BuyNow

You saw that right? That GoDaddy.com commercial during the Super Bowl? Not the awkward, tasteless one with kissing. But the .CO commercial about protecting your valuable ideas with a domain name registration. Beyond the marketing hype, there’s a real reason to invest in your business’ online name.

If you’ve purchased a domain name for your business, whether it was from GoDaddy.com or another registrar, you know what it’s like to hack your way through a thicket of special offers and fine print. Just before checkout, they always offer you the option of purchasing several variations of your chosen name or versions of it with a different extension (like .INFO and .BIZ). By then I’m typically so annoyed I click NO on everything and get on with my life. But it’s actually beneficial to pay attention to these offers.

For one, you want to protect your business’ brand. Since your name and image are so important to your business, picking up your name and any common variations will help visitors find you if they can’t remember your exact web address or misspell it. Plus, if you control your primary domain and these variations, you’ll prevent others from stepping on your brand’s turf. Sort of the way you might trademark your actual name and the nearest variations.

Try this: Type imac.com and ipod.com into your web browser’s address bar. They should direct you to the respective product pages on Apple’s website. If you’ve got a trademarked product name like this, you’ll definitely want to pick up the domain name, even if the product doesn’t have its own website. Think of domain names like email addresses that you can set to forward visitors to a specific destination. You might have multiple domain names all set to send visitors to the same place.

Or try going to thefacebook.com and facebooks.com. One is a misspelling and the other is an old version of the website’s name. By maintaining several domain names, Facebook helps its customers find their way to the right place even if they can’t spell or if they’ve lived beneath a rock since 2004.

Even if your business interests don’t extend to e-commerce or global media domination, you want to be quick about getting your domain names. Anyone can purchase any name, cheaply. If you’ve ever wondered why our website is roundpeg.biz, it’s because someone else purchased roundpeg.com before Lorraine. A California company that existed before us owns the .COM version of the domain name.

Now, if your preferred domain name isn’t available, you can contact the owner and negotiate a deal to purchase it from them. Transferring a domain name from one account to another is easy. But chances are good the current owner of any .COM domain name will want to get the best price they can or refuse if they’re really attached. However, you can typically purchase the same name under a different extension like .BIZ or .CO.

To make sure your business is represented well online, consider registering your main business name and any of the other names people use to talk about you. It’s typically inexpensive and well worth the investment to protect your name, ideas and business opportunities.

Whatever your opinion of GoDaddy, they remain one of the biggest and best known domain name registrars and website hosting companies. However, you might consider the following alternatives as well:

  • Name.com
  • Namecheap.com
  • Hostmonster.com