Should You Include “www” in Your Insurance Agency Website Name?

Insurance agents often ask if they should include “www” in their agency website domain name. While there is no right answer, you may be interested to know that there is not much of a practical reason for using it. Also, whether you use it or not, there are SEO implications, which I’ll explain.

In the early days of the Internet, people preceded every domain name with “www” because it was required as the way to distinguish a website from an ftp: ftp.domain.com. A few years ago, though, as websites became widespread, it was decided that adding “www” to identify a website would no longer be necessary. Still, like a vestigial appendix, it remains and people still use it though they don’t need to.

Whether or not your website is set up to use “www” as part of its official domain name, there is a problem when people type in your domain with “www” (or don’t) if that is not (or is) part of your official name. What happens is that the internet and search engines treat what may seem like similar names for the same place such as http://www.mydomain.com and http://mydomain.com as distinctly different. You will end up at the same place but the problem is that this can water down your search engine results considerably.

There are ways to address this problem though. Google suggests you set up an account with their Webmaster Tools and specify your preferred domain name. They will then format www references to your non-www domain — or vice versa. Yahoo and Bing have similar arrangements.

But the simplest way to avoid the problem is to set-up redirects at your server, which is what we do. As SmartsPro’s webmaster, Steve Wolfson, says “On our insurance agency WordPress sites we redirect the URLs, so when our server sees pages that contain www and that is not the preferred URL, we direct those pages to non-www pages. And vice versa.”

I guess my opinion is that even though many people are habituated to using www, it’s just a time-saver to leave it out. And to help improve your search engine rankings, if yours is a SmartsPro insurance agency website, we’ll set up redirects for you and you’ll never have to worry about your search engine results getting penalized regardless of your preference for using or not using www.

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