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Buying Website Domains for Brand Protection: Is it Worth it?

As digital marketing experts, we are often inundated with questions about domains, but one of the most common questions we get is, ‘should I buy domain names similar to mine?’ The answer is yes. Why? It’s an added layer of protection for your brand online.

When you have a website, there are multiple domains available. If you run a business called ‘The Ice Cream Shop’ your current website may be theicecreamshop.com.au, but there are many other variations of this domain that may be available for other businesses to buy. For example, icecreamshop.net or icecreamshopaustralia and the direct .au version,  icecreamshop.au.

For this reason, we recommend purchasing close variations of the domain to prevent other businesses from buying them. The last thing you want is for a different ice cream store, say Ben & Jerry’s or Wendy’s, to own a domain that’s nearly identical to yours. This is because it can be confusing for customers if they are looking for you but end up on someone else’s website (or visa versa) because they typed in the wrong URL.

Another reason is that you’re going to get more clicks because people can find you by searching more than a singular URL. For example, at 80/20 Digital, we have secured the following domains:

So, if someone looking for our services accidentally searches 8020digital.au or 8020digital.com.au, instead of our actual domain, 8020.digital, they’ll still find us. Click on the links above and you’ll see how they each redirect to our primary domain.

If you’ve gone to the effort of trademarking your brand, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t protect variations of your domain name, particularly if it’s generic or has a lot of common words.

Domain Redirects

So what actually happens if you buy variations of your current domain? Don’t worry, you don’t have to make multiple websites. You don’t actually have to do anything with the other domains if you don’t want to, but we do recommend redirecting all of those parked domains to your website.

Buying the domain and its close variations prevents anyone else from using it. It will also safeguarding your brand and provide better SEO results, as they’re always going to see your website appear first and foremost.

Expired Domains

An expired domain is one that has previously been registered but was allowed to expire, and it returned to the general pool to be registered by someone else. Buying an expired domain of a previously highly-ranked website was once believed to have a lot of SEO value and authority, but Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that there is no ranking-related advantage to using an expired domain. So, if opting to buy an expired domain, remember that there won’t necessarily be any ranking benefit from the previous site; it will just be another measure of brand protection.

Need help? Give our digital marketing specialists a call today and see how we can get your domain names sorted for better brand protection and SEO results. Call 80/20 Digital on 0400 677 202.

Colm MacGowan has spent over 25 years working in Sales & Marketing and is one of Australia's leading experts in Search Engine Optimisation and lead generation through Google. Colm's passion lies in helping Small to Medium business owners grow their businesses profitably and sustainably through best practice, results-driven marketing. Get in touch today for a free consultation.

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