Monday, May 28, 2007

Avoid the Most Costly Internet Marketing Blunder

Of all the aspects of Internet Marketing what is one of the least expensive items to buy, but could be one of the most expensive to replace? It may have cost you less than $10.00 to get, but just think what your domain name means to your company. It’s on everything from your business cards to your invoices. It’s on promotional items, trucks, letterhead, and on all your emails. Now think of all the money, and time you spent promoting your URL and getting it ranked in search engines. Imagine the cost if you had to start all over because you lost your domain name.

If you think it can’t happen to you think again. Years seem to fly by and you may have registered your domain name for a two or three year period, so you don’t worry about when it expires. You may also have a false sense of security because you feel that the company you bought the domain name from will inform you. You’re right, the company will inform you, but it is not fool proof.

Keep in mind, depending on which company you used, if their main business is registering domains they probably don’t care if your domain expires. Many of these companies have backorder options. Backorder options gives someone the ability to backorder your domain so the very second your domain expires it is registered with the person that backordered it. It may not seem legal, but it is.

In addition, the company that backordered your name can be kept anonymous – even if they end up with your name. Your name can be sold to someone else that may never use it and you may never be able to find out who has it. Just think about it. An unethical competitor can backorder your domain name and if you are not careful they can own it and sit on it just to keep you from having it. Or they can try to turn around and sell it to you for thousands of dollars and it’s all legal. Not ethical, but legal.

When you registered your domain name you most likely included your contact information, but has that changed? Is the email address still valid and do you check it often? If you’re like me, you probably receive hundreds of emails a day and many go straight into your spam folder and get lost. You should not expect the company that you registered your domain name with to call you. They won’t.

Each year you should check the status of your domain name. Have some sort of system to remind you such as a tickler file or an email alert. When you check on your domain name you may want to check to see if there are other domain extensions available such as .net or .mobi. You may not want to use these names right now, but they are inexpensive, so it’s worth buying them.

Be sure to register your domain name with a reliable company. Also, make it easy on yourself and consider registering it with your hosting company. Our hosting company’s main business is hosting. Registering domain names is a value added service. It may cost a few dollars more to register the domain name with them, but the convenience of having all the information at one location is extremely valuable. We are able to go into our hosting account information and on the dash board see when the domain names expire.

Your domain name is a valuable asset to your company. The age of a domain name also plays into rankings for search engines. Just image if you lost your domain name and everything you will have to do to change it or the cost of trying to get it back. Consider the cost of reprogramming your site, reprinting everything that has your domain name and not to mention any online ads you have running. Losing your domain name will cost you thousands of dollars and could be the most costly Internet marketing blunder you make.