You’ve got a great name for your website. It reflects your brand and provides credibility to your budding business. You’re good, right? It’s time to sit back and relax and reap the benefits of having a solid domain name.
Not so fast. Now, you need to keep your domain name protected as well as expand on any additional opportunities. You did the hard work of developing a name and researching it so as to not infringe on a trademark or cause any confusion with the name of another site. You want the same thing for your site too. You don’t want someone to take your name at .net or .biz or grab something similar and use it on Twitter or Instagram.
That’s why there are some next steps worth taking to keep your brand authentic and your online identity safe.
First, head to Facebook and Twitter to secure your domain name driven handle. Social media is so important to a company’s marketing and branding efforts, it’s imperative to do this right away. Every day consumers spend one hour on Facebook and in total Facebook receives 2 billion visits a month. So it’s highly likely your customers are on social media checking out your brand.
You can check – facebook.com/yourdomain and twitter.com/yourdomain to see if they’re available or if you can secure them. Another good tool is KnowEm, which allows you to determine if a certain name is already taken and on which social media platforms. And if your domain name is taken, you might need to get a little creative.
You can use prefixes and suffixes to make something work for you. For example, your business is new to the market, you can add “try” tryyourdomain, or “official” officialyourdomain. It may make sense to add a prefix or suffix that represents what you do, like “tees” if you sell tshirts, or “patent law” if that’s the type of work your firm does, or “accounting” if your business provides this service. You get the picture.
Next, you want to secure any other top-level domains (TLD) that are important to your business. If you’re local you want your local TLD. Beyond that here’s several other popular TLDs, .in, .co, .net, .biz, and .org that you should consider. Have them all redirect to your main domain name. Doing this will prevent any issues from arising down the line such as someone else registering for those TLDs, confusion from visitors and accessing the wrong site, or an imposter site being created to trick people. Choose the TLDs you find most important as registering more names will increase your domain name budget.
Lastly, you don’t want to forget to renew your domain(s) or you’ll lose access to them. Seriously, this may seem like a given, but organizations will face serious hardships if their domain names expire. Most reputable companies will have a grace period that allows you to buy it back, but if you miss that too then your domain becomes available for anyone to snatch up.
You can protect your domain by setting your domain registration to auto renew. You just need to keep your credit card current and you should be set. The other option is to renew for multiple years at a time. Reputable domain registrars are looking to make things easy for you and ensure your website’s success.
Your domain name really is very important and is a valuable extension of your company. Taking precautions and monitoring your social handles as well is completely in your control. These steps will help ensure that all day long customers visit your site and see your brand.