So you've finally come up with a killer domain name for your new Web 2.0 venture. You've registered walrussite.ca for a year and now it's time to book the caterers for the launch party.
Hang on a minute - you're not quite done yet! In fact, you should seriously consider registering 10-20 additional domain names right now. That's because you need to protect yourself from The Seven Deadly Domain Name Variations:
- Extension Variations: No matter how heavily you promote the .ca version of your domain name, a portion of your target market will still type in .com, so be sure to register...
... and point this domain name to the same Website as the .ca URL. While you're at it, I highly recommend you register...
Always think about the worst case scenario, which is what if someone else owned walrussite.net and pointed it at an 'adult entertainment' site? It's worth investing five minutes of your time and $10 a year to register that domain name to avoid this happening.
- "Suck" Variations: If you're a big enough venture to be worried about negative PR, you should consider registering anti-corporate domain name variations like...
- Typo Variations: Not everyone aced the spelling bee, so be sure to register the most obvious misspellings of your domain name. For example, you should at least register the following...
- Plural Variations: Regardless of whether or not there are plurals of words in your domain name, you should register both versions just in case.
- Adjoining Letters Variations: Check your domain name to see if there are any repeated adjoining letters that might trick people up. In our example's case, the first word ends with an "s" and the second word begins with an "s" so you should also register...
- Transposing Variations: Your target market may remember that your domain name contains the words "walrus" and "site" but it's possible they may not recall the correct sequence of the words (Remember gordanandfrank.ca?). So be sure to register...
...and while you're at it, consider registering the misspellings and plural variations that could go along with this.
- Phonetic Variations: What happens if people only hear your domain name rather than see it in print? Be sure to register the 'sounds like' variations of your domain such as...
While there are other domain name variations to consider, if you can learn to overcome The Seven Deadly Domain Name Variations you will be well on your way to protecting your online venture. At only about $10 a year per domain name, this is money (and time) well spent.
Domain name expert Bill Sweetman is the President & Lead Ninja of Name Ninja, a boutique domain name consulting firm that helps companies acquire, manage, protect, and profit from their domain names. Bill has provided strategic domain name advice to major companies around the world for over 20 years.
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