As a small business owner, you need to formulate a robust domain name strategy in order to protect your brand online. Brand protection is very essential so as to incapacitate others from indiscriminately using your brand name or URL. You may not have the resources to get a trademark for now or your domain may be a generic name which cannot be trademarked, you must learn basic online domain name protection strategies or else you will lose a lot of revenue to cybersquatters.
If , for instance, you register a name like 'read.com', cybersquatters could go ahead to register different variations of it in order to benefit from its popularity. Hence, they could register variations like 'reads.com', 'read.net', 'reads.net', 'read .biz', 'reads.biz', 'read.info', 'reads.info' and so on. Let's assume that 'read.com' eventually becomes popular, a typical internet user will not know that it is not the same with with 'reads.com' or 'read.net' and so on. Since 'read' is a generic name which cannot be trademarked under the trademark law, except when certain requirements are met, it is very important for you to use a proven strategy for domain protection. The following five tips will help you in this regard.
1. Register Common Extensions: If you are not able to register all the domain extensions for your name, you can, at least, register the common ones. The most common domain extensions are .com, .net, .biz, .info and .org. You can also consider new extensions like .guru, .band, .photography, .agency, .academy, etc. - whichever is applicable to your industry.
2. Register Possible Misspellings: You need to sit down and formulate possible misspellings of your name and register them because if you don't, others will go ahead to register them. One of the possible misspellings of 'read' is 'reed', hence, you should not hesitate to register 'reed.com', 'reed.net', etc., and redirect them to your major website (read.com) so that anyone who mistype the main URL will still end up at the major site.
3. Don't Forget Phonetic Equivalents: These are words that sound the same as your brand name. For example, 'read' and 'rid' have the same sound, consequently, a good strategist will not overlook this.
4. Consider Singular And Plural Variations: If you are registering a domain in its singular form, do not forget to include the plural form. So also, if yours is in the plural form, you should register the singular form.
5. Consider Hyphenated variations: If the domain name you are registering is more than one word, it is important to register hyphenated variations. For example, if your URL is 'readforfun.com', you should also register other variations like 'read-for-fun.com', 'read-4-fun.com', among others.
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