Does Buying Extra Domain Names Improve SEO?
TLWR - When done right, buying extra domain names might marginally boost your SEO - but the wrong approach can hurt your website ranking. We also lay out some good non-SEO reasons to get multiple domain names: safeguarding your business reputation, avoiding lost traffic, and getting more SERP real estate.
The world of SEO moves fast, and it seems like rules and best practices can change all the time. So, in 2021, what’s the best way to help your SEO performance on Google and other search engines?
One tactic that people have been using for a long time is picking up extra domain names that are related in some way to their main brand. Though it is popular, the truth is that in most cases, this method won’t specifically boost your SEO – but sometimes it can be a good decision anyway. Let’s dig a little deeper into why extra domains can help you in the long run.
What Is Domain Forwarding?
First, let’s go over a bit of the technical details. In order for any of these multiple domain names to be effective, you first need to set up domain forwarding – that is, ensuring that the domains you’ve bought will automatically redirect to your existing site instead.
You do this through your registrar (i.e. GoDaddy or another place where you purchased the domain to begin with). You can set it up so that when people type in a secondary, extra domain that you own, it will immediately bring them to your main site instead. This gives a sense of continuity among all your secondary domains, as there is no limit to how many you can forward. For extra help, simply phone your registrar (if they offer this option) or search for a "domain forwarding guide" and you’ll find plenty of resources to choose from.
Why Should I Get Extra Domains?
While picking up extra domains likely won't supercharge your SEO score, it can still help in small ways - and there are other reasons to follow through on it, too.
2 Reasons People Buy Extra Domains In An Attempt To Benefit SEO
5 Reasons To Buy Extra Domains That Do Not Affect SEO
Best Practices With Extra Domains
While getting additional domains can help your overall online presence in a variety of ways, it’s NOT specifically necessary for your SEO performance. This is useful to keep in mind when you receive those spammy emails, trying to sell you domains similar to yours – they usually position themselves as experts who know the SEO value of their domain they are selling and promise you the world if you purchase it from them. Buying the extras can, at best, boost your SEO marginally (if you put in the work instead of simply forwarding the old domain to your main website), but at worst it can confuse both your customers (and the customers of the old domain) and Google. This would drop your rankings if too many spammy, unused domains point to your main website.
The best practice for extra domains is simple - scoop up the versions that end in .com, .ca, and maybe one more for your main website domain, and set those up to redirect to your main website of choice. That’s really it. Don’t complicate it. Don’t focus on leveraging lots of domains as part of any sort of powerful SEO strategy. Focus on optimizing your on-site SEO factors and creating a true backlink strategy instead.
It may seem like there’s a lot of information to know about extra domains – and SEO in general – and it’s because there is. If you’re having trouble understanding how all these pieces fit together, that’s what we’re here for! Contact us today for a consultation and a custom plan on how you can improve your SEO and your online reach.