As the Founder & CEO of a Digital Marketing Agency, I often get asked about domain names and the value that they have in particular generic domains that have type in traffic / direct navigation traffic (for those new to this subject, it is when a person assumes that there is a website based around that domain name and they type the URL directly into the browser navigation bar or into Google search).
Many people and businesses own domain names that they are not putting to good use & often someone will register a domain name, but they will not develop that domain or even point it to another developed website that they own to capture any traffic coming from that domain.
This is in my opinion, a complete waste of the potentially valuable traffic that is being generated by that domain name.
Some examples of our own domains that we redirect.
To give you an example, my wife Lois has a business called Career Wisdom at CareerWisdom.com.au. We also own many generic career related domain names such as CareerCoach.com.au, CareerAdvice.com.au, CareerConsultant.com.au and many more like them, that we point to her main website at CareerWisdom.com.au.
Pointing these domain names (using what is called a 301-permanent redirect or 302-temporary redirect if it is only for short term) to the main website gives us thousands of additional visitors per year from that type in traffic via those domain names. The only other better use of those domain names would be to develop them into full websites, which as you would know if you have ever built out a website, takes a substantial amount of time and effort.
This method of traffic generation will typically only work with generic domain names that have at least several hundred searches per month on the exact match term. You can use the Google Keyword Planner tool to verify the traffic volume of any keyword term that you are thinking of registering or that you may already own as a domain name.
Appliances.com.au as another example
I will give you an example of what, in my opinion, is one big missed opportunity from a very popular Australian website called AppliancesOnline.com.au. Several years ago, Appliances Online purchased the domain name Appliances.com.au when it expired through the domain drop auctions. I have kept an eye on this domain name and right up until the writing of this article, it has never propagated through to any website, it has just been a dead page.
It seems to me that this is a wasted opportunity of the traffic that would most certainly be coming through from Appliances.com.au.
Can this strategy help with your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
In a nutshell, No.
Pointing other undeveloped domains to your main website URL does not give you any advantages in your search engine rankings on Google, Bing etc.
As mentioned earlier, if you are doing a 301 redirect, Google will not even index those domain names so it will all be purely based on the direct navigation / type in traffic.
Misspellings of your main website’s domain name.
Another traffic & brand protection strategy, is to register any possible misspellings of your domain name that could accidentally be typed in by a potential visitor to your website.
If your domain name is difficult to spell, then this will help reduce any bleed off from incorrect spelling.
What domains do you have that you may have forgotten about? Check your accounts as you may have some you have forgotten about that could be put to work.
Good fortune with your domain names.
Ed Keay-Smith is the Founder & CEO of Online Impact, an Australian based Digital Marketing Agency.