As any of you who have tried to type our domain name directly into a web browser will have noticed we at Jarrett & Lam may not have picked the best domain name in the world. We, like many others, have not always been great at following our own advice.
If you think its bad trying to spell it into a browser imagine what its like trying to tell people over the phone!
"Yes thats Jarrett, J... A... Double R... E... Double T..."
"No it doesn't matter if you have the www or not..."
"And as in the word and..."
"Yes A... N... D..."
"Then lam... without the B..."
"L... A... M..."
I wont go into the list of things wrong with our domain name as that will probably make another post just by itself. The thing is we have had it quite a while now and people are used to it. All our footer links point to jarrettandlam.com and it would just be a big headache to change it.
Now I know for a fact we are not the only business to be in this position so what can be done about it? Well in our case we decided to register a number of different domain names and redirect them to our website. We can then use these domain names to get round the issues with our main domain name.
Now many of you will have heard (in many cases from the experts here at JLC) that it can be a bad idea to have your website available on multiple domain names. Strictly speaking this is true but it is a very general rule. The reason it can cause problems in the long run is that it can appear that you have two identical websites (rather than one website on two domains). If you are not careful this can cause problems for both search engines and users.
The first rule I would follow if you have multiple domains is to ensure you have one main domain (in our case jarrettandlam.com) and have all other domains redirect to your main one. This will signify to both search engines and users that this is the main domain name for your website. The second rule is to make sure there is a purpose behind owning each domain name (even if it is just to prevent someone else from registering it). In our case we needed a domain that was easy to say to people over the phone so we picked jlchelp.com.
The reason we needed something nice and easy to say to people over the phone is because we have a number of clients who rely on us for their IT support. We have a nice little tool that allows us to remote access their computers and fix whatever is wrong. All our clients need to do is run a little bit of software from our website and we can take over from there. Now we have a domain we can give them over the phone we can also eliminate the need to guide them to the correct page but making sure that the jlchelp domain name takes them directly to the page they need.
Now I know many of you will not have software for clients to download but the principle of having a domain name for a specific purpose remains. You may want to use domain names to track marketing activities or direct people over the phone to specific areas of your website, you may want something that is just a bit more memorable for telling people face to face. Either way provided you do it correctly having a number of domain names at your disposal can be very handy.