Best Practices for Domain Name Management
by David | January 16th, 2009
I know we talked about this before on our post titled: Domain and Address Practices. However, with everyone worrying about SEO and SEM these days, very few businesses seem to know about the best practices surrounding the purchasing and ownership of web site domain names (e.g. when to purchase or renew, what to purchase, etc.). Mistakes involving domain names are frequently permanent (though sometimes large amounts of cash can be used to overcome problems).
Even though I have seen many examples with clients and non clients, I am going to show some fictitious scenarios using our Company:
PINT, inc, recently sent out a press release announcing a new product called “Gizmo”. Since the announcements is instantly available to the world. There are hundreds of people (Depending on the size of your company it could be thousands) typing gizmo.com or going to a registrar to see if this domain is registered. What if a competitor, a domain squatter or someone who hates my company bought the domain instead of us? The implication of a legal battle, or paying big $$ for that domain could have easily aborted if you buy first and publicize later. This not only applies to a new product, but also a new partnership, service, or business.
Now take this a step further:
- Why not purchase pint.net, pint.org & any relevant country-specific domain names as well.
- Register miss pelt variants. How many people do you think type the following:
- www.pintt.com (2 ‘t’s)
- www.pinnt.com (2 ‘n’s)
- www.pynt.com (‘y’ instead of ‘i’)
- pint.com (no www)
- w.pint.com (only one ‘w’)
- ww.pint.com (only two ‘w’s)
- wwwpint.com (no period)
- Register generic variants. What generic words or phrases might they use to describe it? WebDevelopment.com, SanDiegoWebAgency.com
- Setup DNS for www variations. you can set up DNS records for pint.com, w.pint.com, and ww.pint.com all to point to the main site.
- Protect your domains. Make sure that your domain registrar login information is secure, that your domains are set to “auto renew”, that your WHOIS information is accurate and that a non-expired credit card is setup in the account.
Why not purchase all the domains and properly setup DNS so that those users who make those mistakes still end up on your site? This does not only help you (more traffic) but it also helps your users find you (shows you take care of your audiences). Consider the cost of registering a domain (anywhere from $1.99 to $40 per year) vs wasting resources and sometimes quite a bit of money needlessly. This is why at our company many of our clients are hiring us to perform domain audits.