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Rasmus Peterson — 13/08/21

Five domain pitfalls that can put an abrupt end to your growth – and how to avoid them!

Do you know why a .com domain is not enough if your company is planning on expanding abroad? Do you want good opportunities for growth while also protecting your brand and avoiding unnecessary costs and administrative work? Here is some clever advice.

“How to grow your company through smart domain management”, that was the topic for a recent webinar arranged by Dotkeeper in collaboration with Swedish tech and innovation news site Breakit.

Sannah Westerlund, Chief Marketing Officer, and her colleague Richard Magnusson, Head of New Business, gave their best advice – and warned about five domain pitfalls you need to be on the lookout for.

“Proactivity is a must, being wise in hindsight costs so much more than a domain does,” Richard says.

Domain control important

Today, owning a domain is important when you are running a company – not only to get a homepage and an email address but also because it is the digital extension of your brand. But as with everything else important, there is a lot to keep track of when it comes to domains and domain management.

“Domain control means that you create the right prerequisites for growth while you’re simultaneously protecting your brand and avoiding unnecessary costs and administrative burdens,” Richard says.

A good step in the direction of domain control is to ensure that you do not fall into one of these five classic domain pitfalls.


Pitfall 1: Thinking that .com is enough 

Thinking that a .com and possibly the local country-code top-level domain is enough when you start a company is a classic. Here you must be proactive – at least if you want to expand to other countries.

A hot tip is to acquire relevant country-code top-level domains in line with your market plans already from the very beginning, helping you avoid that domain headache and unnecessary costs.

“The main reason as to why .com isn’t enough is that you want to capitalize on all the possibilities of channeling more traffic, which country-code top-level domains do,” Richard says and adds:

“There are great examples of countries in which the target group shows a strong preference for the domestic country-code top-level domain and put more trust in homepages with the own domain suffix. Controlling country-code top-level domains for your target markets also protects against various types of digital infringement.”


Pitfall 2: Wrong owner information

It is not entirely uncommon that someone at the company registered a domain when the company was started, and that you since have forgotten to change the ownership information. But that can, according to Sannah, mess things up royally.

“If you don’t have the correct ownership information, the company doesn’t legally own the domain. This means you can encounter a lot of problems, including the domain being shut down, being unregistered, or being kept hostage.”

Another important thing to keep in mind is to always enter a generic email address specifically for domains – that way you do not need to worry about important emails ending up on an account belonging to someone who no longer works for the company.


Pitfall 3: Where is the domain and who has the password?

Can you relate to not being in complete control of all of the domain administration? This is especially common for companies who have bought their domains from several different suppliers. The reason many do that is that they want the cheapest domain.

You should keep in mind the administrative costs that come automatically when you are using several different suppliers and the risk of some critical step being overlooked – often the imagined savings of registering the cheapest alternative ends up being more expensive. Especially if it damages revenue and the brand.

“There’s a natural breaking point where the risk of exposing yourself no longer motivates the savings, as it no longer is a saving,” Sannah says.


Pitfall 4: No contract with distributors

One of the most common issues Dotkeeper helps clients with is that distributors, such as web agencies and resellers, use their company domains. That in itself does not have to be a problem. But you should always ensure that they do not own your intellectual property, that is, your domain. That should be in your own portfolio.


Pitfall 5: There is no plan

Last but not least. Have a plan for your domains!

“You can save both headaches and money by having a proactive approach to and good processes regarding your domain names. Our advice is to include the domain names in the same discussions and forums as where you discuss marketing strategies, patents and trademarks”, Sannah says.


Blog post in collaboration with Breakit