These days, your website might just be the most important part of your business. For an ecommerce business, your website is your storefront. For all other businesses, products, and services, your website is often the first place potential customers go to learn what you’re all about.
Choosing a domain name is important, but what you might not know is that choosing multiple domain names is key to maximizing your marketing strategy and getting the most out of your business’ web presence. Can a website have more than one domain name? Yes, and more than likely you’ll want to make sure that yours does for the following reasons:
- Misspellings and typos. Regardless of how easy it is to spell your business’ name, humans aren’t perfect spellers. Enter voice typing and autocorrect, and our spelling just got even worse. Every now and again, you’ll have potential customers making mistakes when they go to type your website name in the search bar. Owning domain names that include these common typos can help guarantee that users reach your website, as these secondary domain names can be set up to automatically redirect customers to your website. Just like gogle.com will take you to Google’s homepage, and amazonn.com will take you to Amazon’s. This way, you don’t miss out on potential sales from customers that are prone to typos or misspellings.
- Brand protection. As a business large or small, maintaining a good reputation is of the utmost importance. You want to build brand awareness, but you don’t want to be associated with a brand that doesn’t align with your values or one with a reputation for low-quality products and/or services. But those companies are out there, and they could operate under a name very similar to yours. Even if your products are the best in the world, it’s hard to transcend a bad reputation — even if the reputation has befallen you only through an unfortunate association.
What’s more, there are copycats and cybersquatters out there that will purposefully purchase a domain name similar to yours — with the sinister goal of redirecting traffic to their site. According to Domain.ME CMO Natasa Djukanovic, this not only risks damaging your brand’s reputation, but these hijackers often buy domains with the hope of selling them to you at exorbitant prices. If you purchase multiple relevant domains, you won’t have to worry about losing a large chunk of change to a cybersquatter in the future.
- Business expansion. If you’re expanding into a new geographic location, having multiple domains can help you keep up with company growth and allow your business to feel “local” to customers all over the world. If operating in international markets, purchasing domain names with country-specific TLDs like .co.uk or .au can make customers in England or Australia feel closer and more connected to your business.
- Segmenting products and/or services. Say you’ve just added a wonderful new product and/or service to your repertoire, and you want to get the word out to your target audience. Purchasing a new domain for each new line can be a great marketing strategy, as Djukanovic makes the point that “by having multiple websites, you ensure that each product and/or service is building up its own brand and association with the targeted customers.”
How many domains does my business need?
So you’ve established that buying multiple domain names is a good idea. But just how many do you need?
There’s no one perfect number; every business is different. And of course, domain names cost money, so it’s important to consider your budget. Make sure that purchasing your new domains will be a fruitful — instead of a futile — investment in your business.
For that reason, it’s important not to snap up misspellings in fear of cybersquatters until you know for sure that they’re actually common misspellings. Even Google and Amazon don’t own every possible misspelling of their names. You can use your Google Analytics to figure this out. Otherwise, you’re wasting money on typo websites that might not actually be a problem for your business.
Which domain extensions should my business buy?
There’s more to the internet than just .COMs and .ORGs. But once again, what TLDs you should buy depend on your business. There are hundreds of domain extension options for various industries out there, like .TRAVEL or .IO or .LIVE. Choosing a unique extension will let you customize your domain to fit your business perfectly.
Does having multiple domain names negatively impact SEO?
This is a popular question, and the short answer is no, it won’t harm your site’s SEO if you do it right.
In most cases, your extra domain names should be configured to redirect to your real business website, and pointing two or even 100 domains to a single website is fine for SEO.
However, what will hurt your site’s SEO is putting mirror sites or microsites on all of your domains. Not only will this become far too difficult for you to manage, but it will negatively impact your SEO as well as confuse potential customers and muddle your brand awareness. Unless your new domains represent a new product line or geographical location, stick to redirecting them to your original website.
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Tips for Owning Multiple Domains
Juggling a few different domains can be tricky, but with the right strategies it can be much easier. Here are some basic tips:
- Purchase all variations from the same provider. It stands to reason that managing multiple domain name variations is much more difficult when they all come from different providers. Having them all under the same vendor lets you take care of everything in one place.
- Renew all your variations at the same time. One of the best reasons to consolidate all your domains under one provider is that you can renew them all at once. Doing this will make it much easier for you to budget for the expense and avoid letting their registration lapse because you forgot to renew one or more of them.
- Enable redirect rules for your domain variants. If you have a number of domains, you should establish rules that will direct users to your main domain automatically so there’s no confusion. This ensures you can tie multiple domains to one site and simplify the experience for your audience.
Is it worth buying multiple domain names? It is if you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to secure your presence online. Buying multiple domain name variations can be an important step to take to ensure your customers always find you on the Internet, as long as you follow the right approach. Take the next step in elevating your marketing and protecting your brand — search domain names now.