Managing domain names is a critical part of brand protection for any modern business. Important decisions need to be made about where, when, how and why a domain should be bought. There is also the challenge of how to stay abreast of the restrictions and requirements of domain names, which can change frequently.
Here are some key points to consider:
In order to create a successful domain names strategy the business needs to decide whether the top priority is to protect the brand or promote its services.
Brand protection would include registering the most valuable domains, registering domains that might be used by others to attack the business, registering low cost top level domains (TLDs) and blocking or restricting generic new TLDs.
Brand promotion is used to ensure the business enjoys maximum exposure in the right geographical regions in order to boost online revenue and meet future marketing requirements. This might include registering the name of a particular product or service in a specific country and covering off all legacy gTLD’s. Some countries have restrictions so it’s important to understand the cultural implications of the domains being purchased.
The world of domains is a constantly changing environment. It is important therefore that a procedure is put in place in order to ensure that domains are kept up to date, that they’re policed for any infringements, and that relevant domain names are secured as and when they become available – new domain names can often become available with very little notice.
A named individual or group of individuals should be given responsibility and a company controlled email account used to avoid problems if one of these people leaves the organisation. Whoever is given responsibility will then need to make sure that the list of registered domains remains current, that the ownership, Whois, record is kept up to date and that the domain names and therefore users are pointed to the correct website/s. Having a list of registered domains lessens the chance that existing or new ones are lost to others.
Having an established set of procedures should also include a mapped out response in a crisis situation if a domain name is allowed to lapse or is hijacked.
Larger organisations and businesses will have many domain names registered and these might have been registered at different times and by different departments. For ease of management they should be gathered up from the departments for which they are important, and placed in one repository in order to gain a complete overview of what has been acquired and why. By keeping a single list that is hosted securely it is easier to ensure consistency when registering new domains and prevent any existing domain names from lapsing by accident.
Occasionally it might be necessary for an organisation or business to re-acquire a lost domain name. Any vulnerabilities in domain management policies and procedures could make resolution much harder and more time consuming.
With over 1500 domains available it’s clear that for larger businesses in particular, managing a domain name portfolio can be a daunting task – even more complex than managing trademarks. Every domain name is an important part of your intellectual property and reputation. Good domain management is critical for protecting your brand as well as promoting it to a worldwide audience.
As an ICANN-accredited registrar we acquire, administer, manage and renew multiple domain names, ensuring that your domain portfolio is fully protected, monitored and secure. Our domain name management team advises on what domains to purchase as well as helping with brand protection, portfolio consolidation and SEO rankings. We can manage and automatically renew domain names directly at the registry level and help you secure already registered domains that are crucial for your business.