|Multiple domains names and websites|
Many of you have told me that you've purchased more than one domain
name in the hopes that it would improve your site rankings. The truth
is that having multiple domain names that
point to your main site do NOTHING to help your rankings. They only
help you on the off chance that someone randomly types in one of those
names and gets redirected to your main site. Search engines DO NOT list
sites that only redirect to another web site.
But that doesn't mean your extra money has gone to waste. When I've talked about optmizing your site in the past, I've made mention many times that your site needs to be targeted to 5 specific keyword search phrases, revolving around 'cityname home inspector.' Many of you have expressed the great difficulty in choosing JUST 5 names. But if you ask any of the people who have listened to me, you will hear them tell you that they rank towards the top for those search terms. Search yahoo for 'maryland home inspector' or 'gaithersburg home inspector.' There's a reason Kevin comes up #1 on both (and several other phrases). Same goes for Bob Elliot.
So, what's the answer? Take those extra domain names you've purchased and make MUTIPLE websites. Target 5 phrases/cities on each site. The key here is that you can't use the exact same content on all the websites or google is going to say you're a copycat and not give you good rankings. Your content can be similar, just don't copy and paste it all. Use those high school skills of rewritting things you found in a book to avoid plagerism (your teacher told you they would pay off).
Your advertisements on your business cards, flyers and such should still just include the one site (though nothing stops you from listing more than one). The point is that the extra sites are there to increase in the website rankings and bring in traffic via search engine searches.
There's one other thing here that's really cool. While you should be optimizing your title, description, keywords, bold, h1 tags and everything else I've talked about before for the 5 phrases, that doesn't mean you can't mention the other cities on all the sites. They just shouldn't be the main focus of this. The result of this is that you could end up MULTIPLE TIMES for one persons search on a search engine. The search engines don't like to list the same website multiple times, but if you have multiple sites you might get listed multiple times. If the average search engine result page returns 10 hits, and you're listed 2 or 3 times, your chances have greatly improved that your site is going to be looked at. This does happen! I forget the phrase but Kevin Richardson and I were looking at his results the other day and there was a phrase he showed up 3 times on one result page.
Also, don't forget to make sure to link your sites to each other!