19 Oct Best Practices: Multiple Domains Names and Direct Match Domains for Law Firms
What should you do with alternate domain names?
Have you purchased not just one domain, but multiple domains, perhaps even hundreds? Maybe you have the best direct match domain ever – yourcity-injury-lawyer.com or something even snazzier. Perhaps you want to take advantage of the power of a direct match domain?
Let’s find out how to properly use that kick-butt domain.
There are a few myths with domains. Let’s get rid of those first.
Myth #1 – The belief that each new domain will be indexed on its own and rank high with your existing content on your existing website. Unfortunately, the belief is wrong.
Myth #1 – The belief is that you can buy 100 domains and increase the search rankings of your main site by just having them point to your site. Unfortunately, the belief is also wrong.
What Google Wants
Google and other search engines only want to index one version of your website for its dominant domain.
- Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
Google does not want multiple versions of your website in its index. It wants unique content on all your sites and domains.
Pick One Domain to Use with Unique Content
One tactic is to pick one domain for your website and redirect the remainder to that dominant domain. This is done through a 301 redirect and Google will only index the dominant domain – but you can still use the others for advertising and tracking purposes.
Use All Domains, but Make them all Have Unique Content
An alternate tactic is that if you want search engines to index every domain independently, then you need to create multiple niche websites. This will allow you to have multiple web sites and allow each to rank on their own.
Multiple Domains Cause Ranking Issues
Technically search engines will index as many domains as you want. I have seen many web sites indexed incorrectly under multiple domains. In every instance, once we correct the multiple indexing issues, the rankings increase for the dominant domain.
Put simply, the search engines will assign penalties if you have the same content on all domains – this is called duplicate content. You really want to avoid duplicate content penalties.
301 Redirect Multiple Domains
If you are going to buy tons of domains, realize that in order for proper website architecture your web firm should only 301 redirect those into your primary domain. This will allow the search to index just one domain and keep duplicate content issues away. However, you can also use those domains to create new sites – it just takes a lot more effort.
The good news is that 301 redirects are really simple – 15 minutes of work. The bad news is that they do not take full advantage of your direct match of the keyword phrase of the domain. It just redirects traffic.
Create Unique Websites for the Alternate Domains
An alternate way of using those domains is to create multiple UNIQUE websites. The key is that the web site’s content must be unique and non-duplicate.
They really cannot just be 1-page placeholder sites as that violates Google’s rules. The goal should be to create the best resource in your particular area. Now we have seen that where there is little competition in an area, a 1-page site is fine. But usually, it takes at least a 5-page site to compete.
For additional domains, you want to create independent web sites with unique content. They can be blogs, micro, niche, or practice area sites. ” If the content is unique and non-duplicative, then they will be indexed independently.
Note that you can actually reuse your initial web design and your overall web brand. So that minimizes costs by a lot – you only have to pay for the building of the new site, not the design. All you need to do is create unique content to talk about your subject area. Better yet, plan a campaign to become THE resource for your practice area.
The good news is that if you create multiple web sites, you can rank high for each. The bad news is that this method increases costs as you have to produce more content and multiple sites.
One tactic is to pick one domain for your website and redirect the remainder to that dominant domain. An alternate tactic is that if you want search engines to index every domain independently, then you need to create multiple niche websites.