Protecting your brand by registering Domain Names
One of the cheapest forms of online brand protection is also the most effective.
It is common for a business to be running for several months, or even years before they realise another business (often a competitor) is trading under the same name in another country.
This situation happens all the time and in some cases it can be a nightmare. However, this is really easy to prevent in the early stages of your business. Using a Whois Lookup tool to find out if your domain name is available with of the required extensions takes no more than a minute, this could be one of the most worthwhile time investments you will make.
Why should I register every available Domain Name relating to my business name?
Apart from the plain and simple fact that you should aspire to own your brand in its entirety, the following are a few examples of why you should snatch up as many of your domain name extensions as you can:
- yourstartup.com may be registered and become home to the website of a competitor, locally or internationally.
- yourstartup.org may be registered to post hate messages about your business by an unhappy customer or a competitor.
- Another domain extension may have achieved higher SEO rankings than your own website.
When is it time to think about Brand Protection with Domain Names?
This step in the start-up of your business should fit in quite nicely between; coming up with an idea and settling on a name. Really, whenever you have an idea for a business name, a Google search and domain name check should be the first things on your mind rather than logo design or registering your trading name.
In Australia, it would never be a good idea to trade under a name with which you cannot secure at very least the following domain extensions:
Whether you are or are not planning on diving into the fun world of social media marketing, it would most certainly be a good idea to also secure the following social URL’s:
As well as URL’s on the many other emerging social networking websites.
What is the best thing to do with all of my Domain Names?
Well you could park your domain names. Thing is, all you would be doing there is giving your web host free advertising and a backlink. The other option you have is to create 301 redirects so that when a user types in an extension which is not the domain name on which your website exists, they are automatically taken to your website.
For example visit www.webics.com or www.webics.net and notice that you are taken straight to www.webics.com.au which is the domain name on which our website exists.
Take what is yours and keep your brand safe
There are tens of thousands of businesses that are wishing they took this advice early on. Many of them are going through trademark and/or defamation proceedings after they finally got their businesses up and running. Save your money, save your time and save your brand.