Using Multiple Domain Names
If I have multiple domain names, will my website rank better on the search engines? Will I be more likely to draw in extra traffic? Will my website become a supercharged powerhouse bursting with domain names that will become a magnet for new business?
The answer might not be quite as positive as you would expect, but hopefully we can answer your questions during this article…
Why Choose Multiple Domain Names Anyway?
For some, it’s pointless. A small business might just need one domain name, ending in “.co.uk” if they are a British business. The domain name covers what their business does, and it is optimised for the search engines.
For other businesses, the need for multiple domain names might arise if:
- Their business spans multiple countries. They need a .co.uk and a .com domain name.
- They have a brand name that could easily be miss-spelled. For example, “ezeewearclothing.com” might be ‘misspelled’ as “easywearclothing.com”.
- They have an alternative business name eg. “ezeewearclothes.com”.
- They want to use a keyword-orientated username in addition to their brand name. For example, “comfortableclothes.com” is keyword-orientated and “eezewearclothing.com” is the brand name.
There may have been a time where it was thought that stuffing your website with many domains would help it shoot up the Google rankings. Keywords keywords keywords. Now this is not the case…
Pointing vs Forwarding
Pointing is a method of sending traffic from one domain to another. If people visit “customisedkeyboards.com”, they could then be taken to the main website “customkeyboards.com”, if the owner had done the correct ‘pointing’.
Unfortunately, when Google sees multiple domain names “pointed” towards one website, it interprets this as multiple websites with duplicated content. Alarm bells begin to ring throughout the business compound, robots holding truncheons with flashing red lights for heads run out of hidden stowaway compartments, and all they can yell is “SPAM! SPAM! SPAM!”
We can’t say for sure if that’s what actually happens, but they certainly assume multiple domain names “pointed” to a website means that there is treachery afoot. Never make your website appear duplicated using “pointing”. Google will penalise you.
Instead of “pointing”, you must do a “301 redirect” to your main website. This is also known as “forwarding”. This will keep the alarmed and shouting robots at bay, and keep you well away from any nasty truncheons.
301 Re-directs aka Forwarding
So how do you do a 301 redirect? well, it all depends on your hosting provider. Follow the signs for “domain names” in your user account. Around this area you can usually add “redirects” very easily.
If you are ever having issues in forwarding an extra domain name to your website, contact your hosting provider and they should be able to help you very easily.
Should You Start Buying Multiple Domain Names?
It depends on the size of your business, the name of your business, your branding and your location, as mentioned above. Would you feel more at ease knowing an extra domain name or two were now secured by your business? It might be worth the extra few pounds a year.
If you need any advice on which domain name to buy and which to leave, feel free to contact us any time, and we can give you a helping hand, using our years of experience in building effective business websites for small UK business owners.