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Buy domain names for all your pages, products, and services

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Infomercials, major Hollywood pictures, and President Donald J. Trump are doing it, so should you.

Major Hollywood movies have been having fun with domain names registered solely for a single movie. Yes, these movies often exceed $100M in costs, but they never used to have their own domains. Now they all do. logan.movie is a prime example of a bespoke domain name redirecting to a greater 20th Century Fox Movies site (click through, you’ll see what I mean, the cool .movie TLD quickly resolves all the way to www.foxmovies.com/movies/logan, which is much less pithy and harder to share in a 30-second spot or via word-of-mouth).

Infomercials and commercials have become smart. They’ve always given viewers unique promo codes 800-numbers, and “tell the operator you saw us on WXYZ.” Well, it took forever but campaign-focused, product-focused, marketing-channel, and product-focused domain purchases seem to be the easiest way to do it.

We at Gerris Corp have always done this for our Social Media New Releases (SMNRs) — instead of having some awful BIT.LY link, a subdomain, or even a subdirectory, our SMNRs AKA landing pages always have unique, easy-to-remember, easy-to-share, and easy-to-recognize where the URL goes just by reading it.

Kimberly-Clark had a campaign to promote their Welcome Original Thinkers quiz, so we registered wotquizinfo.com just for the landing page that we put together for bloggers and online influencers. It’s short and dedicated to the one page.  Same thing with Skinny Coconut Oil. We did a campaign for them to bloggers and online influencers and in support of it, we produced skinnyconews.com just for our part of the campaign, which pointed directly as the SMNR that we created for Skinny & Co.

While we go the extra mile to produce a unique page, separately-hosted on a separate server entirely (we like to go around the drama of company’s IT crew (they’re always a control-freak pain in the butt), this can easily be used directly on your website.

While it might be compelling to break apart your website into individual one-pager landing pages (and that might actually make sense and allow you to more easily dominate your first two pages on Google), you don’t have to do much more than figure out how to redirect/forward/mask your domain names — or the domain names you purchase after reading this — directly to a page deep within your website.  Hell, I would probably do this on the DL if I were in the salesforce of a company — get a bespoke domain name, register it, and point it as a forward to a URL — you don’t even need to get anyone’s permission at all, you can point any domain that you own directly to any URL that you want.

What’s more, if you mask the domain, you can even add your own SEO-optimized meta tags — keywords, description, and title — and it’ll render the target URL wrapped in a frame that will supposedly fool Google, which it probably won’t. And if you make sure it’s a 301 redirect, you’ll keep all of your SEO mojo and won’t suffer too much by telegraphing that you’re doing something dodgy.

When Google was born, it was a New Testament God, turning the other cheek; now, after being scourged and whipped and beat and shamelessly abused, Google is becoming/has become more of an Old Testament God.

You need to make sure that you’re clear to Google that what you’re doing is promoting and not gaming. Google loves any and all traffic, but Google is at best skeptical and at worst punitive when it comes for page and domain redirects.

But don’t worry, as long as you just use all of your diverse page-bespoke domain names for what they’re good for — easy to remember, to share, to print on a card or to use instead of those awful custom bit.ly links you’ve been using and trying to share on podcasts, conferences, and mixers.  “Bee eye tee dot ell why slash micro influencer marketing, one word” — it does not just roll off the tongue.

You can even register and forward or mask or redirect a bespoke URL to your best or favorite blog post or your LinkedIn page or your LinkedIn blog or to your about page (maybe I’ll get myself AboutGerris.com myself, who knows (I am currently too top-heavy on domain ownership as I currently spend all the money in the world maintaining my own stable of domains), but you should own yours, that’s for sure.

Even if you have an about.me page, are you completely sure that everyone you engage with understand what About.me or any of those other profile aggregators work — take control and choose your own domain.

And when the services you depend on die their natural death, when all the about.me’s and the Facebook.com/chrisabraham’s of the world die or change their URL format for whatever reason, you won’t be SOL, you still control the main domain associated with that data and you can point it somewhere else.

Don’t think it could happen? Remember PLAXO?  Not the center of your world any more is it? Remember Friendster and MySpace? I don’t even know how long my sexy google.com/+chrisabraham domain will work (sorry Google but you can be fickle — you always giveth and taketh away).

You should try it. Infomercials and major Hollywood pictures are doing it, so should you. It looks like GoDaddy is offering .COM domains for $2.99 (asterisk asterisk) right now — and that’s for a year! And there are a lot of Top Level Domains (I registered gerr.is myself, an Icelandic top-level-domain — so quirky!).

Give it a go. Make it short, easy to share, and point it either to your main page (if your long domain is too hard to share via phone) or have it drill deep into your site, where all the magic happens. It’ll cost you not more than $10/year — an entire year for less than a martini in Manhattan! — and you can do all the masking/forwarding/redirecting from the domain name registrar’s control panel, so you won’t even need to tap your webmaster or IT department.

Go for broke, you won’t be disappointed.

Feb 21, 2016 12:00 AM