Extra domain names do not provide clear benefit in search engine ranking.
I’ll say it again.
DO NOT register domain names to get better ranking in Google.
It will not work.
Not at all, not even a little bit.
A possible exception being if you managed to register or buy something like fish.com but you would still need to build a great website on it for Google to care.
You get one domain per website indexed in Google.
In fact you can get a penalty from Google if you try and clone a website onto multiple domain names.
At best those extra sites will be ignored but Google might decide all of them are spam.
So you have one domain name, its a great name, its short, simple, easy to spell and meaningful.
It’s a domain name that says who you are and what you do.
Pick a great domain name for your website, keep it short and simple
A domain like newcastlesearchengineoptimisation.com.au is too long, it has easy misspellings and it won’t fit in the Google Adwords URL box properly.
Yes we have that domain but it was something we bought back in the days when Google gave bonus points for having keyword matching domain names.
A domain with part brand and part service, a name like yellowcoaching.com.au for business coaching or roofingrestoration.com.au for roofing repairs makes sense, they are pretty easy to spell, they read nicely in a lower case set of words and give a hint at what the service is about.
Make the most of your main domain by having your links and seo on that one domain.
What is an extra domain name
It’s a domain that isn’t your main one, it’s additional to or surplus to requirements, hence extra.
For the purposes of this topic, any domains other than the one that Google indexes a website we will consider ‘extra’ domain names.
Just to be sure we are all clear here.
Extra domain names do not help with search engine ranking
Google doesn’t care if there are 1,000 different domain names pointing to a website.
Google only wants to index one website per domain name.
Ok, now that I’ve got that rant out of the way, let’s look at:
12 good reasons why you could consider registering extra domain names
1. Business name domains
Register a domain name for your business.
This is the most obvious and its usually where people start when setting up a business. In fact, starting a business when there is no good domain name available that relates to the business name could be good cause for thinking up some other business names. Don’t give yourself a handicap right from the start by having some generic or commonly used name that other businesses are competing for.
Whether there are plans for a website now or in the future registering the business name or some derivation of it as a domain name is good forward planning. That way a competitor can’t snaffle it before we have a chance to use the domain name either.
I won’t tangent into how to decide on a domain name but try and keep it short, brandable, memorable, easy to spell, no hyphens and meaningful.
2. Brand domains
Register trademark and brand domains to protect the name.
Consider protecting a brand name, trademark, product name or patent with a domain name purchase.
If there is value in the words of a brand or mark then buying relevant domain names that match ensures that any future use of those domain names will be at the holders discretion.
While you’re at it look into registering the trademark for a business name so that competitors in other parts of the country can’t do so.
3. Vanity domains
Register your name as a web address.
I registered my name as a domain name years ago. Registering my own name as a domain name could well be of value to me in the future for a blog. I like the comfort in knowing that I have jeremydawes.com and jeremydawes.com.au and see them as potential personal branding and digital realestate. For example Tony Mowbray has tonymowbray.com.au which he uses for his public speaking work which lets him keep it separate to his other websites and branding.
4. New website domains
Create new websites on extra domain names.
Creating extra websites for marketing, seo, experiments, new products or some other purpose is a perfectly good reason to buy a new domain name. Though it takes 5min to register a domain name there are many hours that go into building a website. Draft the website in a document first and then pick the perfect domain name after all the ideas are fleshed out.
I have done this lots of times myself, registered a domain because I had a great idea and then done nothing with it. If the domain is available today it’s probably going to be available tomorrow. Plan out some details for the idea and work on the content. If the idea is as good as we think in that moment of domain inspiration then either we can get the domain later or pick a different one. That will save on registering domains that are never used and then we become reluctant to let them go, just in case they might be useful.
5. Location domains
Registering location + service domain names.
There are domain names we have registered that could be used for a new website and that could be useful for marketing. For example we registered newcastlescaffolding.com.au and made a website about Newcastle Scaffolding because it is useful in promoting a clients business and over the years we have registered various other newcastle……com.au and .com domain names because we have ideas about using them for websites and it fits in with our local business audience strategies.
I want to reinforce an earlier point here though. These extra domain names do not particularly help with Google ranking. Not unless there is a different website and content built on them.
6. Dot com domains
Register the .com of your business name.
Businesses in Australia, New Zealand, UK and other places outside of the USA will tend to favour registration of their country level domain. In Australia this is the .com.au or sometimes .net.au as a fallback. Securing the .com of a domain name is a good protection against a competitor or domain squatter holding the .com variation of your name. Often the .com won’t be available anyway and if your business is all local then it’s not going to have an impact on your position in Google or people finding you because the country level domain is strongly associated with local businesses.
7. Country domains
Register other country level domains.
Planning to expand overseas? As a small business serving a local area or city it’s unlikely that global expansion is on the business planning radar but if you think you could be aiming to open an office in another country or you might move there then grab the domain such as the .co.nz for New Zealand, .co.uk for United Kingdom etc if possible. The degree of difficulty, cost and rules to do this vary per country. Some have local residency type of requirements.
8. Misspelled domains
Register common misspellings of a domain.
Is there a commonly made misspelling of your website address? For example, we registered jazweb.com.au because sometimes when we say jezweb it sounds a bit like jazweb so we registered this misspelling. There are some words which get misspelt a lot, or have confusing spelling or there might be a difference between the UK/AU way of spelling a word and the USA way, such as colour vs color or organisation vs organisation. If your domain name has some unique spelling or numbers in it then consider trying to register the ‘standard’ spelling too.
9. Product or service domains
Register a domain name for a product or service.
As a business it may be that there is a certain product or service that is very prominent in the mix or dominates revenue. In that case it may be useful to capture a domain name specific to that product or service. For example years ago I registered newcastlewebhosting.com.au and had a separate website on it and perhaps will do so again someday.
This strategy can be useful in stopping a competitor from registering a website address of a product or service name too.
10. Landing page domains
Register a domain for a single page website.
It could be for an event, a product launch, advertising campaign, webinar or meeting, whatever the reason it may be useful to have a domain name specific to that purpose rather than sending people to a page on an existing website. This could also help with tracking results for example a domain name and one page website that is given on a radio advertising campaign would then give a strong correlation between the radio ads and the outcome assuming the domain is not promoted elsewhere or ranking well in search results.
11. Shorter email address domains
Register an acronym or shorter name for email.
A multi word domain might look great for a business website address and historically such keyword domains have been useful in search positioning (though not so much any more), however an email address has to be given out often in writing, typing or over the phone and that long winded domain will become tiresome. One way of dealing with this is to register an acronym or shorter name that could be used for a website or just for email addresses.
12. Saleable domain names
Resell a domain name for profit
This is huge, like absolutely enormous part of the domain registrations, the number of domain names that are registered by people who expect/hope/wish that they can resell them in the future probably outweighs the domain names in use by specific businesses, especially with .com names.
It’s a whole other topic on the value of a domain name but it’s safe to say that unless you are either lucky or have a brilliant insight into what domain names someone might like in the future then the possibility of profitably keeping and selling a domain name is low.
One or two keyword domains tend to be most sought after and most of those are taken already.
Just because I might think a domain name is valuable doesn’t mean someone else will.
There are people who make their living from doing exactly this though so it is certainly possible to resell a domain for profit.
Just for fun?
Because we like collecting things?
Maybe you have some other reason of your own that isn’t mentioned above?
Some people collect stamps and cars, other people collect domain names.
Whatever the reason its easy to register domain names but hopefully now you have some idea of what good purpose there could be for a domain name beyond your main one.