One month results in development

Quick post basically for me to look back at this later in the year.

Took an IDN that wasn’t being updated & revamped it & worked a bit harder on Social Media strategies.

Some of the results are

1. Grew a FaceBook community from scratch since January 5th to January 31st from 0 to over 300 members
2. Grew a Twitter account from 250 Followers to over 400 Followers in one month
3. Generated more than 30 retweets from influential people in that vertical (Important & can’t stress this)
4. Obtained almost no site backlinks other than Social
5. Generated over 80 engaged users in FaceBook (Likes, Shares, etc)
6.  Concentrated on usability & making the site better for users to use.

Site went from 30 uniques a day to 150 uniques a day
70% of the traffic comes from Social Media
Main term ranking rose from past 100 to 19 on both Google & Yahoo.

The goal is not to immediately start sticking in ads to get paid. It’s to create a network of sites that have authority & users use. The subject of the first site isn’t even important, it’s creating a system. FaceBook allows me to retain my target users & immediately inject my content into their content timeline. By having authority figures in those verticals post reshare or use your Social Media pages it builds authority to you site.

I’ve found a person who is a big collector of the subject of one of my domains. I’ll create the system, do the Social Media marketing aspect & create content guidelines. He’s create the content. I’ll duplicate this with others.

I know some of you are developing & I appreciate those who read this & continue to control your domains.

Social Media compatibility fixes

I was contacted by Twitter the Japan team who looked over the fact that IDN Domains on the profiles on iPhone comes out messed up. IDN Domains come out fine in the time stream and on other platforms that IDN URL comes out fine in Unicode. They informed me that they will issue a fix for this & are working on it.

They unfortunately don’t have an immediate solution for IDN Domains turning to punycode when Twitter tries to shorten the URL. I understand this needs more time perhaps.

We can clear these small issues if we develop & report them. Do the same in your priority market.

I’m having a bit of success lately growing one site from 50 uniques a day to 150 uniques yesterday in one month. I plan to do the exact same thing for 4 to 5 other sites. It takes work & it’s not automatic to gain users who come back. You have to plan. I think I can get the first site to 400 uniques per day at least by the end of next month (Targeted users, no inflated traffic, etc). My goal is to create 5 sites by summer the same way different themes. Having the category killer domain helps a lot.

Keep thinking parking is gonna be the ultimate goal guys, remember I’m the guy in Japan who’s main job is putting those ads on the parking pages.

You guys stay great.. Let’s Grow…

IDN Development Ramblings (also 200th post)

I’ve been doing this blog I feel like forever. This is my 200th post & well it’s just going to be new 2012 development ramblings.

1. Traffic from shortening services is displayed in Google Analytics as Direct traffic even though it isn’t. You have to make a plan to anylize referers seperatedly.
2. BITLY shortners have an issue with IDNs this needs to be fixed. Only one person so far has contacted support about it. Support notices are public & people vote on it. If you use the API it’s no problem but if you paste in an IDN punycode or not it doesn’t go to the link.
3.  Traffic from Social Facebook & Twitter mobile devices. I was surprised to find that one of my sites the bounce rate from links on Social Media are an incredible 7%. Yeah no mistype. I’ve never had a segment of referrals anywhere near that low.
4. I spoke to one of my former coworkers who heads a major ad technology in Tokyo. He told me currently it’s good to revisit Adsense. I’ve taken adsense off my sites but he told me that the quality of inventory matching has improved since years back. He also accredited to introduction of remarketing by Google. I’m not advising anyone to create cheap looking sites at all. I do recommend starting small at first & growing your site. Try to create quality.
5. Buying traffic. A lot of people believe buying advertisements is just trying to buy clicks to ads. It’s not. For example later I’ll launch a Facebook campaign for one of my domains. I will pay for users to join the Facebook page. The reason being is that I want to grow the audience. That page is updated with content from the site. If I pay $3 to capture that user to my page & they frequent that site for a year or more, share the info with their friends etc. Isn’t this worth it? Advertising for publishers is about expanding your user base.
6. Ads are not just Clicks.
Seems like many forget with advertising you don’t just get paid per click. There’s also CPM( Cost per Impression) . I’m trying to hire 2 writers by April on a weekly basis. Increase the content, increase revenue even if no one clicks.
7. Dot Com in katakana
Lately I’ve had a few referrals come to my site with searches with dot com in katakana. As some are reading this I know you are thinking “We told You”. I want to explain to you WHY this is happening. I started testing strong Twitter marketing. Twitter doesn’t allow you to put .com in your username. As a result with strong Twitter marketing I’ve started to get Japanese users searching for the name I put on the Twitter account. I’ve ONLY gotten search referrals like that AFTER I started Twitter marketing. My point is users will search for dot com in native languages for existing sites. Especially for sites that has been branded that way.
8. Traffic Origins
Some may say that I’m wrong about where traffic comes from or basically about anything I would say in general. I’m making assumptions based on doing testing of the traffic. If I’m wrong about redirects, traffic being mostly mobile, etc do the research to prove it invalid. I’m not doing the testing to be right. I do the research because I hope others would too so we can have accurate information about IDN domains. If you truly believe that the average educated Chinese, or Arabic parked domain user gets to the site because they append dot com to any keyword they are search for, & will do so for dot com in their language in the future do proper research & display the results. Even if you loose revenue for a week place your parking page in an iframe & put Google Analytics in the code. This will give you 100% insights to exactly where your traffic is coming from. Imagine if we had at least a sample of 5 domains from each language that would do this test. We don’t need exact traffic numbers just the percentages.

In ending I’ll make it firm that I like developing with IDN Domains. If they are not selling why not invest in developing your property.  Times are hard I realize many people have invested in IDNs because of something I created in 2005. We would all be stunned if Apple’s Safari browser changes that redirect. Other browsers have.

Twitter Support is good for IDNs

I’ve been going through development routines with some of my IDN sites.

One of them has a great twitter following & I’m going through the motions of seeing how are IDNs technically working with different platforms.

Twitter has a few issues with short URLs & IDNs also on the mobile site with iPhone.

I’ve contacted Twitter support & great news is, they are very open & willing to resolve these issues. I’m still communicating the issues with a tech support person. The positive is that they will listen & try to resolve the issues.

Again with sounding like a broken record. If we invest in IDNs because we believe they are useful wouldn’t it be in our benefit to develop & get these kinds of issues resolved? By adding Social media tactics to my idn strategies I’ve doubled traffic in a very short period.

I can do a lot to resolve issues with technologies Japanese might use. My reason for writing this is because others invest in markets where there are other media platforms that might have compatibility issues. Most technologies have a feedback or support contact form. Use it. Domains are not just for buying & selling. They are for use. Let’s get problems out the way if we can.

Adam Dicker and DNForum are on fire!!

I’ve been looking more and more over what Adam Dicker is doing over at DNF as a forum owner and businessman. He’s implemented a lot of things that I personally believe are needed for the growth of a large community. Over the holiday he even had a great discount on upgrading memberships for DNF unfortunately I missed it but will be looking over going to exclusive this year.
Some of the things I really respect his progression on are:

1 Trying to get rid of the make me an offer.
I might have been the first forum owner to do this. It’s a waste of time if the seller is looking for how much my domain is worth. If you want offers put in a range that you find acceptable. Don’t waste people’s time.
2. Development is key
If you are not selling domains at least try to increase your revenue on your portfolio. Even little by little is good. He not only encourages conversation on development, he really knows it well and offers some services to help you.
3. Publication
Looks like DNF will start a publication with writers. I’m actually a bit interested in this myself. Not to really talk about IDNs but more so about marketing advertising from an ad agency workers perspective.
4. Expansion and keeping it fresh
Adam and his team has kept expanding DNF and although some of the designs weren’t the best the site looks great and has kept up with the Jones.
5. Mobile and technology in general
I haven’t used it myself but I know that they released an iPhone app. I’ve been learning app development all last year and have lots of respect for him for this.
6. Social Media
I wrote before that it sucks that no forum owns their twitter account or even tweets. A while afterwards they launch their Facebook page and twitter account. Connecting with your community is NOT just on your site anymore. it’s about the message and if it’s strong enough it will be shared. That’s the power of Social.
7. Credibility
I’ve wrote about using Linkedin for domainers. He’s recently made the move to just use his real name instead of Dot Com God. Before I started working at Ad Agency level and initially went from web designer to SEO there are so many people who will post really inaccurate information about marketing what clients want etc. If you are not an expert yourself you can save time and frustration if you knew a little something about the people you put your trust in.
For myself even though everyone inaccurately thinks my job is SEO for Japanese clients, people still make the association that I’m an ad agency professional that deals with clients. This is needed if you think you represent your community.

I’ve wanted to write about Adam for a while he’s really grown his community well and shows he cares about his member’s investments.

We have an opportunity to take technology made in English and apply it to category killer domains in a variety of languages still. Even if it’s one site in English follow some of the tips he gives then apply it to your portfolio.

Please don’t take my post as any reference to any other domain communities.

IDN Development is needed for IDN Progression

IDN Development is needed for IDN Progression

I personally believe that development is needed for IDNs to progress. I know, I know I always say this.

Currently I’m updating a few Japanese IDN sites I have. In doing this there are still technical issues with some technologies. As I go through this I want to check what is compatible & what’s not.

How would tech companies know that their technology is not compatible with IDNs if we don’t develop & let them know?

This is really a big one for me.
Remember when Google Analytics had a bug that was showing almost all IDN traffic from IE was coming from IE6 but other domains had a great mixture of IE6, IE7, & IE8? I contacted Google made them aware of this got the fix posted it here & now it’s actually fixed in Google Analytics.

Here’s my post about it.
I was in contact with them a year before I posted that.

This still needs to be done & still needs to be done openly. The recent issues I’m going through are with Twitter & Facebook. They both have done great jobs at being IDN friendly but some compatibility issues still exist.

1. In Twitter with the Twitter shortener it turns the IDN domain back to Punycode. That’s not cool.
2. On Twitter iPhone app if you have an IDN domain in your profile it displays as %/ etc. That also is certainly not good.

Things like this needs to be reported. When I started developing IDNs Google didn’t give PageRank to IDNs. This was a Google bug they didn’t know about. I even wrote on Matt Cutts blog about this. Currently there are IDNs with PageRank (unfortunately PageRank doesn’t matter anymore).

I already know that some may say Twitter, FaceBook, & Social Media aren’t relevant. They are to advertisers. They are to the people who maybe interested in IDNs in the future.
We have so many great domains in people’s hands but also so many just sitting with 2003 thoughts about the market & marketing.
I want people to be prepared to answer questions from potential buyers.
If I buy this domain can I use it in “Widgets” Campaign or are there any incompatibility issues?
A potential buyer might actually be turned off by “Well I don’t know” or “That’s for you to research”. Some of us have been holding IDNs for 5 to 10 years. You should know, actually we should care & be proactive. Even if it’s little by little.

As always this is my opinion I think I’ll have a few new IDN projects to display over the next few months.

Not a lot of great auctions to begin the year

In Tokyo there are a few different auction platforms. Most have been active for over a year. The four main ones are Humeia, Rat, Onamae and WIXI. The first two were really behind closed doors until recently.

At the end of the month in December when the jp drop happened I have a feeling things went a bit too automated. No one was around to check which drops were caught. All of the systems catch .jps and immediately put them up for auction. There wasn’t a lot of great terms to catch to begin with. Also if the auctions just go until the 5th no one is really into business mode until the 5 or so.

I’m making these assumptions because I hand registered at about 1pm on New Years day. Usually I don’t comment about auctions while they are happening but this month doesn’t have a ton of great selections. that’s a fabulous domain but doesn’t seem to be in the auctions yet. I think that will be the money maker.

Happy New Year.