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Richard Magnusson — 06/08/21

Time to scale up? Don’t forget to have control over your domain names!

For many digital companies, the domain name is more important than the brand itself or the company name – especially if you have plans on expanding abroad. A thoughtless domain strategy could even be seen as a risk factor by potential investors. Here is some concrete advice to take with you.

Finding the right domain name for your brand is important, else you risk losing an important part of the brand investment. But today there are over 1500 top-level domains, so it is not all that easy to figure it all out.

At Dotkeeper we help companies with everything from administration and renewals to domain purchases and strategic guidance in accordance with the brand strategy. Our Head of New Business, Richard Magnusson does not think that you should be too eager and buy many domains unnecessarily.

I think you should focus on the markets you’re already established on or want to expand to in the future. Each domain in your portfolio should add value by channeling traffic or protecting the brand,” he says.

We offer solutions and services that enable companies to monitor their brand and get updates in case anyone makes a move on a domain name close to their own business.

“We recommend monitoring combined with a clear strategy regarding which domains you should own. It is usually more cost-efficient than buying hundreds of domains for preventive purposes. It’s also a good way of counteracting digital crime, which is on the rise with email fraud, phishing, and fake news.”

 Ready to go abroad

Many companies find that, above all else, it is when expanding abroad that a domain check is important. Richard has several times witnessed entrepreneurs who on TV and in press-releases talk about their plans for foreign markets – without having secured the right domain names.

“There are domain pirates who make a living by beating you to the domain name, and in some regions it can be difficult to get a hold of the domain again. Additionally, top-level domains are governed differently in different countries – in Norway, for example, you must have a local business to be allowed to buy .no domains.” 

It is easy to believe that a .com domain is enough on a global level. But country-code top-level domains can be just as important on some markets. According to Richard Magnusson, they add a lot of value both strategically and from a point of security.

“For example, if you expand to Germany or Australia, you should have the local domains ready, just as you might need representatives who know the language. There are several examples of target groups that are patriotic and who show more confidence and trust in the local top-level domain, which has a direct effect on your potential breakthrough. At Dotkeeper we are happy to take on the role as your strategic partner in these situations. This jungle is our area of expertise.”

 Who has the password?

Another recurring dilemma is when the company is growing and no-one really knows where the domains are placed, where the login information is, or who is the registered owner.

It’s quite common that the domain was registered by someone in the IT department, who has since quit their job, alternatively by a web agency or distributor. But it’s important to ensure that the company is registered as the owner. A potential investor might even see it as a risk factor if the rights aren’t secured,” Richard Magnusson finishes.

Blog post in collaboration with Breakit.