Web hosting and domain name registration is an area many still find tricky. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of people getting multiple domain names for their businesses yet using just one website for the business. So, you are thinking about getting your new business online. Should you follow the trend and acquire every domain name linked with your business?
Short answer, no.
A common reason many do it is that they think having multiple domain names for their businesses and forwarding them to their website has great search engine optimisation value. That is incorrect. You get absolutely nothing, SEO-wise, by doing that. Worse yet, you will end up spending wasting a fortune in getting these domain names. Probably you started by acquiring a .co.uk and .com, then you add .biz, .org…and on and on. You may even consider getting different versions/variations of your domain name, for example, the same name but with numbers, dashes etc. Before you realise it, you are paying hundreds of pounds yearly on domain names only.
You may wonder, what about keyword rich domain names. Surely, those are worth getting?
Again, if you get these types of domain names and all you do is forward them to your main commercial domain, then it is a waste of money as this practice is of no value whatsoever with respect to search engine optimisation.
One benefit is that it prevents your competitor from getting an advantage. With you acquiring the domain name, you have prevented someone else from buying and using it. In addition, any of your (potential) customers who enter this your other keyword rich domain will be directed to the main website. This ensure customers are not lost or frustrated.
Another reason you can consider getting another domain name (keyword rich) is to serve the function of a ‘wingman’ to the main website. After getting the domain, you create another website and pack it full with relevant and useful information. Then you use every opportunity to point people back to your main website. It is very important that the content in this ‘wingman website’ be relevant and useful else you could be penalised by the search engines.
So Which Domain Names Should I Buy?
According to Brendan Wilde ofDiscount domain, you “you should get the ccTLD version of your domain name and if available the .com version.” Use one of them as your main website address and forward the other one to it. It is pointless and even not fitting to use addresses such as .net, .org.uk and .org, as these are not commercial domain names but for other types of organisations. Addresses such as .com.uk can be expensive and are even not real domain names.
Getting any other domain names other than the .com and ccTLD versions is of little or no real benefit to your business. These domain names are enough for any business and carry the most authority for commercial sites.
Tips to consider when getting Domain names
Purchasing a domain name requires that you carry out adequate investigation. This is because your domain name is one of the first things visitors to your website will see. Below are important tips to keep in mind when choosing domain names:
Carry out your research. Your research should include a deep study your niche and to determine the wants of the regular user. Knowing the popular search terms and keywords will let you come up with a domain name that will best represent your project and appeal to your target.
Easy to remember and catchy. Anything difficult to pronounce or excessively long is a no-no. Use something short, sweet and catchy for your domain name. This will boost the chances of visitors remembering the name of your website.
Go with .com (if available). Currently, .com is the most popular domain name extension. In fact, it is the first option most web users try when unsure of domain extensions of a site. Using it will make your site easy to find.
Check for trademark violation. This is very important in order to avoid any legal problem. In fact, it is advisable not to register a domain similar to well-established and popular brands. There are various tools that you can use to look up look up trademark details and avoid such issues.
Avoid hyphens and numbers. Many people use hyphens and numbers to create more domain name variations but this can create problems. For example, people can mistake the number (2) for a word (two) or the number zero (0) with the letter (o). They may also not know there is an hyphen in the domain name or may indicate it as a word ‘hyphen’ instead of ‘-‘. So, leaving out hyphens and numbers is a wise idea.
Look for close alternatives. You already have your domain name, you may think of possible mistype or abbreviated variations to ensure all the potential traffic gets to you. For example, amzon.com takes you the main Amazon website, or you go to Facebook when you type in fb.com.
Consider social media platforms. So you have a rough idea of your domain name, next thing is to look it up on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram YouTube or Twitter. This reason for doing this is to prevent someone else from taking it and reserving it for yourself.
Consider the future. Websites and domains are not short-term investments. So do not get carried away with the rave of the moment as this may prove detrimental in the long run. Find the balance between something that will be attractive at the moment and still trendy in years to come.
Discuss your ideas. Do not shy away from brainstorming. You will be surprised as to how ingenious suggestions from friends, family, colleagues can be.
Do not waste your money on getting multiple domain names that will end up being redundant. Take your time, do your research and get only domain names that are going to be of real and purposeful use and have a strategic importance to your business.