Preserve your branding with domain names

August 10, 2005

Categories: Business, Webmaster, Articles

Domain names to preserve internet branding

If there’s one mistake you don’t want to make when setting up business online, it’s not having control of your online identity.

And one of the simplest ways you can do this is by only registering one domain.

When a client of mine was recently looking to change his business name, he was clued up enough to the marketing opportunities of the internet to ensure that the domain was available - and purchased by himself - before changing his limited company’s trading name.

However, he nearly made a mistake of *only* buying the .co.uk TLD.

Branding on the internet is an important issue, and domain names are a key part of it. That’s why when you set up online with long-term business goals, you need to ensure that there is no confusion at all about your branding identity.

For that reason it is very important to ensure that even when targeting a national marketing first, you don’t just buy the UK domain, but also the .com version.

Why?

Simple:

When someone types in your business name in a browser address bar such as Internet Explorer, it will default to the .com version of the name they type in.

Additionally, many people still remember domain names as the .com form - after all, .com is the definitive internet identity in the minds of mass consumers.

So for those reasons, when buying a .co.uk then it can be essential for branding reasons to buy the .com.

That way you help protect your identity, not simply by ensuring that people find your company more easily, but also to ensure that they do not end up on a site from another company with the same name.

It’s also worth considering how easy it might be for surfers to accidentally spell your domain name when trying to find you - there is a long-standing tradition of enterprising webmasters registering variations and misspellings of more popular domain names, all in an effort to capture traffic. When done with a large enough number of domains, the traffic and potential for monetization becomes quite significant.

You don’t have to register every misspelling, but it is worth consider easy mistakes. For example, in running the company Britecorp, I appreciate that some people may spell “brite” as “bright” - and therefore I’ve registered variant domain names with that spelling.

Although the internet has wised up to protecting trademarks and counter cyber-squatting, it is also worth comparing the effort involved in spending an extra $10 to protect your identity with an additional domain name registration - to the effort required in chasing through the legal system to counter the cybersquatters, rival websites, and enterprising webmasters, who may otherwise try and take advantage of your oversight.

Branding on the internet should be a key part of many online businesses. And where there are long-term trading goals, so the branding concerns need to go hand in hand.

2c.

For places you can safely buy domain names:

For UK domains:
www.123-reg.co.uk

For .com domains:
www.enom.com
www.gandi.net
www.registerfly.com
www.godaddy.com