If you’re trying to figure out how to set up a second domain name for your website, then this article is for you. Before you decide on using a second domain name, we want you to know what that will mean for your SEO efforts.
Over the last 20 years, best practices on the internet have changed a great deal. With the advent of Google and its power to control the stream of traffic to websites, the manipulation practices of old have died.
One of the old practices that used to be effective but should be abandoned now is pointing multiple domains to one website.
Do not use more than one domain for a website. Using more than one domain for the same site or company confuses search engines and essentially spreads out your domain authority – an important ranking factor that communicates important information to Google about who you are, what you do, and how authoritative you are.
The result of using multiple domains is that you will not be as effective on Google, Bing, and other search engines. It can be very confusing for your customers as well.
Domain names should be unique, to the point, favoring.com, and not changed or manipulated over time.
How important is your domain name for search engine optimization? The answer is not very straightforward.
Understanding the Importance of Your Domain for SEO
One – Clarifying Your Brand
When you choose a domain name, you’ll want to make sure that it is concise, unique, and easy to type in. The primary thing you should think about is how the user experience is going to be when you are telling people your email address or having advertisements directed towards your website.
While there might be some benefit to having your product or service in your domain name, it’s much more important to make sure your domain will concisely communicate to the entire Internet what your brand identity is. I’m not saying that it needs to communicate what you do and where you do it, I’m saying that it needs to be distinguishable amongst billions of other webpages.
Remember that your domain name is only a small portion of your web identity. Your site name, page titles, meta-descriptions, and on-page communication is going to help the search engines figure out what you do and where you do it.
So, my advice?
When it comes to choosing a domain name, select just one name and make it simple as possible.
Also, try to make it somewhat unique or relatable so that it can stand out amongst seas of webpages.
Two – If You Must Have Different Sites, Use A Subdomain Rather than a New URL
Let’s say that you’re a real estate agent that has your website and then a third party service that hosts your listings. Rather than creating a new URL for these listings, you should make sure that this service simply points to a subdomain on your regular URL.
Ultimately, your search engine optimization will be driven by the quality of content on your website, but it’s better to stay at one central domain name rather than splitting it up.
Entrepreneurs and Their Multiple Domains
I personally have purchased hundreds of domains over the last five years, only because it’s an actionable steps associated with entrepreneurial ideas. The result is that I have given Go Daddy too many dollars, and been on able to execute. Remember that while a domain name might not be a bad thing to purchase for $15 a year, it’s not that great of and opportunity unless you actually perform business or create content.
Whatever you do, stick to one domain for each business.
Three – Use Subfolders
When you are creating content, it can be a very good idea to use subfolder directories on your website to help organize all the different content. This can communicate to Google the organizational structure of your content and it can also help people understand exactly how your site flows.
If you are going to have content concerning different subject matters, then bucket them out into categories on your site or subfolders on your domain.
Four – The Research Supports This Advice
There is no debate that using multiple domain names creates a disadvantage when it comes to search engine optimization. People conclusively agree with me on this subject.
The only debate that exists is whether or not you should use a subdomain or a subfolder for content. Rand Fishkin of moz.com has some great research and first-hand examples about the benefits of using subfolders over subdomains, while there are other search engine optimizers that claim there is no noticeable difference in search engine results. They also point to some content from Google that indicates that there should be no difference between using a subdomain or a subfolder.
The bottom line – stick to one domain name. It’s easy for people to remember and use.
Don’t use dashes, don’t make it long, use non-.com URLs only when absolutely necessary, and focus on creating content over time.