If you are like the majority of us (Realtors especially), you probably own quite a few domain names. Did you know that those domains are not able to boost your business by being tucked away in your Go Daddy account and unused? So, now that you’ve bought a handful of urls, let’s find out how to put them to use. We love the article that Eric Stegemann wrote on this topic earlier this year; so we thought we would expand on this a bit to illustrate how you can accomplish forwarding any domain that you own.
The absolute BEST choice for using your domains is to make sure that you have unique content on each one- even if it’s just a landing page for a single community or market specific area. If your website designer offers the option to create landing pages for you- take advantage of this! This way, not only are you able to keep your main site’s content extremely focused on one topic/ area; you can now branch out to a wider audience with each additional domain name. Once you’ve got a live domain with unique content, you’re also going to be building quality SEO over time, so that all of these domains are becoming more and more valuable to you.
Now, we know that building a custom landing page for every single one of your domain names might not be exactly reasonable for every agent. This could be due to budgets, lack of time, etc. There is another option to put those sites to work for you. You can create very specific pages on your website and forward each domain to the corresponding page. Stay with us, we’ll explain it further in a moment. Before we go on, there are a few things to keep in mind when considering this:
- Forwarding a domain to a page on your website is not the same as pointing the domain to your server. Make sure you speak to your web host before making these changes, or read up on the differences here.
- Make sure that your registrar will allow forwarding. Some charge for a simple forward, or charge to forward without domain masking (A MUST!), and some even charge you to remove their logo from a forwarded domain. A registrar like Go Daddy makes forwarding very simple.
Let’s talk about SEO for a minute. When planning to forward your url, it’s important to keep in mind that the domain being forwarded actually has no real content- it’s just directing to a live page on your main website. Knowing this tells us a few important pieces of information. We can use this example: say that I have a Real Estate site at www.RealtorKatie.com. Keeping with this example, let’s say I own another domain at www.ShortSaleRealtorKatie.com and I will forward it to a page about short sales within www.RealtorKatie.com.
- Search engines will see no content for www.ShortSaleRealtorKatie.com. It’s blank to them.
- Any traffic I bring into my short sale site is actually benefiting www.RealtorKatie.com
- I am not building any SEO for www.ShortSaleRealtorKatie.com
- Even though www.ShortSaleRealtorKatie.com is not getting any SEO credit of it’s own, I am still able to utilize that more specific domain in my email marketing, print marketing, on direct links that I post on my social profiles, and more!
Now that you know all about forwarding, the big question is what types of urls would I want to forward? Here are a few suggestions:
- Forward hyper local domains to the corresponding community page on your website
- Direct specific urls to your market statistics page for each area
- Set up IDX pages by property type, zip code, school district, community, or neighborhood and set up domains associated with each
- If you have an event or contest coming up, you can set up a page telling all about it
- Listings and open houses can be a great use of extra domains, if that’s a part of what you offer to your sellers
There are endless possibilities. We are not suggesting that after reading this article that you go out and purchase hundreds of new domains; we are just hoping to help you put what you’ve already got to good use!
To set up domain forwarding to your website, go ahead and contact your web host or registrar directly, as this process is different for each provider.