This is a common tip that I give to all of my clients, but I can’t say it often enough: register common alternatives to your domain name. Don’t zone out on me, this is a big deal.
Let’s say you own MyBurrito.com.
It’s easy to think of the common variations that your customers might type in when they’re searching for your page:
- MyBurito.com (not everyone is a world-class speller or typist)
Now go back over that list and come up with all the other reasonable variations (My-Burito.net?). Register those domains and have them point back to your main website, MyBurrito.com. Total cost? Maybe, at the outside, a few hundred dollars a year if there are a lot of variations. This is, by far, the cheapest form of insurance you can buy against legal issues related to your domain name.
Imagine you read this post, think “Yeah, I should do that someday,” and then promptly forget about it. A few months from now, you notice your customers are being lured away by a competitor with one of those variations on your domain name. You go to a lawyer and have her send a cease & desist letter. The competitor doesn’t comply. Now you need to file a domain dispute through WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization. And even if you eventually win in arbitration…let’s just say your bank account is hurting just thinking about it.
OK, welcome back. Now doesn’t that feel better? One item checked off the list of potential legal concerns – now you can go back to running your business, which is what you wanted to do all along, rather than get into legal disputes, right?