If you run a business, having a solid website may mean the difference between failure and success, and choosing your primary top-level domain (TLD) is a crucial first step.
But like Lay’s potato chips, I bet you can’t have just one.
Purchasing multiple domains for your company can increase the visibility of your business and protect your brand from hungry competitors. Nom, nom, nom.
In fact, there are several good reasons to purchase more than one domain for your website — even if it means coughing up some extra cash up front. In this article, I’ll break down exactly why it’s a solid idea to have multiple domains and how this can impact your business.
Once you pop, the domains don’t stop.
1. People Can’t Spell
It happens all the time. Humans make mistakes, especially when putting words on paper and URLs into browsers. This is why it is a great idea to consider snatching up some variations on your primary domain.
When you allow for human error by picking up additional domains, you can capture spelling-challenged users instead of losing them to the internet void — or worse, a competitor’s website.
If you already have a domain but are unsure if you should snatch up some misspelled variations, data can help!
Go to the Google Search Console, log into your Google account, and then click on your website property. Click on the Search Traffic drop down on the left and then Search Analytics. From here, you can check on search queries people have used to find your site, making it easy to keep tabs on which search terms, if any, may be misspelled. If you happen to find a recurring misspelled term that directly relates to your primary domain, you might want to consider buying that domain name and redirecting it to your main landing page.
Need help getting started? Our Beginner’s Guide to Domain Name Registration will walk you through purchasing a domain.
2. You Need to Protect Your Brand
Purchasing multiple domains for your business site can be a huge aid in protecting and strengthening your brand in a few key ways.
Keep competitors from snatching up a similar domain and cause confusion for your users. You don’t want business copycats directing traffic away from you.
Rebrand Like a Pro
If your business used to have a different name, it can be a good idea to have domains for both the old name and the new one to get customers to the right homepage. The same goes for if you want to change the name of your brand. Buy a new domain and — once the new website is built and ready — redirect the old domain to the new one.
Rebranding? Here are ways to make a WordPress theme work for your business.
Depending on what goods and/or services your business provides, it might be a good idea to register an additional domain name that appropriately describes what vertical your business is in — think JoeShmoeCupcakes.com versus simply JoeShmoe.com.
And remember: people might not always refer to your brand by the official name. Here’s a real-world example. Coca-Cola is an official company name and the brand’s official website is Coca-Cola.com. But many people all over the world commonly refer to the soda giant as “Coke.” That’s why if you type Coke.com in your browser’s search bar, it redirects appropriately.
Using specifically descriptive domain names makes it easier for your customers to find you — and helps with search engine optimization (more on that in a sec).
Make Use of New TLDs
Something else to consider is jumping on the new top-level domain (TLD) train. New generic top-level domains (ngTLDs) — like .xyz or .store — can present a new opportunity for your business.
Let’s say you sell original art prints and operate a website called, CindysPhotography.com. Having a .com is absolutely necessary, and it may be wise to also snatch up a .net (depending on your business). But purchasing an additional ngTLD like CindysPhotography.art can open you up to a dedicated collection of users looking specifically for products in your business vertical. You could also acquire CindysPhotography.store and link it directly to the e-commerce portion of your website in order to drive more traffic.
Buying these types of domains can make your business stand out in search results and highlight what differentiates you from the competition.
3. You Want to Boost Search Engine Optimization
As we’ve already hinted, having more than one domain for your business can improve your page rankings in search engine results. It is crucial to note that buying up multiple domain names for your business should be redirected to your primary landing page using what is called a 301 redirect.
According to SEO.com, when creating a Robots.txt file and an XML sitemap so that search engines can index your site more easily, including 301 redirects from multiple purchased domains to a singular destination makes it even easier for your site to be indexed properly. Google will not penalize you for duplicate content with this redirect, and it is an easy thing to implement through your domain registrar or site-builder (speaking of, have you heard about Remixer, our in-house website builder?).
However you build your website, redirecting domains is generally a simple task. Simply search for a domain redirect option in your site-builder’s interface or contact the support team.
4. You Want to Set Up Promotions and Special Offers
Using multiple domains for promotional purposes can be a great way to generate brand buzz and drive traffic to your website. You simply register a new domain related to the event and create a specific landing page for the promotion.
Let’s get back to the potato chips we were talking about earlier.
Say your business sells crispy, delicious potato chips, and your company website is SallysChips.com. Hypothetically speaking, you just came out with a brand new wasabi-flavored chip (why, though?) and want to promote it.
First, you’d create a snazzy new landing page with mouthwatering pictures, compelling content to convince readers that this is, in fact, a good idea, and a link to order online. Then you could pick up the domain SallysWasabiChips.com instead of using SallysChips.com/wasabi. Why? Because the new domain is easier to remember for users and simpler to advertise.
If you have multiple promotional TLDs redirected and properly represented in the sitemap file, search engines will index these domains appropriately and your page rankings can increase as a result.
It is important to note, however, that if you do purchase a domain for a temporary product or service promotion, once that promotion has ended, you should disable that domain, hide the landing page and update the sitemap so as to not saturate search engine results with outdated pages.
5. You Want to Expand Into New Markets
It is never too early to start thinking about the geographical expansion of your business, and multiple domains for your business can aid in this endeavor.
In fact, if you operate an online business that serves people outside of your home country, investing in country-specific TLDs is a must.
In order to achieve the best results in international SEO, you will need other country domains that lead to your site. For instance, if you own an online store for pottery based out of New York City but sell to Europe and Canada, having NYCPottery.co.uk and NYCPottery.ca, in addition to your primary domain, will give you a big advantage.
As soon as expanding on an international level becomes a relevant venture for your business, acquiring multiple country-code domains is a must.
Get the right domains for your website with DreamHost today!
Not Everyone Needs Multiple Domains, Though
While having multiple domains for your business can be beneficial (we’ve obviously just given you five compelling reasons), it is important to note that not all businesses need more than one domain.
Talk about a twist, right?!
If you own a single brick-and-mortar store, then it might not be a good idea to own multiple domains since you don’t want to confuse customers. When it comes to small businesses with single locations, a simple and specific domain name is the way to go.
Let’s say you have a bookstore in Austin, Texas, called Bobby’s Books and you buy the domain BobbysBooksAustin.com. Purchasing additional domains like BobbysBooks.com, BobbysAustinBooks.com, and BobbysBooksinAustin.com, and having them all redirect to the main website is probably unnecessary.
Dominate Your Domain Strategy
Do you feel ready to start buying up domains for your new website? DreamHost makes it simple and easy to find the best domains for you with more than 400 available TLDs.