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New domains names are here - What you need to know to protect your business
It's about to get very confusing.
It sounds bizarre at first, but hundreds of new top level
domains (e.g. .web, .inc, .camera, .sexy, .bike) have been approved and
are being rolled out each week across hundreds of domain registrars.
Is this good news or bad news for your business?
If you are like most businesses, probably both. First
the good news….. If you were a little late in the game or
are looking for a more prestigious URL, this new 'landrush' may be the
perfect time to get a better name or names. Since names can point to your existing site, upgrading your name can be a quick and easy marketing makeover. Here's what to look for...
1. Your company name or brand name
If you weren't able to get your first choice company name in .com, you
may be able to get it in one of the new general purpose domain suffixes
(e.g. .inc, .web, etc.). Example:
a company named SmithRealty who settled for SmithRealtyNewYork.com can
register SmithRealty.inc and point it to their existing site.
2. Protecting your business name. The easiest
(and cheapest) way to prevent most cybersquatting is to register
a few basic variations of your company name before the damage
Realistically, you can ignore about 99% of the new domain types, but
there are a few that are absolutely essential to protecting your
business from cybersquatters and customer confusion.
If there is a specialty extension for your type of business (.e.g. .law), make sure you register it to keep it out of the hands of competitors and to avoid any confusion when your customers enter it. Example: a law firm named SmithJonesLaw.com would be well advised to register SmithJones.law.
Also consider registering the few generic names that will receive great use, especially .inc and .web - these
are the names your customers are likely to type-in and are
the ones unscrupulous competitors can use to siphon away your
3. Register new domains to increase traffic to your existing site. Unless
your business is already a household name, potential customers aren't
searching for it - they are searching for the product or service they
are interested in purchasing. Registering keyword domains for the
products or services you sell can generate instant credibility and
boost sales. A great premium name instills confidence and presents you as a leader in your field. An additional SEO advantage - Google bolds URLs which contain exact match keywords and favors sites using exact match domains -
both in their organic (free) results and in their paid Adwords ads.
On large campaigns, this alone can save thousands per month and
give your business a huge edge over your competition.
The bad news? Protecting
your business and maintaining these new registrations will add to the
cost of doing business on-line. However, since registration
fees are relatively low ($20 - $50) they are an inexpensive way to
retain customers and guard against competitor abuse. Especially
since it typically costs $1,500 - $5000+ to file a UDRP (domain
dispute) to reclaim names which may be violating your trademark.
How to secure the new domain suffixes before they are available to the general public
We’re currently writing a report on the best way to secure your first choice new domain name. In the meantime, you can use TLDTracker to automatically receive availability notifications and pre-register new domains across multiple registries to maximize your chances of success.