Last time, we brought you everything you needed to know about choosing a TLD, and the importance of having a .com.au domain. In our piece, we suggested that web owners and domainers with a preference for .net.au domains should, at the very least, acquire and point the .com.au equivalent towards the aforementioned site. But in doing so, among those who are new to domain names, we often hear the same concerns raised by worried business owners:
“Everybody knows me by my current domain! I don’t want to change!”
Sure, at first it might seem like the prospect of all that hard work and marketing which went into your domain could go to waste – however, fear not! The best thing about domains is that you don’t have to limit yourself to one domain per website. In fact, the smartest operators in the industry (for example, think carsales.com.au) have multiple domain names all pointing to their main website. Such was the extent that Carsales placed on the value of obtaining carsales.com, they pursued the name for considerable time – in the process, being found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking, before eventually obtaining the name for a rumoured $400,000.
It’s worth noting, domain pointing, which is also referred to as ‘redirecting’, isn’t restricted to same-name domains with alternate TLDs. In fact, it is just as common for owners to redirect different domain names to their preferred website. Pura for instance, owns milk.com.au and points the domain towards their primary site, pura.com.au. Similarly, the likes of Caltex, Dulux and Beaurepaires (just to name a few), all own alternate names in fuel.com.au, paint.com.au and tyres.com.au (respectively).
What becomes apparent is that by owning multiple domain names, and redirecting them to your website, there are numerous benefits. First, by doing this, you can increase your exposure and capture varying degrees of web traffic – particularly those domains with a high level of direct search interest. Secondly, it allows owners to capture traffic that might have otherwise been lost through errors typing in the incorrect TLD. Lastly, and most important for businesses, it provides some degree of safeguarding against existing competitors and new entrants.
So how does it all work? When acquiring a new domain, it’s not a case of ditching the old one and turfing out all your stationary and business cards.
On the contrary, the best practice is to keep your old domain, set it to auto-renew, and grab any new opportunities that fit your profile as they come along. Once you’ve configured the domains accordingly, each domain will resolve to the same website. This means you can even run tests – which domain works best? Which delivers the best return on your marketing investment? You’ll quickly find that the shorter, more memorable ones, far outpace the average domain – and ultimately, you’ll establish that there is only an upside in owning multiple domain names.
That’s it for this occasion, stay tuned for the next of our educational articles.
The Netfleet Team