Your business name is your intellectual property. Your business reputation is connected with the name so you obviously don’t want anyone else trading on it. That’s why it’s important to register your domain name so you can protect your identify and reputation online. Your domain name is a valuable part of your online business identity and registering a domain name for your business also makes it easier for customers to find you easily and get in touch.
Why it’s so important to protect your business name online
Domain names are so affordable right now, so there is no excuse why you haven’t registered your domain name yet. Thousands of domain names are registered every day, so if you don’t register your business name, someone else will, which leaves you with only two options – you can either buy it from them for an outrageous price, or find a different name for your website. There are people out there, also known as ‘cybersquatters’ who make a living out of registering other people’s business names, and then try to sell the domain name back to the company for an unreasonable price. There have also been instances where a competitor or disgruntled customer/employee might register a your business name or something similar in another extension (for example .net.nz) and try to portray your company in a bad light.
While this is all illegal, it is a lengthy legal process to try to regain your domain name back and in that time, the damage might have already been done. Potential customers who see that website might associate the negativity with your business and it may be difficult to change their minds after.
Make sure you cover your bases
Aside from the popular .com.au, .net.au or .com extensions, consider registering your business name in in other extensions, like .org.au, .net, .org etc. You can also consider registering additional domain names that reflect your brands, products and services, profession, industry or trademarks.
If your business name is made up of a couple of words, consider registering it with hyphens. For example, mortgagebroker.com.au and mortgage-broker.com.au. You can also register plural and singular versions of your domain name, such as mortgagebrokers.co.au and mortgage-brokers.co.au. Registering other domain name options will protect your brand online and it will ensure that your competitors can’t set up similar names to your name and try to attract business from you.
One last tip
When you register your domain name, make sure it’s registered under your name with your contact details, not your web designer’s details. It’s fine if you want to include your web designer’s name as the technical contact, but make sure that the domain name is fully registered to you (Registrant contact). We have had many clients who have had their web designers set up the domain names for them, and they have used their contact details instead of yours, which means they own your domain name, not you.
If you ever decide to get a new website from a different company, change hosting companies or if you have a falling out with the web design company, it’s very difficult to do any of this if you don’t own or have access to your domain name.
One example is when we had a client who had his web designer set up his domain name and new website for him. Unfortunately, after a couple of years, the relationship went south. The unscrupulous web designer took down the website and changed all login details to the domain name. The client was not able to change hosting companies or set up a new website again as they did not have access to their domain name. So make sure this doesn’t happen to you by ensuring that the registrant contact details are your details.
Domain names are getting snatched up quickly every day, so it’s very important to register yours now, whether it’s for your business or for personal use. This will protect your business name, brands and trademarks online.
Call Melbourne IT on 1300 654 677 or visit our website to register your domain name today.