Defensive Domain Names
Your trademark and domain name are important to you. You want to make sure to protect them so that your customers know your trademark along with your products. You want them to trust your website. But others can buy up similar domain names and use them to direct customers away from your business.
Defensive domain name registration is the practice of buying domain names that are similar to your trademark name or domain name to keep them out of the hands of competitors.
This practice was used heavily until recently because cybersquatters bought similar names and used them to damage name brands. Now, defensive name registration is less common but is still helpful to protect valuable business trademarks.
Protecting Your Domain Name
The following practices can help you to better protect your business.
- Buy a few defensive name registrations—you can keep competitors from taking similar domain names if you buy a few defensive name registrations which protect your trademark.
For example, if your business domain name is Maxdining.com (for your restaurant called Max) then you could buy the defensive names Maxdining.restaurant and Maxdining.us.
These two names would protect your trademark both in the restaurant industry and with the country code .us (united states).
You want to buy defensive names only for domain names that could potentially damage your website. Otherwise you are buying too many domain names unnecessarily.
- Check for cybersquatters to protect your website further—other people may buy a similar domain name to your own and confuse customers as to which site is actually yours.
If you see that traffic dramatically drops off you may have a cybersquatter redirecting traffic to his or her own site or a site “under construction.” If you find a website that looks like yours and sells a similar product but is not your site, you may have a cybersquatter stealing your business.
For example, if your website is “sportshoespectacular.com” then there are too many variations of that name for you to buy defensive registrations.
A cybersquatter may buy the domain name “sportshoespectacular.us” and direct some traffic to their site. Marcaria’s legal services can help you arbitrate to regain control of your trademark.
- Connect with your customers on social media to build a loyal following—your customers like your product. Keep in contact with them in a more convenient way than asking them to visit your website frequently.
You may think that the way to keep customers is to get them to visit your website often. But social media gives you an easy and low cost way to remind your customers of your trademark as well as answer questions and give special offers. Customers who connect on social media are more loyal than website visitors only.
Defensive domain name registrations can help you, along with other steps, continue to drive customers to your website and products.