Should a freelance translator invest in a premium domain?
Thread poster: Pavel Zalutski

Pavel Zalutski  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:55
English to Russian
+ ...
Sep 25, 2006

Hi,

This message continues the discussion of Internet marketing issues which I started raising in my previous post ‘What is a better domain for a translator’s website?’ (Thank you again for your response to that one.)

This is what I would like to ask you this time:

Should a freelance translator invest in an expensive and premium domain name, whose value is, say, half of the translator’s annual income? The domain name is truly a prominent one, consisting for primary keyword(s). Presently the translator specializes in one general field and does not have a website and derives his/her income from work for clients whom he/she meets via Internet job posts, inside referrals and forwarding of his/her resume to agencies and direct clients. How soon, if at all, would the translator be likely to return his/her investment into the domain name? What would be the expense of search engine optimization and other procedures required to make the website based on a premium domain really a ‘top resource’? Would you agree that, since the domain name is only one of the many factors determining the listing of a website in a search engine, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re at translation.com or fhjdhfkjdhf.com – the important thing is content, optimization, promotion, etc.?

It’d be great to hear what translators with premium and non-premium domains of their own have to say! Do you have a success story revealing how an expensive domain worked out? Was anyone really disappointed after making such an investment?

As always, I’m so grateful to have an opportunity to discuss this with you. Thanks!


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Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:55
Member (2002)
English to German
Depends on you Sep 25, 2006

If you just buy a premium domain without good content and no promotion you will for sure be disappointed.

If you put some time in it though, optimize the keywords and submit it to search engines it could be worth the money.

You also have to take into consideration that a domain is an asset. If you spend, say 10K, on a domain this money is not gone. Instead the value of the domain might increase over time.

Search engine optimization doesn't come with any expenses if you are willing to do the job yourself.

Having a short keyword domain is essential for a good search engine ranking. Some people might say now: "No, amazon and ebay have high ranks, too." But that's not the issue here, assuming that you don't have their marketing budgets.

Best regards

Andy

www.interlations.com

[Bearbeitet am 2006-09-25 16:21]


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:55
German to French
+ ...
For what I know about premium domains... Sep 25, 2006

the name is not everything.
On the Internet, it becomes increasingly important to have a own domain for a long time (many years).
This means that lashgohfa.com could be better positionned than translation.com if you had the first one for 5 years and you just bought the last one which had been vegetating for ages (although as time passes it may change).

Having a own domain is quite important because the search engines are going to show only max two subdomains of a toplevel domain on a result and disregard the others (which means that if there is for instance 1000 pages ending with .proz.com, you will be much better off with xyz.com).

The rest is much hard work on optimizing. If you go on sedo you could find many interesting variations of domains containing keywords not all of them are that expensive. You just need to have luck to find something people will remember. Having the name in the url has the advantage that people linking to you using your url are actually promoting your site for the keyword in the url. It is quite practical but I would not spend a fortune for that. You can also spend money trying to get people using that keyword instead your domain name. It is a choice of yours.

I wish you goodluck

Yolande
(who bought two years ago a domain with the right keyword at a spotprice because the domain had been vegetating for years and is now earning through the domain more than 100 times its first investment just spending a couple of months working on it).


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't think so Sep 25, 2006

1. Is your time underutilized; i.e. could you earn much more money if you had more jobs? Or are you already working at full capacity or nearly so? I can imagine that if a premium name were to pay off, it would only do so for an outsourcer, not a single translator.

2. Would people who found you on the internet through your premium domain name be more likely to turn into clients than people who were able to find your non-premium site on the internet because you had seeded it with well-chosen keywords? (This is a rhetorical question, and I think the answer is "no".) Good keywords are the "key" to being found on the internet. Moreover, you only have one domain name, but you can include as many relevant keywords as you can think of.


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:55
German to English
+ ...
Are you kidding? IMO: no (in this case) Sep 25, 2006

I think freelancers should have a multi-pronged approach to advertising, customized for the specific market. This may involve a website, a brochure, a phone book entry, newspaper/press advertising, etc. If I have understood correctly, you are considering spending half of your annual income (!) on the domain name alone?! If you are also a newbie to website generation/design, search engine optimization, keywords, meta tags, etc., you will definitely need to budget another major chunk of your income to pay a web designer.

Would you agree that, since the domain name is only one of the many factors determining the listing of a website in a search engine, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re at translation.com or fhjdhfkjdhf.com – the important thing is content, optimization, promotion, etc.?


Well, maybe not fhjdhfkjdhf.com, but in the big picture, yes, this is my experience. I would spend $10 to get a domain name that is reasonably short, and (very important) **one that is easily understood on the phone by customers who speak your source and target languages**. You could splurge another $50 per year to get 5 additional aliases that point to your main page. For instance, get BOTH of the options (..translation and ...translations) you mentioned in your other thread. At ca. $10 a pop, why not? Then get a domain name or two that Russian customers will 100% understand on the phone and not misspell, perhaps a play on words or a famous saying (although I guess the phonetic spelling of Russian might make this inherently problematic).

I have no idea how much "half of [your] annual income" is, but paying thousands of dollars/euros to claim a "premium" domain is like lighting rubles on fire and throwing them out the window (well, you know what I mean )

Michele


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Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:55
Member (2002)
English to German
Investment Sep 25, 2006

Michele Johnson wrote:
paying thousands of dollars/euros to claim a "premium" domain is like lighting rubles on fire and throwing them out the window (well, you know what I mean )

That's for sure not correct, Michele.

Or do you also think that buying other investments like funds is equivalent to throwing your money out of the window?

Even if the purchase cost won't come in via additional translation revenues (although it might) you still can sell this domain at a later point of time again.
A domain like translation.info is very unlikely to lose value over the next few years so you might realize good gains assuming you bought it for a good price of course.

Andy


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 06:55
English to Russian
+ ...
Why at all? Sep 26, 2006

How do people get time to maintain a website when they have work, and/or money when they don't have work? I can't answer all my emails in time:-).

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Michael Bastin  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:55
English to French
+ ...
the name says it all, but not always Sep 26, 2006

you can rank any site anywhere with time and budget but the domain name is not the most important thing.

I once started with a personal domain name and changed the content to present my translation services. I did it back when it took a couple of months to get top 10 rankings. Getting a site ranked higher may become an addiction and you can easily end up spending more time on this than building more content.

Long domains are more prone to spelling mistakes indeed, so the longer the domain the more variations you should consider buying.

Also, for the price of a super premium domain you can always buy a more affordable one and use the extra money to promote it.

As a side note following something I've read in this thread, there is no such thing as "submit your site to search engines" anymore, that was true 3 to 4 years ago. Now it comes down to one thing, rank well in google and you'll rank well elsewhere too (in most cases).




[Edited at 2006-09-26 05:50]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:55
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Get yourself a normally priced domain Sep 26, 2006

Pavel Zalutski wrote:
Should a freelance translator invest in an expensive and premium domain name, whose value is, say, half of the translator’s annual income?


Yes, absolutely, if the *value* of it is that much. But how do you determine a domain name's value (and how do you determine it beforehand)? If, on the other hand, the domain name's price is that much, then you'd really be paying too much, IMO.

How soon, if at all, would the translator be likely to return his/her investment into the domain name?


If by "premium domain" you mean one that you buy second-hand from someone who is not a registrar, then the high price will only apply initially, and your annual cost will be about USD 10.00. I that scenario I envisage that sooner or later (probably later) you'll pay off your investment. But IMO only agencies or translation companies should consider such things -- freelancers generally don't get enough work to make the calculation work.

What would be the expense of search engine optimization and other procedures required to make the website based on a premium domain really a ‘top resource’?


Unfortunately, not much less than if the domain had a really silly, non-premium type of name.

...it doesn’t really matter whether you’re at translation.com or fhjdhfkjdhf.com – the important thing is content, optimization, promotion, etc.?


No, the domain name must also be memorable.


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 21:55
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Content & link popularity Sep 26, 2006

Hi,

I agree that the domain name should be memorable but that doesn't mean you should have to pay an arm and a leg for it. You could spend that money you saved on such better additional marketing methods once your website is established.

These days the search engine robots (spiders, crawlers etc) are so wised up to the tricks people play and pay to get higher ratings and rankings that at the end of the day it really does come down to the content of your website.

Rich content and link popularity are the keys and you can get that without spending a small fortune on the initial outlay for an expensive domain name.

Good luck and best wishes,
Mark


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Herminia Herrándiz Espuny  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
No way Sep 26, 2006

I don't think it is a good inversion at all... As the other colleagues have said, it is better to get a normal domain and try to promote your website everywhere and also get a good position on Google.com.

I just bought the domain catalantranslator.com since is one of my native languages and, fortunately, it was considered as a normal domain, so I only have to pay the $10 anually as with my other domain hhtranslator.com.

Try to find a good name for your website, easy to spell and memorable as some of the other colleagues have already told you, if you think carefully about the domain name you will find a good one that fits your "needs" perfectly

Herminia


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Lingo24 Ltd
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:55
Member (2009)
English
How much time does research take, after all? May 19, 2010

xxxIreneN wrote:

How do people get time to maintain a website when they have work, and/or money when they don't have work? I can't answer all my emails in time:-).


I'd be interested to know how much time it takes for someone to research keywords? How many keywords can one check in one hour?
Maybe there's hope for those with little time.


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