Should You Register Multiple Domain Names for Your Website?

One question we sometimes get from clients, especially larger companies, is, "Should we have more than one domain name for our website?" There's a lot of outdated and simply incorrect information out there about this question. Let's look at the right and wrong reasons to register multiple domain names for your website.

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What's a domain name? Your domain name is the main part of your web address or URL. For this site, the domain name is OptimWise.com. In this case, the .com is the domain extension or top-level domain (TLD).

Why would you have multiple domain names for a single website? Let's examine the reasons.

Reasons to Use Multiple Domain Names for Your Website

These are good reasons to register multiple domain names for your website.

Misspellings

Have you ever misspelled a URL? So has everyone else. When a prospect misspells your URL, would you rather have them land on a "domain for sale" page, or your company website?

You can register common misspellings of your domain name to guide those prospects to the right place.

Marketing

Maybe your primary domain name is long, and doesn't fit well in online or offline marketing campaigns. You can register a shorter domain name for marketing purposes, and still send people to your website. You can choose a name that represents a particular promotional campaign, or the name of one of your products or services.

If you do business in more than one country, it could be worth having a country-specific domain (a ccTLD or country code top-level domain), such as .uk for the UK or .au for Australia. That way, residents of those countries can use the domain extension they're familiar with, and still get to your site.

Branding

Unless you have a globally unique company name, there are other companies with the same name as you. Maybe you registered GreenvilleCybersecurity.com, but nothing stops other companies (in your city or another) from registering GreenvilleCybersecurity.net, GreenvilleCybersecurity.biz, or GreenvilleCybersecurity.it.

If you want to reduce the risk of prospects landing on your competitors' sites, you may want to register more than one domain extension.

One Reason Not to Use Multiple Domain Names for Your Website

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

We've had several clients ask if they should register multiple domain names so that they have a greater chance of ranking in search engines like Google. Unlike the reasons listed above, this is not a reason that you should register multiple domain names for a single website.

If your primary domain is GreenvilleCybersecurity.com and you register BestCybersecurityGreenville.com as a parked domain, so that it shows the exact same content as GreenvilleCybersecurity.com, Google will see those as separate websites and see duplicate content, and will likely assume that one is plagiarizing the other, hurting its SEO.

Also, some people may link to GreenvilleCybersecurity.com, and others may link to BestCybersecurityGreenville.com, reducing the number of links that your primary domain receives, hurting its SEO.

If you're concerned about misspellings, marketing, or branding, then registering multiple domains can be useful. But if your goal is to achieve higher search engine rankings, using multiple domains for the same website is not the way to go.

How to Use Multiple Domain Names for Your Website

Have you decided you want to register another domain name (or several)? Here's how.

  1. Search for and register your domain name(s) at Hover. Someone in your company should register the domain name, so that you retain ownership of it. Don't let your web designer or web agency register it for you.
  2. Set up a 301 redirect from the secondary domain(s) to the primary domain. Different domain registrars may use different terms (such as domain forwarding), you just need to be sure it's a 301 redirect. Avoid parking, masking, and stealth forwarding, which will negatively affect your SEO.

Need Help with Your Online Marketing

Are you confused about the technical aspects of running a website? Do you wonder how best to manage your online marketing? Contact OptimWise to get help from the experts, so you can focus on running your business.

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