Domain names are a critical asset for any online business. The domain name is the unique address that identifies your website and brand on the internet. Having a strong, diverse portfolio of domain names can provide numerous benefits including enhanced brand recognition and protection, increased website traffic, greater flexibility for future projects, and higher asset value.
When building your domain portfolio, there are several key strategies to consider:
Focus on Brandable and Descriptive Domains
The domain itself should communicate your brand identity or describe what you offer. Brandable domains that are short, memorable, and easy to spell tend to resonate most with audiences. For example, a brandable domain like istorytime.com is ideal for a children's book company. Descriptive domains like organicfooddelivery.com clearly convey the nature of that business. Stay away from overly complex or confusing domain names.
Cover Key Keywords Relevant to Your Niche
Keyword-rich domains can help boost your visibility and search engine rankings. Brainstorm all the main keywords and keyword phrases related to your industry and products. Then check domain name availability for your primary terms and variations like:
- Main keyword (e.g. books)
- Keyword plus niche or location (e.g. booksforchildren, booksatlanta)
- Keyword hyphenated (e.g. children-books)
The more relevant keywords you own domains for, the better you can rank across searches and expand your online presence.
Register Common Typos of Your Main Domain
Typosquatting is when someone else intentionally registers domains with typos to capitalize on mistakes people make when entering a domain name. Protect your brand and users by purchasing common typo variations yourself. For example, if your primary domain is acmebooks.com, also register acmenooks.com, acmeboks.com, acmebooes.com etc. This prevents competitors or scammers from profiting off typos of your domain.
Acquire Expired Domains With Valuable Backlinks
There is an entire aftermarket for expired domains that previously belonged to defunct websites. You can find expired domains that have high-quality backlink profiles, search rankings, traffic histories, and other valuable attributes. Then you can purchase these domains and replace the old content with your own. The existing link authority passes to your new site, giving you a significant SEO boost right away.
Diversify Across Top-Level Domains
The top-level domain (TLD) is the ending like .com, .net, .org. etc. Don't just stick with .com domains. Expand into other TLDs like:
- .net – Communicates you network or provide internet infrastructure
- .org – Nonprofit organizations or causes
- .biz – Businesses and enterprises
- .info – Informational websites or blogs
- .coach / .guru / .club – For specific professions, communities or activities
Owning the .com and .net versions of your domain is ideal. But having diverse TLDs allows you to segment domains for different uses, locations or languages.
Focus on Local Keywords and Geo-Domains
For local businesses especially, targeting local SEO is crucial. Register domains with your city or state worked into the domain like:
- City domains – denverbooks.com, booksindallas.com
- State domain – booksarkansas.com
- Area code domains – 602books.com
You can use the geo-specific domains to provide localized content, listings and promotions to connect with customers in those regions.
Develop Domains for Specific Niches, Products or Campaigns
Rather than cramming everything about your business onto one domain, create additional niche domains. These domains can spotlight specific products, customer segments or marketing campaigns. For example, an electronics company could have:
Niche sites and landing pages give you greater flexibility with SEO optimization and customizing messaging/offers.
Look for Numerical Domain Opportunities
Numbers in domains can make them more memorable and easier to convey verbally. Consider incorporating numbers, dates or years like:
You can often find available numerical domains that align with your business model and marketing narrative.
Develop Brandable Domains You Can License or Sell
It takes creativity and vision, but brandable domains can become valuable assets. Short one-word domains or two-word combinations that paint a positive image are ideal. If you secure prime brandable domains early, you may be able to profit from them later by:
- Selling them through aftermarket domain auctions or brokers
- Renting or leasing them to other companies
- Developing them into independent websites or businesses
Brandable domains can appreciate in value over time as more .com domains get claimed.
Defensively Register Domains You Don't Want Competitors to Own
Be proactive and purchase domains you know could hurt your brand if they fell into a competitor's hands. For example, a hotel chain could buy negative domains like WorstHotelEver.com or IHateHotels.com so that competitors, critics or disgruntled customers don't use them. Defensive registrations allow you to control the narrative.
Maintain Detailed Records of Your Portfolio
Meticulously document all the domains you own with key details like:
- Purchase dates, prices and buyers
- Registration/expiration dates
- Hosting, DNS records and emails
- Previous/current traffic stats
- SEO/marketing optimization
- Long-term plans or strategies for the domain
Detailed records make it easier to maximize the value of each domain, renew them on time, identify prime domains to develop, and sell domains when the time is right.
Actively Use, Update and Forward Your Domain Names
Don't just register domains and neglect them. Actively use and update them by:
- Creating content and optimizing SEO
- Installing forwarders to primary domains
- Keeping domain privacy on to block scammers
- Setting up branded custom emails
- Pointing multiple domains to one website
- Redirecting old domains to new domains
This shows search engines and customers your domains are legitimate and prevents competitors from taking inactive domains.
Consolidate Your Portfolio on One Domain Management Platform
Managing domains across different registrars and accounts gets chaotic. Consolidate your portfolio onto a single trusted platform. Look for registrars that offer:
- Competitive bulk and private registration rates
- Free WHOIS privacy protection
- Easy domain transfers, sales and auctions
- Powerful management and automation tools
- Top-notch security measures against hackers
Centralizing your domain portfolio makes it much easier to maintain and maximize the value of your domains.
A diverse domain portfolio aligned with your brand and niche allows you to dominate online real estate. By focusing on brandable, keyword-rich, geo-targeted, and niche-specific domains across multiple TLDs, you gain flexibility to segment your online presence. Defensive registrations, expired domain acquisitions, brandable developments, and proactive management will also strengthen your portfolio. Follow these strategies, and your domains will become one of your most valuable long-term assets.