Best practices for multiple domain registrations for medium and large businesses
Google owns 23 of the top 100 Alexa ranked websites, plus tens of thousands of other domains. Your business may not have Google’s budget or reach, but should also own multiple domain names. Here’s why.
Exact Match Domains or EMD’s are domains that match the keywords that people search. Microsoft’s studies show that consumers, when presented with a list of unknown companies in their search results, are significantly more likely to click on the exact match domain.
But what about when consumers do know your brand and those of your competitors? Sure, you should work hard on capturing the minds of consumers with branding and advertising. But also capture those undecided consumers by owning the Exact Match Domain. Acquiring the category killer of the generic keyword in your industry makes a valuable statement to any consumer. Think about Apartments.com. That name pays for itself in what it saves in advertising costs!
Whatever your keywords, your own customers will remember your domain and new customers will give you extra weight with domains like ReputationManagement.com, HouseInsurance.com, or ChildSupport.org.
Satellite Pages build SEO. Successful companies are using exact match generic domains for the products and services their company offers. These are often used as “satellite” pages that link back to the main website, building SEO links. We’re not talking about questionable SEO tactics here, but how Ferrero (Ferrero.com)’s Nutella product has not only its own page (Nutella.com) but also a page for each country (NutellaUSA.com).
Forwarding Pages quickly link consumers to your specific product or service. That’s why Apple acquired iPhone.com, to simply forward it to the specific product page on their main website (I helped with that historic move!). Ideally, your company should have at least one domain for each product, service or slogan so that as consumers type them in, you can immediately capture their traffic. These domains offer a more efficient experience for the consumer, with less room for competitors to wiggle into the space you’ve worked so hard to brand.
Multi-Faceted Options open up when targeting different consumer groups via different domain names. Take a look at LifeLock.org vs LifeLock.com. The .org is the primary search engine result, targeting new, undecided users in an older age group. The .com is for established customer login or new, younger visitors who are making an assumption and just typing in the domain name.
Acquiring Additional Brands and Defensive Registrations can be very savvy and cost-effective business moves. Defensive registrations prevent competitors from obtaining a new brand possibility or exact match generic domain in your industry. For example, HomeAway.com invested $35 million in this tactic, acquiring VacationRentals.com just to prevent Expedia from being able to buy it.
Likewise, Amazon bought and runs Diapers.com separately from Amazon.com. Brilliantly, at the same time as the Diapers.com domain acquisition, they ramped up Amazon’s own presence in the diaper space, thus locking in the #1 and #2 spots for online diaper purchasing… plus creating a game-changer in the industry of house product subscription services, which are just starting to boom thanks to this forward-thinking plan.
Even if you’re not planning to change the world or your industry, it’s savvy to protect the resources and time you have already invested in your brand and SEO. Premium domain acquisitions do just that.
Don’t Lose 39% of your business with this common mistake: Mobile or “m-dot” Sites
This recent study shows that a staggering “39% of retail mobile sites are losing sales because of redirects.” Have you ever typed in a website on your phone, only to be slowly redirected to a site that starts with “m-dot”? These m-dot sites cost companies in lost traffic & lost revenue. Yes, Mobile URLs need to be short and fast, not longer (by adding the m) and slower (by going to the usual site, then redirecting to the m dot site). Shorter is sweeter.
Invest in your domain registration strategy. It’s savvy; it’s cost-effective. Premium domains and exact match domains protect your brand and build your online presence. Multiple domains engage consumers in different ways, building or maintaining your company as the forerunner in your space.