Whether your corporation employs a straightforward strategic approach to domain name registrations, or a more proactive, approach that also encompasses defensive domain registrations, over time it’s likely that only a small number of domains in your portfolio offer true functional value to your business.
Let’s assume your firm follows best practices recommended by top domain portfolio management providers and employs a defensive registration strategy. In addition to services such as Domain Monitoring, DPML, and Trademark Clearinghouse, defensive registrations can provide value and long-term cost savings to a firm as a means of brand protection.
While they may offer no value as a website, the importance of defensive registrations as a deterrent to the misuse of domains for activities such as domain phishing, typo-squatting, and other security attacks is undeniable. When making defensive domain registrations, domain consolidation with a corporate domain registrar is highly recommended for optimal security and easy management.
Strategic registrations of branded domains in your core markets offer value as assets that can bolster marketing and promotional efforts. Unfortunately, the value provided by strategic registrations is limited to the duration and efficacy of those marketing and promotional efforts the domains are associated with.
No matter what strategy your business chooses to employ, if your business is large enough, it may find itself in a situation where the bulk of your domains in your portfolio don’t house any meaningful content for your business. Given such a scenario, what is the best course of action? Is there a way to put latent corporate domain names to beneficial use?
Different strategies for maximizing the cost-effectiveness of your domain portfolio
Reducing the volume of domains in your portfolio is certainly a viable solution to cut costs, but this doesn’t always necessarily equate to extracting more value. It can be argued that all domains carry some value, after all they were initially registered for a specific purpose – and yet, it makes sense to consider getting rid of domains that are no longer generating enough value in the form of traffic or brand protection. However, getting rid of domains isn’t that simple. A newly lapsed domain can be a prime target for domain squatters, especially if it’s ever seen use, had traffic, or relates to your brand. Letting a domain expire without wiping all important data – such as associated email addresses, social media accounts, etc. – can have serious consequences.
One of the best methods of maximizing the cost-effectiveness of your domain portfolio are domain redirects. The idea is to leverage “inactive domains” to redirect traffic to domains associated with online properties that house important content. In addition to search traffic and social media, redirects generated across your domain portfolio can function as another key source for generating traffic.
By “activating” your “inactive domains” you’ll be able to more easily determine which domains may be worth getting rid of. If a domain offers an insignificant amount of traffic, or little to no brand protection, then it may be worth eliminating. Moreover, you may find that a bunch of your previously inactive domains offer good return on investment – some may drive enough traffic to pay for themselves, or even offset a portion of your portfolio costs. While the money saved by axing ineffective domains can be reallocated within your domain budget to make more worthwhile acquisitions, relinquishing domain names comes with real security risk if it winds up in the wrong hands.
Pursuing strategic domain acquisition for redirects
The use of strategic redirects doesn’t have to be a consequence of a large portfolio with several inactive domains. The same method by which corporations identify domains that can be leveraged for promotional purposes, can be used to identify domains that can function as valuable traffic sources for your websites. There are a couple different ways of approaching this.
The most common way of leveraging redirects would be to purchase domain names for promotional purposes. For example, if your business is launching a new product, you can purchase other domains related to the product, and redirect that traffic to your main website. This is especially handy if the landing page for the new product has a complex URL. A shorter URL isn’t just easier to remember but can also go very well with promotional or advertising campaigns.
Another method of approaching domain redirects as a traffic generation strategy would be to acquire domains that target different segments within your customer base. For example, if your business provides many unique services, it might be worthwhile to acquire domains that will quickly direct people to the page that they need. For instance, if your main website is “ABCD.com”, a domain like “ABCDSupport.com” or “ABCDCorporate.com” can be used to easily direct people to the appropriate pages on your main website.
The benefits of defensive and strategic domain acquisitions are significant. In addition to the layer of brand protection domains can provide, acquiring the right domains can significantly boost the traffic to your website by giving customers an easier name to remember, and helping people find your business even when they mistype your domain. Redirects can also be leveraged to promote products and services with their own domains without having to manage an entirely separate website.
That said, there are obstacles worth considering that may affect the scale at which you choose to engage with such a strategy. Not only is it incredibly time-consuming to research and register the most effective domains across a variety of extensions for your needs in any context, but it can also be quite expensive to purchase all those domains and ensure that they have the right security measures in place. It’s also worth mentioning that intentionally misleading customers, presenting them with a user experience that is not what they expect, or any other form of irresponsible use of redirects can be significantly damaging to your brand and reputation.
Whether your business decides to leverage preexisting defensive registrations as a supplemental traffic source or chooses to acquire domains to bolster a redirection strategy, remember that this is just one of the many ways that your business can derive more value from your corporate domain portfolio. For more information about enterprise level domain management solutions, get in touch with Webnames Corporate.