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I own about 20 quality domain names (brandable/memorable, letters only .com) that include keywords relating to my web site. Most of them were purchased during the process of selecting a brand.

What strategies are available to take advantage of these otherwise unused domains from an SEO or web marketing perspective?

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closed as off topic by Anagio, John Conde Dec 17 '12 at 16:16

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Brand-able and memorable domains are only worth what someone wants to pay for them, that's if you were selling them. And that's worth about as much as your letter only domains. I assume you mean a few random letters. Unless a multi million dollar company finds them you wont get many big offers.

From an SEO perspective. Ranking 1 domain is difficult enough, and time consuming to be done right. Build content, regularly update the site with new content. Get incoming links etc. When you do that you can rank any domain for any keyword regardless of the keywords in the actual domain name itself.

I would suggest putting them on to https://flippa.com/ or sedo. Though you'll notice the domains which are selling for high prices have a few things going for them. Verifiable traffic usually they'll share access to Analytics to serious buyers. Steady income, again with proof or generated revenue. I'm seen sites sell for over $1,000,000.00 on there.

If you aren't looking to sell and want to generate income off the sites you'll really need to spend a time getting them ranking. Once in the top 10 for keywords which are producing some traffic you can throw ads on the site and affiliate offers.

Decide what category each domain would fit into. At least the ones which you say are brand-able. Now Google related terms as well as run a search on Amazon. See what products and services are out there, what kind of affiliate programs and decide which website in your portfolio stands to generate the most income for you then spend time on that one.

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I was thinking along the line of using some extra domains for landing pages or informational content sites (in relation with the main site's subject) that would lead traffic to the main site. I don't want to sell the domains. I must have worded my question poorly. – pageranked Dec 17 '12 at 18:32
Well to use them that way if the domain name was so unique it ranked naturally with no other SEO then sure why not build a quick page or two with content and link to your main domain. You know better than me though if the keywords will be competitive and how competitive. It'll come down to how much work you want to put in. The best thing to do is at least put up 1 static index page on all the sites and give Google something to start crawling and categorizing them. Then you can check where they rank and which to focus on. – Anagio Dec 17 '12 at 20:34
Ok, that makes sense. Thanks. – pageranked Dec 18 '12 at 6:21

I fully agree with Anagio.

Hardly anybody will buy those - you'll know in a couple of years. Buy them only if you want to host a website, otherwise don't renew them at all unless those are killer domains made of very simple words like flower.com, wine.com or page.com etc. It'll be worthless if you add a random letter/digit though.

In eyes of Google etc it does not matter beween sites: wine.com, wine7.com winexyz.com. It may have some value in the short term if it contains site's targeted keywords though.

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As the keywords of these domain names are related to your main web site, I'd suggest to create a network of closely-related, keywords-focused topics to drive traffic to your main site. They could be a few pages only to start, and you'll work your SEO strategy on them when you'll have some time for it. In the meantime, they'd have aged a bit with content on them, so they'll give you some momentum to see what you can take out of them.

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That's the kind of thing I was thinking about, thanks. Do you know of any resource where this is explained in more detail? – pageranked Dec 17 '12 at 18:55

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