Only 38 percent of U.S. small businesses with an online presence knew they could point a domain name to an online presence hosted by another service, like a social media site.
No website? No problem. A domain name is still critical because it allows you to claim your online address regardless of how you build your online presence. Unlike most social media sites or outsourced e-commerce sites, your domain name will grow with your business. We’ve all seen the latest social media craze come and go, and by securing your domain name, you won’t lose your customers if you change formats.
Web forwarding (or redirecting) is just like forwarding mail. It’s a way of creating a rule that all visitors to your domain should be directed to a web location of your choice. You can change it at any time.
It’s easy to use your domain name to forward to a social media or e-commerce page. This allows your business to get the credibility and scalability of a domain name, plus:
- A consistent online address for your business regardless of which social network you use (without being limited to their terms of service).
- A memorable and permanent company Web address to use for marketing. (After all, you want to build your brand, not the social media site’s brand.)
Here’s an easy step-by-step process to redirect your domain name to your social media or e-commerce page (all registrars are a little different, but should be fairly similar):
- Log into your account (where you purchased the domain name)
- Then click "Launch" next to heading "Domains"
- Click on the domain name you would like to redirect
- Look for "Domain Forwarding" or "Forwarding" section, it should say Domain: Off; click on the "Manage" link
- Click "Add New"
- Copy your social media or e-commerce link, removing the "http://www." or "https://www." before copying the domain into the "Forward to" space
- Select one of the forwarding settings:
- Forwarding Only: Prevents your domain name URL from displaying in the browser's address bar. This is not the best solution if you are trying to increase your natural search rankings.
- Forwarding with Masking: Prevents the forwarded domain name URL from displaying in the browser's address bar, and lets you enter Meta Tags for search engine crawlers.
Example of how your domain will render using forwarding option:
|Forwarding Options||Visitor types in||Site Visitor Sees||Address Bar Displays|
|Forwarding only||example.com||facebook.com / myexample||facebook.com / myexample|
|Forwarding with Masking||example.com||facebook.com / myexample||myexample.com|
- Leave "Update my DNS setting to support this change." Checked.
- Click "Add" and then "Save"
Note: It can take a few hours for the changes to go into effect.