Multiple domain names can be used to improve auto repair search engine marketing (SEM) and the number of prospective customers who view your website. But forwarding multiple domain names to your main website will NOT help auto repair SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or drive more traffic to your website. You need separate "Micro" websites with content that links back to your main website.
Domain Name Forwarding
Search engines award no SEO value to the forwarded domain as it is not a website with unique content. Forwarding multiple domain names to your main website will only redirect the few people who get lucky and correctly enter the forwarded domain name. Forwarding a domain is also technically known as a URL redirect. When someone types in the EXACT domain name they will be automatically connected to another domain name.
Multiple Domain + Micro-website Benefits
The real value in multiple domain names comes when they are used for multiple websites that are focused on the specific keywords used in the domain name. These multiple micro-websites or micro-sites are single page websites that point back to your main website. You get a benefit from both the keyword search the micro-site captures and the SEO each of these micro-websites contributes to your main website through the back-link to the main website.
All links on a single page micro-site take viewers to your main website. All links on the micro-site connect to your main website. The diagram below is a flow chart of how multiple single page micro websites can gather viewers using a variety of keywords and then move these viewers to your main website. So people searching for auto repairs in Austin Texas or transmission repair in Austin Texas will find the keyword focused micro-site, and when they click on any link on this micro-site page will end up on the shop's main website at 'hammers-auto-repair.com'.
> -- hammers-auto-repair.com
Reasons To Use Multiple Domain Names
- Brand Your Company. People know your company by its name. This is called your “Brand”. Any business should get their business name as a domain name. When someone is looking for you they are going to type your brand name into a search engine and the domain that most closely matches will be listed at the top of the search results. Owning a brand domain is also good protection. A competitor could buy it and use it to weaken your online brand strength or even direct searches to their website!
- Search Engine Optimization. Brand domain names are rarely a good keyword domain name. Domain names that contain keywords can provide an advantage with search engines. This is particularly effective with local search results. A common search is 'auto repair' combined with the geographical location name. For example a domain name such as 'auto-repair-austin-tx.com' or 'austin-tx-auto-repair.com' has definite search result advantages.
- Virtual Territory. You want to own the domain names others may try to use to compete against you. If you have an auto repair shop in Austin TX, you should own every domain name related to “auto repair” that contains “austin tx”. You may want to go as far as owning keyword domains that cover all the auto repair services and vehicle makes in the local market that people may search for. If you don't have them the shop across the street will eventually buy them and use them against you!
- Alternatives and Misspellings. Purchase domain names related to your business, services or products that are commonly misspelled or spelled differently and forward them to the main domain. A common example are company or domain names that include numbers have a variety of ways they can be spelled. For example, 4x4repair.com can also be spelled as fourbyfourrepair.com, fourxfourrepair.com, 4by4repair.com, etc.
- Clear. Readable. Memorable. There are three main benefits to hyphenated domain names. First, hyphenated domains are easier to read and remember when displayed on signs or printed materials. For example, 'www.austin-auto-repair.com' is far easier to read and remember than 'www.austinautorepair.com'. Second, search engines are better able to locate keywords that are isolated by hyphens. Third, hyphenated domains prevent search engines from finding unintentional keywords with negative consequences. For example the 'Experts Exchange' domain can be read as 'expertsexchange.com' or 'expertsexchange.com'. A hyphenated domain such as experts-exchange.com would remove any chance of misinterpretation.
- Search Engine Optimization. Purchase '.US' domains for search engine marketing (SEM) based domains. There is strong evidence that country code top-level domain names, such as '.US', provide an advantage in local based searches. The search engines seem to provide preference to domains that match the country of the geographical location associated with a search. The '.com' domain is the default domain name for domains you want people to remember and should always be the first choice for a brand domain. Buying matching '.com' domains for your '.us' SEM domain names will lock out your competitors.
Dominate Local Online Market
If you want to dominate a local online market you will need to purchase a large number of domain names. The number may seem excessive but purchasing them locks out your competitors. Grab them while you can. Domains are like real estate. Once a prime location is taken it is gone until someone wants to sell them (often at a very inflated price). You don't need to use them right away. View domains as an asset that can be gradually used to build your search engine dominance.
If you are not ready to use your extra domains immediately it is best to place them online with a simple one page website. This will allow the domain to be indexed by search engines and build history on the web. The longer a domain has been online the greater the authority awarded by search engines. When you decide to use the domain at a later date it will have a good head start. Also, if you decide to not use the domain it will have a greater resale value if well "aged".
I suggest you collect your domains in the following order of importance:
- brand domain non-hyphenated .com
- brand domain hyphenated .com
- 'auto repair' + location .com
- 'auto repair' + location hyphenated .com
- 'auto repair' + location .us
- 'auto repair' + location hyphenated .us
- service + location .com
- service + location hyphenated .com
- service + location .us
- service + location hyphenated .us
- vehicle make + location .com
- vehicle make + location hyphenated .com
- vehicle make + location .us
- vehicle make + location hyphenated .us