While working on SEO campaigns, one of the most common things we see is customers owning a number of different domains for the same business. These additional domains actually provide very little benefit and in some cases can even harm your SEO campaign.
There are a number of reasons why people purchase multiple domains, but from my experience here are a couple of the most common.
1. Buying Multiple Domain Extensions
Some businesses are looking to protect their business name by purchasing all available top level domain extensions for their business name. For example, the owner of mysite.com may also purchase mysite.biz mysite.mobi, mysite.info etc.
The thought that other businesses may try and claim these domains can often lead to a panic buying of 10 or so different top level domains.
2. Buying Keyword Targeted Domains
In an attempt to dominate search results, some business owners will purchase a number of keyword targeted domains names in addition to their core website. For example a plumber may purchase emergencyplumber.com, fastplumber.com and cheapplumber.com to achieve top rankings for each respective keyword.
Why It’s Generally a Bad Idea
The main goal from both strategies mentioned above is that more domains will equal more visitors, either from type-in traffic or improved rankings. However the reality is that these additional domains are unlikely to provide any real benefit and actually have a few drawbacks (which I’ve listed below).
- Duplicate Content Issues – When originally setting up each new domain, many business owners will simply copy content across from their existing website. This can cause duplicate content issues for search engines which can make your new domains almost invisible in search results.
- Managing Multiple Content – To avoid duplicate content issues and get any additional domains ranking, the solution is to create unique content for each different site. This means you’ll have to multiply the amount of time spent managing your websites and also and multiply your SEO investment for each site.
- Additional Costs – The additional cost of purchasing and hosting each new website could be better spent on marketing for your main website. Advertising is more likely to give you a better return than maintaining multiple domains.
- Customer Confusion – If customers are finding your business across a number of different domains this can create confusion about the true identity of your business.
- Link Juice – If you have multiple domains appearing in search results, each domain may start to build their own incoming links from various different sources. This dilutes the overall benefit of these links as they are spread across many different domains instead of pointing to your main website.
Exceptions to the Rule
Keeping in mind everything I have mentioned above, there is one main exception to the rule which applies to country specific domain names. If your business is looking to rank in a local Google search engine (eg: google.com.au) having a .com.au domain will give your site a big advantage in achieving top rankings. Remember to create unique content for the site and include local content and contact details.
The best way to build traffic to your business is to focus on managing and marketing one website. This will help you to avoid the pitfalls I’ve mentioned above and gives your business the best chance of achieving top search engine rankings.