Get More Customers (and Links) With Smart Domain Setup

Ian Lurie

You’ve got your site all set up at a nice, shiny new domain name. Chances are, though, you’re losing visitors. And link authority.

Why? Because typos abound, and you’re not catching them. Here’s how you can grab a lot of traffic that you may be missing right now, and build better link authority, too:

Step 1: Reserve Typo Domains

First off, reserve domains that may be typos or different interpretations of your domain. If your web address is ‘’, reserve:


Obviously, you could end up spending $10,000 on typo domains, so you need to apply a little sanity test: I tend to focus on typos I’ve seen other people make.
Once you have those domains reserved, 301 redirect them to your primary domain.

If you’re not sure what a 301 redirect is, check with your web hosting provider.

Step 2: Set Up Catch-all

Next, set up a catch-all for your domain, so that if someone types:


…they’re 301-redirected to ‘’.
I personally make the ‘’ error at least 20 times a day. Set that up and I’ll write nice things about you.

The Result

Take a few minutes to set these up and two things happen:

  1. Customers find you in spite of typos. It’s like having multiple entrances on your store: They’ll love you for it.
  2. Because of the 301 redirection, you’ll still get some of the link authority from folks who can’t correctly type your domain name.

Happiness abounds!

By the way, I’ve personally only implemented maybe 1 out of these 5-6 things on my own sites. So before you start leaving gloating comments, consider me chastised.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. While you’re doing all that 301 redirecting, you may also want to redirect your base domain ( to the www version, or vice versa depending on which you prefer. Sometimes search engines will split your authority between the two versions.
    I prefer the non-www version. The www really isn’t necessary, except that people expect it to work.

  2. @Heff I agree from a technical standpoint regarding www versus non-www. But from an SEO standpoint, 301s don’t necessarily pass ALL the link authority. Since they don’t, and most other sites will link to the ‘www’ version, I usually focus all my 301s at ‘www’.

  3. Even in 2008 my best friends didn’t know that you don’t have to type www in front of the domain name, and I think, that’s the same with most of the internet users. Google trends tells me often that people type thinks like “www health” or “” if they are looking for a theme relevant page or the page they like to visit. So I 301 everything to the www-version at my normal sites and at special technical sites or seo-blogs, I prefer the none-www-version. It’s another useless word, which is counted by google if google reads links.. 😉

  4. Gold!
    The best way I’ve found to discover possible typos for a domain is to have ten friends each type out your domain as fast as they can, ten times, without fixing any errors.
    Then compare the lists your friends come up with to get a good idea of some of the easiest to make errors related to your domain name.

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