value

A domain is “parked” if there isn’t a real site behind it. It could be redirected to another site, or it could be parked in a way that generates a page of links that are ads. Most people have seen these sites. You are essentially given nothing to do but click on a link that generates Pay Per Click advertising income for the owner.

For domains that get a lot of referral traffic (a click through from another site) or type in traffic (many people really do just type in “shoes.com” instead of searching for shoes), a good domain name can be a money machine, and is worth some multiple of income value based on standard business ROI metrics.

End User/Developer Value

Domains are generally most valuable to a person who wants to develop a site, and can directly monetize the traffic generated. The two main reasons you may develop a domain are:

Branding

This is fairly obvious. You may want your company or product name in you domain if that brand has marketing value to you. But this can get tricky and expensive if your brand also has significant keyword domain value – you may be competing against people who want the domain possibly for a different market altogether.

Keyword Value

Your keyword is a valuable brand in itself, particularly when it appears in search engine results for that keyword search. If you have search keywords in your domain, it is considered a big advantage. Many people believe that the domain name alone will help you rank for those terms. But regardless of how much it may boost you in the rankings, it is indisputable that when your domain does appear, it will help you in branding, credibility, and click through rates.
A domain with the exact keywords that a person searched for pops out in google search results pages, because the keywords are automatically bolded.
Secondly, when a searcher sees the domain of those keywords, it tends to give you an instant credibility boost – “This is what I am searching for”. Of course, you still have to deliver on that promise with your landing page to get anywhere – but that’s a separate topic altogether.

So, what’s a lawyer domain worth again?

Back to the original question. So any domain has some base value that domain collectors and speculators think it is worth.

However, in most cases a developed site is worth more than a parked site that relies on pure click through ad revenue. That only makes sense – if the site owner is the ultimate destination of those keyword clicks/searches anyway, then you are cutting out possibly several layers of ad delivering middlemen.

In the case of lawyer domains, if you are a New York Immigration Law Firm, then NewYorkImmigrationLawyers.com (just an example) is probably more valuable to you then the average internet domain buyer. But this may be true only if you are in a position to take advantage of the value of the domain. You need to have a site behind it that generates business inquiries (leads) in a cost effective manner, than you are in a position to efficiently monetize.

So, a to a law firm, a keyword rich domain is worth:

(open market value) + (a premium based on the efficiency gained in picking up that traffic) – (the time and effort to actually make that happen).

About Dave Matson

Dave Matson is the owner and operator of High Steppin' Searches. Dave Matson on g+

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