There are many methods to build an online brand, but following proven best practices will achieve a brand’s potential. With the online space growing bigger by the day, it’s essential not just to build your brand but protect it as well.
Once you’ve found the perfect domain name, the very next question you should ask yourself is, “Should I register any additional domain names for my brand?”
Now, this is not an attempt to upsell more domains. If none of these considerations are relevant to your website or brand, you can skip this part of growing your online presence. But in many cases registering variations of your website’s domain with other popular extensions can stop others from taking your domain name and hurting your website.
Here are some reasons why you should consider registering additional domains for your website:
Make it easier
Nothing is worse than a really, really long domain name, don’t expect your customers to happily type in a long domain name because odds are they won’t. What usually comes next is a shorthand version searched through Google. Then you risk losing your visitor to someone else’s website.
But what if your business name is long? jacksmountainbikeshop.com.au is a mouthful, but it’s also Jack’s registered business name, so securing that domain is important. Still, to make life easier for Jack’s website visitors, he might consider getting a shorthand version of his domain.
Some options might include:
Making your domain short and memorable is the best way to get more visitors to your website.
Target Your Audience
Choosing a domain name that speaks to your audience before they land on your website provides the ultimate confidence. Before you come up with a domain name, it’s essential to study the online landscape of your industry. Being aware of the various websites that provide a similar offering will give you a good understanding of any specific domains trends.
Suppose there are commonalities with the various domains in the landscape you’re observing. In that case, the next step is to understand the reasons behind those commonalities and if it’s something you should consider implementing.
For example, Jack runs an Australian software development start-up. Jack wants to register a .com.au domain name as an Australian company with a registered ABN. .au domains hold a significant level of trust in the Australian online space due to au domains having strict eligibility requirements to register.
However, being a significant contributor to the software development community, Jack knows the domain extension .io is incredibly popular in his industry and is used by similar companies on a larger scale. Because of this, Jack also chooses to register a .io domain.
Throughout the worldwide web, many industries or niches adopt a specific domain extension relevant to their offering. If this applies to your idea or business, registering multiple domain extensions could be a great way to target your intended audience better.
If your domain name is long or complex, it won’t be hard for potential visitors to mistype your URL. It may happen more often than you think. Using a website analytics tool like Google Analytics, you can see what keywords visitors search through google before landing on your website. Discover that a significant amount of people are searching for a misspelt version of your brand name. It may be worth registering a domain name with the same misspelling. This can be redirected to the correct domain, and you could reclaim some website visitors you’ve been losing.
Perhaps the rarest but also the most damaging is the malicious act of domain hijacking. This is much more common in established websites with a lot of traffic as they’re a bigger target. However, it can still happen to any website.
So what is domain hijacking? It’s when a similar domain has been intentionally registered to capture traffic that would otherwise be visiting the targeted website.
For example, suppose Jack’s bicycle shop used the domain name jacksbicycles.com.au and someone outside Jack’s network registered jackbicycles.com. In that case, odds are a percentage of traffic to Jack’s website would land on this malicious domain.
There are various ways hackers and spammers will then try to harm your brand through domain hijacking, from mimicking your website to obtaining visitor data or deploying a malware virus on the site infecting visitors’ computers.
Regardless, hijacked domains are not suitable for business. So ensuring you’re in control of any domains similar to the one you’re using will help protect your brand from targeted domain hijacking.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our Melbourne based customer support team, who are available 24/7 to help answer any questions or resolve any problems you might have.