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Multiple Domains for One Business

Which one to use as the primary?

5:02 pm on Sep 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm wondering the best way to use multiple domain names for a business.

Let's say for example I have one domain related to my company brand name (ie. companyXservices.com) and have also picked up a more keyword focused domain (ie. ServiceYouWant.com)

The keyword focused one doesn't really have much search volume (so no real SEO value), but it's a good descriptive phrase related to the services I offer. So my opinion is that it will have good "offline" value if I was to use it in TV/Radio spots, flyers, business cards, etc...because it helps describe what my business offers.

The brand one is just related to my company name, has no search volume at all and doesn't have any immediate value from an SEO perspective.

Both domains are recently registered and I have not built a site on either yet.

My plan (unless advised otherwise) is to build a single site for the business, using one of the domains as my primary and then doing a 301 redirect from the other. This way both domains will point to a single site.

So, which one would you use as the primary domain and why?

Thanks in advance for all comments!
8:42 pm on Sept 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to WebmasterWorld Eureka5280

Personally I feel you have identified correctly what you have purchased therefore use your company brand name for the main meat and guts of the site, after all this is the trading name known by your customers, and then use your keyword domain to drive traffic to the main site with special offers and promotional deals possibly through the SERPs but more likely trying advertising campaigns with AdWords etc.

A cleverly constructed keyword domain could generate you a considerable amount of traffic enquiries.
7:16 pm on Sept 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks so much, I appreciate the response!

One thing I thought of was that Adwords in particular would require my display URL to match the final destination domain, so maybe I should be using the keyword phrase as the primary?

Then again, putting the company name in my display URL would be a good branding tool so I'm fairly mixed in my opinion of that.

Another question - would you put both domain names on your business card? (Even though they both go to the exact same web site?)

Any other comments?
12:59 pm on Sept 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I go with my main corporate name for branding, and that's the focus of my efforts. Use secondary websites to target secondary search terms and for secondary purposes (i.e. a blog).

As you grow, the brand name becomes more important. Long term you don't want people thinking of you as secondarysearchterm.com instead of yourcompany.com.

If you are going to use secondary domains for search terms, watch your logs, and check for availability of exact match domains. There's still plenty available.
2:07 pm on Oct 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm in the same situation. I have only built contents for the main corporate website.

I'm pondering if I should at least build a SEO optimized index page for the keyword rich domain name in addition to the 301 redirect from the keyword domain to the main corporate domain. This way I will be feeding the search engines with more real contents which they can rank on.

Do you think this will help ranking in the SERPs?