Less is more. Right? Well, when it comes to registering domain names, it’s actually the opposite.
You can think of owning multiple domain names like owning digital real estate. Instead of the right “location,” here it’s all about the right “keywords.”
And, with so many competitors vying for your users’ attention, registering multiple domains is the easiest (and smartest) way to let your brand really stand out—while protecting it at the same time.
So Many TLDs, So Little Time…
Often when a business makes the decision to go online, they search for a top level domain (TLD) name that best reflects their business, opting to register only one. (As a refresher, here’s how to properly register.)
Considering the low cost of registering your domain, registering only one domain can be an expensive mistake. Given the current competitive landscape for TLDs, if there are domain names that sound like they should be a part of your brand or company and you don’t own them (yet!), there’s no reason why someone else can’t buy it. It might be intentional or accidental on their part but taking that risk might mean risking the protection of your brand. Is it worth it to spend a bit more money to protect it? That’s entirely up to you but we vote yes.
Keep in mind that TLDs refer to the last segment of a domain name, or the part that follows immediately after the “dot” symbol, such as .com, .org, .net, .gov, .biz and .edu. Essentially, what TLDs do is recognize a website’s objective (whether that’s business, government, or education-related), its owner, or the geographical area from which it originated.
Each TLD also includes an independent registry, controlled by a specific organization that’s managed under the guidance of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
ICANN recognizes the following types of TLDs:
- Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD): These are the most popular types, e.g. “.edu” for educational sites and .”com” for commercial sites.
- Country-Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD): Refer to our handy ccTLD guide to find the official domain for the country in which you live or do business.
- Sponsored Top-Level Domains (sTLD): These are supervised by private organizations.
- Infrastructure Top-Level Domains: There is only one, “.arpa”.
Still a little lost over where to start? Consider buying the .net and .com versions of your domain first.
Banking On Typos
Ever typed in a web address and your browser took you somewhere unexpected? Welcome to the wonderful world of domain typos—where spelling the name wrong, transposing two letters, or simply mistyping is the name of the game.
So, to quite literally “bank” on this idea of utilizing typos, it’s become commonplace in the domain world to think ahead and add keywords with common misspellings. For example, let’s say you owned a domain name that included “the” in the text. To be on the safe side, you might want to consider registering another domain name with the word “teh,” too.
In essence, allowing for misspellings of your business’ name means you can direct users to the right destination instead of sending them to 404 page or worse yet, a competitor’s.
Redirecting Your Domains
You can think of redirecting your domains as forwarding your mail. You want to be sure it gets to the appropriate address, right? This is a pretty genius way to ensure that users who visit your domain name are directed to a web location of your choice. When you register as many sites as you can that are similar to yours and redirect them to your own, the more you are put in control.
As an example, let’s use Google—the ubiquitous search engine that seems to know all—and the aforementioned “typo domain”. Whether it’s pure laziness or someone who never excelled at spelling, let’s say he or she types in the following: gooogle.com or gogle.com. In these particular misspelled instances, Google already thought ahead and decided to register these typo domains and redirect both of them back to their own. Pure genius, no?
Building (and Protecting) Your Brand
For any brand to succeed, it’s crucial to continuously protect its identity. That’s why securing multiple domain names will invariably boost your brand and prevent others from hijacking its presence.
Even after you find the perfect domain name, it’s never a bad idea to register alternative domain names. When you personally own every name, you’ll be able to point your customers to the relevant pages that discuss the particular product or service they’re looking for. This enhances your market presence and as a result, ups your Google ranking.
If you happen to be in an industry with a multitude of competitors you might have other issues. In these cases, trademark infringement and intellectual property violations tend to run the gamut. To protect yourself, a quick search of registered trademarks on a site like Trademark247.com will answer any questions you might have regarding your domain name and potential violations. This also gives you the opportunity to be on the lookout for brands that might pose a threat to your trademark in the future.
It does take a little extra time but ensuring your name stays consistent across all platforms will only benefit your brand in the long run, showing you really mean business to protect it.
When it comes to your customers, you always want to be top of mind. Owning multiple domains, which contain descriptive keywords of the service or product you offer, increases your chances of being found by your target customer. Gaining more exposure and ranking higher is exactly what your business needs to really soar to new heights.
So, are you ready to register your next domain or two? With Namecheap, we make it oh-so-easy.