Why You Should Have More Domains
Whether you own a business starting out in the industry or an established company looking to further its reach and attract more customers, you should seriously consider purchasing more domains. People type in the wrong domain name all the time. It doesn't matter whether you are a popular company like Coca Cola or not, people are bound to mistype your company’s URL address and be redirected.
Sometimes, customers can be redirected to the right site. This is called a helpful domain. Whenever someone types in the incorrect domain name, usually what happens is an error code appears telling him or her to try again. With helpful domains, even with incorrect spelling, your potential customer will be sent to your website. For example, with Coca Cola, its domain name is “coca-cola.com,” but type in “ cocacola.com” (without the hyphen) into your URL and you’ll still be redirected to the company’s website.
This type of domain eliminates the chances of potential clients or customers getting lost and ending up somewhere other than your site. It also prevents your competition from using that incorrectly spelled domain name and sending your customers to their website instead, which is a tactic commonly referred to as cybersquatting. It’s an illegal practice in which cybersquatters purchase or reserve a domain name similar to or exactly the same as your company’s name or trademark, so they can make money off of it later on.
Put simply, they’ll buy the domain name and wait for you to contact them to purchase it. They know you’ll want to use your company’s name as a domain, so they’ll sell it to you for an extraordinary amount of money. This could end up costing you thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars that you may not have. That’s how they make a profit off of you. There are several ways to deal with cybersquatting. You could go to court if you have proof that the similar name was intentional. You could also simply pay the amount asked.
However, to avoid this, you could purchase several different domains to limit the chances of cybersquatting altogether. This practice is called defensive domain name registration. With defensive domains, you own all of the possible variations visitors could type in, in substitute of your actual domain name and redirect them to your website. Overall, they do the same thing as helpful domains by ensuring all potential traffic ends up with your company and not that of your competition.
This brings us back to our main point: you need more domains. There are too many loopholes and ways for other businesses and companies to get ahead of you. You want to be ahead of them, and multiple domains are just simple ways to do that.
Of course, you may be asking yourself why you should invest in so many domains at all. Yes, some other business could purchase a similar domain name, but if my company has a unique name, why bother? You might also be asking yourself, if my brand name is pretty much my product, why bother?
You should bother, or at least care, because people make typos. It doesn’t matter if your company has a unique name because one slight typing mistake could leave plenty of room for other businesses to swoop in and steal your customers. For instance, Google–the #1 search engine in the world–was losing business to websites with similar domains. Too many people were typing in “googel.com” and “gooogle.com.” Despite the company’s originality, people were still misspelling the name and being sent elsewhere.
Typos will be your downfall. Similar domains too. Chick-fil-A filed a lawsuit back in 2012 against a parody website with the domain chickfilafoundation.com that used its site to criticize the company’s views on homosexuality. Not only did more people visit the parody website, but it also resulted in more backlash and anger being directed towards the fast-food restaurant.
With this in mind, you should consider how owning multiple domains can lessen the chances of your company losing customers and experiencing negative, unwanted attention. Typos will affect your business’s success levels and make it harder for you to gain control of how your target audience finds you in the future. Don’t let something as simple as typos drastically impact your company’s ability to succeed. Also, don’t let your desire to keep your money in your wallet stop you either.