9 common mistakes companies make with their domain names
1. Believing that .com is enough
“We already have the .com domain, so we’re all set.”
Sure, it is great that you have the .com domain for your name. .com is the largest top-level domain worldwide, and it is certainly important for reaching an international audience. But! it is also important to strategically protect your name under geographical top-level domains, e.g. .se, .dk, or .no, for the countries you are interested in expanding to. The local connection creates trust among the target group, and in some countries, it is not tactically wise not to obtain the domestic top-level domain (e.g. Germany and Finland). Additionally, there is a protective aspect to it – to prevent another party from acquiring domains with your name for the markets you do business in. Also preventing them from being used for fraudulent purposes that could hurt your brand.
2. Sloppy domain management
Who among you oversees your domains?
And when was the last time someone went through your portfolio and cross-checked it with the marketing plan and brand strategy?
Not continuously ensuring that you have the right domains in your possession can quickly lead to gaps that will only give you headaches further down the road. For example, when you realize that another party managed to register that .de domain before you did, and you are about to launch in Germany any minute now.
3. Choosing a provider based on price
Understanding which services a domain provider offers, and what you can get for your money, can be complex. Therefor it is easy to let the price decide instead, because it is something that is concrete and easy to compare.
But make sure that you are comparing apples to apples, and not apples to pears.
And above all, today domains are important assets for basically any company, regardless of industry, so you want to ensure that you treat them as such. That means that you need to have secure management from a service minded, agile, and strategic partner who works for and with you. When there is a domain crisis, time is usually of the essence, and you want to get help fast.
It is rare that quality, a high level of service, and knowledge goes hand in hand with the lowest price. But, of course, the pricing should be reasonable, competitive, and cost efficient, regardless of which provider you choose.
4. Bad control over the ownership information
Who is the registered owner of your domains?
We have seen everything from former employees and former providers to deregistered businesses. You do not want to end up there. Ensure that you have the correct legal owner for the domain names and that the contact information is up to date. It is not a nice to have, it is a must have, as anything else is a breach of security. The consequence could otherwise be that domains are deregistered because the ICANN guidelines are not followed.
5. Putting the domains on the IT budget
Today, domain names are an IP/marketing matter and should be so also in the budget. Correct domain management nurtures the brand and the customer relations and should be considered an asset along with other IP such as trademark registrations and patents.
6. Having domains spread out among different providers
A consequence of not having a uniform management is that you can end up with domain names registered randomly across several different providers. It is not recommended. It blurs your overview of which domain names you actually have, but it also creates more administrative work. Additionally, when there is a domain crisis time is usually in short supply, and then it is annoying if you need to start off with finding out where that specific domain is located.
7. Deregistering domains that contribute to traffic or has email attached, or changing main domain without a clear strategy
In an attempt to save costs, domains that are believed to not be in use are deregistered, but then it turns out that they were actually used for email or as a campaign page that has traffic coming through.
On the same note, a misconception can be that it is the website and not the domain that is listed on Google and other search engines, when in reality it is the other way around. Therefore, changing domains should be done carefully and well planned in order to minimize traffic loss.
Always check how the domains you think you do not need any longer are used and how they have been used.
8. Realizing in hindsight that you wanted to purchase that domain after all
Most of us have probably been there, the domain we want is already registered by another party. It is a balance between if and when you should attempt to purchase that domain name you yearn for. On one hand, maybe you want to invest money only when your project is going well, but on the other hand you want to make as good a deal as possible and purchase the domain name for as little as possible.
What the best course is varies from case to case, but it is not realistic to believe that the domain name under the most attractive TLD will drop in price while you are being successful with a less attractive TLD.
9. Missing the renewals
What is not allowed to happen, happens. Sadly, too often, in our experience. Ensure the domain management by outsourcing to a partner who guarantees that your domains are securely renewed. At least the renewals should not depend on the human factor!