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Should You Get More Than One Variation Of Your Domain Name?

Is it worth trying to get all those variations? You’ll have to decide. For many any kind of press is good press. For others, not so much. In any case, someone registering a version of your domain name is likely to create a legal battle that perhaps neither side wants to engage in.

Hyphenated Versions

I mentioned above that you should not purchase a hyphenated URL for your primary site. For marketing purposes, however, there are sometimes legitimate reasons to do so. My business owns and I bought the hyphenated version simply to prevent a competitor from securing it and stealing my branding. I also have the option of using the hyphenated versions for other marketing needs, but I don’t recommend doing so unless you are fully aware of the potential ramifications.

Use Proper Redirects

When setting up many domains such as those mentioned above, its important that you set up each one correctly. Setting up domains the wrong way can lead to duplicate site/content penalties on the search engines which will ultimately be bad for business.

The best way of setting up multiple domains is to set up a 301 permanent redirect. The 301 redirect tells the search engine that the URL it is trying to access has been permanently moved to a new location, presumably your main site. The cool thing is that when a visitor types in the redirecting URL they are automatically flipped to your main url.

Many websites employ on-page JavaScript or meta refresh redirects, or even worse, framed pages pulling in the main site. These methods are effective from the user standpoint but not from the search engine standpoint. The 301 redirect is generally the safest method of redirecting visitors.

To set-up a 301 redirect you’ll want to talk with your web host, as different servers require different methods if implementation. When redirecting multiple URLs there is a neat little trick that saves hosting fees that you’ll want to know.

1. Take one of the redirecting URLs and host it on the cheap. This is the URL that will be set up with the 301 redirect to your main URL.

2. Take all your other URLs and park them to point to the URL above.

With this method, you pay for only one additional hosting account ($5 at the most) and all your URLs will automatically flip the visitor and the search engines to your mainwebsite.

In marketing, every little bit can help. Even if a redirected domain name only results in one additional sale every few months, it may not be long until that one sale is a big one. Whenever you think of a possible domain name that might be used to drive traffic away from your site, scoop it up right away. If the domain is already registered I recommend keeping an eye on it in case the owner forgets to renew it, in which case you can buy and hold on to it for your own benefit.

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