In the classes I teach, this is a topic that comes up quite frequently. A company will already have a website that does pretty well in the search engines and is generating business. But the company gets an idea in their head (I’m not sure from where) that more domain names will equal more business.
There are some problems with this mentality…
1. New Domain Names = More Time & Money to Develop
Just because you have a new domain name, doesn’t mean you automatically have a website. This is obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people simply don’t understand this. You are going to have to put something on that new domain name and that is going to take time and money. Why do this when you already have a perfectly good website?
Some people buy domains only to have them redirected to the original website. What is the point of this? Why would you market a new domain name only to have it point back to a different site? Branding comes into play with domain names like I talk about in reason 4. Just because you have more domain names doesn’t mean you’re going to get more traffic to the original site.
2. Multiple Domain Names Waters Down Your Search Engine Ranking Effectiveness
This is an important point. Assuming you purchase multiple domains with the plan of marketing them individually… this is really going to water down your potential to build incoming links. As you may or may not know, the number of incoming links to a domain is one of the most important factors in search engine ranking. When you set up multiple domain names, and market them separately, those links are being spread too thin. All that hard work you spent building 1,000 links spread over 10 different domain names should have been focused on building 1,000 for 1 domain name giving that one domain maximum effectiveness in the search engines.
3. Multiple Domain Names Water Down Your Brand
Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the fact that a domain name is a branding tool. Most businesses will use their company name in a domain name by default. Which is good, unless you’re one of those companies that are just looking for a one time sale, branding is very important online.
Branding a domain name properly online is key to return traffic. If people don’t remember your domain name, they probably won’t be visiting your site. And even if they try to find you in the search engines, they will become confused at all your different domains (see reason 4).
They want to type in a search phrase in Google, and find the same domain name at the top (yours) every time. It creates customer loyalty, it gives your customers peace of mind, and your customers will be alot more likely to remember it next time.
4. Creating Multiple Domains is a Surefire way to Confuse Your Customers
Coupled with the idea of branding a domain name online…
You want to give your customers peace of mind. It can truly become confusing for a customer when they can’t figure out which domain name is yours. This is especially true on the search engines when a customer is trying to find your company on the search engines, but instead of finding your main website, they see instead all these other domain name variations. It can quickly become very confusing for a customer. With all the websites out there, customers want consistency, and this plays huge into your branding efforts online.
5. Novelty Domain Names Don’t Work
We’ve all seen this… Mountain Dew will have some new promotion or contest and will create a novelty domain like: www.DewMocracy.com This comes from an old-school ad mentality, that assumes a brand can be built around a catch phrase. In reality, this has only worked a handful of times. It’s not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to offline marketing to build a slogan for brand awareness, but when you move into the online world, there is very little evidence of it working. Every single time I’ve gone to one of these novelty domains, I find that they get little to no traffic, and all they do is confuse the customer in a huge way, and spread incoming links too thin. A much better strategy would be to tie that new promotion into a directory of the primary domain, like this: www.mountaindew.com/dewmocracy That way, any incoming links that the catch phrase or promotion generates will still go towards building the overall authority of the main domain name. I cringe whenever I see novelty domain names being used, they are such a waste and rarely produce results.
Anyways… if you’re trying to come up with unique online marketing ideas, multiple domain names is not the way to go. Give us a call and we can give you some ideas that do work.