The web is a great tool for educating your customers about the services you provide or the goods that you supply. The potential reach of a website is massive, extending to all corners of the globe, hence the name World Wide Web (WWW). This makes it a relatively cheap conduit to ‘tell’ the world all about yourself. But what good is it if you have the “Rolls-Royce” of websites if nobody is looking for you.

At Jack in the box, we firmly believe that the only way to get genuine and qualified viewers to your website is through the process of branding, and getting your target market to look for you! That is, to get them to type your URL in their address bar, or to search for you by name in a search engine. The other road will take you down the path of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), while this is a less than optimal path, it is however considered common practice these days … but the virtues of SEO is a discussion for another day.

Today I would like to focus on a commonly discussed tactic for achieving higher traffic from search engines. This tactic involves purchasing multiple domain names and to have them all redirect to your website, logic suggests that these will appear more often in the search engine results, and therefore increase your web traffic.

So DOES IT WORK? Well, in short … YES! It’s true that purchasing multiple domain names can increase traffic to your website in certain circumstances, but you’d be a fool to think you’ve outsmarted the search engines. As I mentioned in a previous blog here, search engines are a billion dollar industry, it takes hundreds of big-brained engineers to develop these electronic ‘Goliaths’. The complex algorithms on which these machines are built on can easily detect which domains are simply redirecting to another site and will often leave these domains out of their database. It even knows if your site is a rip-off of another site’s content. So even if you mirrored your site across 20 different domains, each hosted in a different part of the world, to a search engine you are seen as the one publisher and may even be penalised in the rankings for trying to ‘cheat’ the systems.

As I see it, there are only two good reasons for purchasing multiple domain names, and even then I wouldn’t consider it the best investment. The first reason is to capture misspelled addresses at the customers’ end. For example, if your operated the site you might consider owning variations on the spelling like eventorganiser, or eventsorganizer, as well as owning the .com and variants.

The second good reason would be to stop other people from buying them. Say for example, you had future plans to launch a new sub-brand, diversify your product or service ranges or wanted to enter new markets. This then this would be a wise investment, as we too have felt the pain of trying to find a preferred domain name that wasn’t already taken.

Buying multiple domain names can deliver you higher traffic in certain circumstances, but success is in no way guaranteed. In web, like in marketing, there are no cheap shortcuts to get you to number 1 in Google or to number 1 in the minds of the consumers. Building a powerful brand that is the sum of all the promises you are making to the consumer, is the best way forward in getting them to look for you.

I made mention of Rolls-Royce above, we all know they make magnificently engineered products, but if the brand was nonexistent in the consumers mind, all the SEO in the world wouldn’t get a consumer to visit the site over another well establish brand. In fact, I challenge you to find the Official Rolls-Royce motoring website in Google without searching for it by name.