Why should I have several versions of my brand / product / service?
We will take a simple example with the name of a fictional company, which we will call “My Test”. Being a French company, we will naturally register the domain name <mytest.fr> with our favourite registrar NETIM.
By thinking a bit, we will also protect the domain name in its .com version, in order to be able to target the international and avoid cybersquatting. So we register the domain <mytest.com>.
Speaking of cybersquatting and as the name of my company is in 2 words, we will register as a defensive measure, the versions with dashes <my-test.fr> and <my-test.com>.
Result of those operations, we have 4 registered domain names including only 1 pointing to our website. If you followed correctly, this is the initial domain name <mytest.fr>.
But what about the other 3 registered domain names in the end to protect you against cybersquatting risks and for your future development?
Answer: We will set up redirects.
Why set up a URL redirects?
You have paid your domain names for a minimum of one year; if you don’t do anything, it is because you consider them as a charge whereas you should see them as an immaterial asset of your company (if these notions are foreign to you, we invite you to get closer to your accounting firm ).
To make an analogy, it’s like having more than one car, but only use one and always leave the others in the garage.
The different types of URL redirects (301,302, per frame, transparent or non-transparent … we told you everything):
We will demystify things and inform you after all these years of confusion, that there is only one and only one redirect to use: the 301
Frame redirects, called transparent because they don’t change your url in favour of redirection url, are to be fled. You have to ban the idea of using this type of redirection nowadays, they are disastrous from a content integration point of view as well ason an SEO plan with search engines such as Google.
So we summarize with our examples:
- 301 type redirection (not transparent and permanently): <mytest.com> redirects to <mytest.fr>.Concretely from an SEO point of view, this means that <mytest.fr> will always appear in the search results instead of <mytest.com>. And <mytest.fr> will retrieve the history of <mytest.com>, which is of course essential for you SEO.
- 302 type redirection (not transparent and temporary): <mytest.com> redirects to <mytest.fr>.There are some cases where this can be useful: content temporarily unavailable, redirection according to the language … Google will continue to consider <mytest.com> as existing and it will always appear in search results.
And the redirects by frame? if you read correctly, we already told you above, that you really had to forget this solution dating from the 2000s which became outdated and has negative impacts.
What about my emails?
Nothing is mandatory and everything will depend on your communication strategy. If you only communicate with your <mytest.fr> domain name, then it’s not necessary to set up email forwarding.
Unlike URL, it’s best to use IMAP account for your email addresses and avoid redirects. Indeed, it’s not possible to reply from an email redirection address, which may limit its use.
How to proceed technically?