Not sure if you need to register multiple domain names?
If you are investing time, money & energy into building your online brand, how would you feel if suddenly someone hijacked it? It makes good sense to do so. Buying multiple domains for your business can improve its online identity and protect your brand from fierce competitors. Think how simple it could be for someone to write “. co” instead of “.com” at the end of your domain name.Your domain name or URL is what you type in your web browser to find your website (http://www.yourbusiness.com). It could be intentional or just accidental, but if there are domain names that sound like they should be part of your brand and you don’t own them, there’s nothing to prevent someone from buying it. Once they own it, there is not very much you can do (at least cheaply)!
Your domain name or URL is what you type in your web browser to find your website (http://www.yourbusiness.com). It could be intentional or just accidental, but if there are domain names that sound like they should be part of your brand and you don’t own them, there’s nothing to prevent someone from buying it. Once they own it, there is not very much you can do (at least cheaply)!
How to Decide How Many Domains You Should Buy
You Might Think This Could Never Happen To You.
But it HAS happened to people that I know, and you can learn from their mistakes. In my social media strategy for a very established brand that had a variety of products and services, I advised buying the domain names of their products and services to protect their brand. My client opted not to buy them. A few months later, a mutual contact just “happened” to purchase a domain name of one of the products and directed it to his related product.
How Many Domains Should I Buy?
There’s no limit to the number of domains you can buy, but there are some general considerations every business should make to determine the amount of domain name variations they should own.
1. People Will Buy Your Domain To Trick People
This was not an accident. There are people that are looking for domains to drive traffic to their own sites. If your business name is a way to do it, they will buy it. At that point, you *maybe* could try and ask them to sell it to you… but then they could charge any price they want to sell it back to you.
2. Capturing Visitors Who Misspell
You’re launching a fresh, informative, and compelling website — but if someone misspells the domain name, they would never see your snazzy design and must-read copy. Wannabe visitors would instead get an error message or — worse — land on a different site. To account for inevitable errors and typos, consider registering domain variations for the common spelling mistakes people make when searching for your brand, and redirect them to your primary domain. Google, for example, owns googl.com and gogle.com and redirects visitors to google.com. Another Entrepreneur has been working extremely hard for many years to build up a recognizable brand. Yet a very common misspelling of the domain name is still available. See above − this will be a very costly oversight! In addition, they could be losing a lot of website traffic. If someone just heard the name of the business, you would assume it was spelled the way that is not owned by this business. It could be purchased and then redirected to the website.
3. People Will Buy Your Similar Domains Because It’s Their Brand Name, Too.
ANOTHER person owns one of the other domain names I said to buy. They have a legitimate business, and this domain name is a great choice. But the first business owner has been in business many more years, spending thousands of hours and dollars building up a brand that now directs to someone else. Yet ANOTHER person is starting a business outside the U.S. and they found a domain name that is very, very close to a business that I know here in Massachusetts. The first company has a registered trademark, so they probably will win a lawsuit… but it may be an expensive process. It’s a lot cheaper to buy a similar domain from the start. (BONUS TIP: Don’t build your brand treading on someone else’s territory!)
4. Launching a Creative Campaign
Using domains to support a creative campaign can be a great way to gain traction. Say your company sells perfumes and your primary domain is wonderfulfragrance.com. If you wanted to promote your new scents especially for man’s best friend, it’d make sense to create a landing page and register a dedicated domain for your promotional campaign, for example: wonderfulfragrance.pet. Why? Because that domain is simpler to promote and easier to remember than wonderfulfragrance.com/dog-scents or similar URLs. A dedicated landing page and URL also makes it easier to track the success of your creative campaign.
5. Beating the Local Competition
It can also be a good idea to register ccTLDs (country code top-level domains), like .au (Australia) or .pr (Puerto Rico). One reason is that search engines really like ccTLDs. In fact, they give ccTLDs a lot of importance, which is why it ranks at the top in the list of elements search engines use to determine country-level targeting. That means that ccTLDs can help improve your site’s search engine performance in these countries. Registering country-specific domains can also help prevent your competitors from profiting from geographically distinct versions of your brand name — that’s why brands like Nike register domains such as nike.com.au and redirect them to their main site, nike.com.
It’s an easy & inexpensive way to protect your identity online. The cost to prevent the problems I outlined is very low.
Domain names are less than $15/year. I also recommend adding privacy (about $12/year). That’s full price at GoDaddy, but RARELY do I pay full price. My last purchase was $11.87. You can usually find coupons or get a discount for buying 5 at a time. You can also save by just buying the .com versions. If you really want to protect it, buy the .net and .org, but skip all the other variations. Some great places to buy domains are Namecheap, Bluehost and Host Gator
- What Domain Names Should You Register?
- Do’s and Don’ts of Securing a Domain Name
- How to Protect Your Domain Name from Cybersquatting
TAKE ACTION: Learn more about how to register your domain names. Don’t let your online brand be hijacked by someone else! Better safe than sorry!!