You don’t need to be a tech guru or a marketing genius to register a domain, however many businesses aren’t doing everything they can to protect the value of their domain. It’s very unfortunate to see some of the ways businesses lose out by not doing a few simple things.
Here are some basic steps that businesses should consider taking to protect their domains from various threats.
The most popular type of domain is .com, and if you are lucky enough to get a .com fitting to your business, my recommendation is to protect it by buying other variations like .biz, .net, .info. If it’s for a business and you plan on spending money to promote your brand and drive web traffic, the last thing you want is a competitor or affiliate buying the .net version of your brand/domain name in order to directly compete against you or even impersonate your company.
At the moment your company is local and your country specific Top-Level Domain (TLD) is sufficient. However, you may want to consider other major markets. If there is the potential to expand your business internationally, leveraging your already established brand may be difficult if a business in your new target market has already registered your name with a local TLD. Spending another few bucks now may be worth unthinkable amounts in the future.
Battle of the Blogs
Blogs are very popular and many businesses invest a little extra to self-host their blogs instead of utilizing free hosted services. Businesses should also consider registering for free hosted blog accounts like WordPress, TypePad, Blogger, LiveJournal and others with their domain/brand name as the user. Those who don’t may end up seeing [TheirDomainOrBrand].wordpress.com ranking beside them in the search engines.
I don’t want to get into the importance of social media in this particular article; let’s just say: It’s important! Users discover and connect with brands via social media. Every business should register social accounts to be connected with their domain even if they are not ready to engage social media just yet. If a user registers your brand name on twitter or creates a Facebook page with your brand’s name in the custom URL, those representations will be able to influence customers searching for you in social media and either harm your online reputation or divert your customers to a site that is not your brand’s official domain.
Take Security Seriously
Cyber criminals, hackers and viruses are all out there waiting to destroy your business. Be mindful of protecting your server and site. Weak passwords can leave your site in the hands of malicious hackers, viruses can spread through your site to your customers, and spammers can use your web forms to send out their cheap Viagra emails from your domain to millions of people. Protect your server, use secure scripts and keep your web apps up to date with the latest security patches.
There are different forms of spam: email spam, blog comment spamming, forum spamming, etc. Stay away from spamming. If you engage in bad practices you put your domain at risk of being blacklisted. Getting blacklisted can impact your domain’s reputation, forcing email and form submissions to be flagged as spam, automatically moving your communications to recipients’ junk folders.
Taking these basic, preemptive steps can help to protect your domain and safeguard your brand’s potential for success. Don’t wait until it’s too late. A little bit of extra effort in the beginning can save you a lot of time, money and stress down the road.