Protect Your Domain Investment: Avoid Trademark Infringement

December 3rd, 2014

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Experienced domainers, or domain investors, will tell you that one of the most critical mistakes to avoid when buying a domain name is to purchase or register a name that could be flagged for trademark infringement. Domain names that might be construed to infringe on trademarks are not only bad business, they may, in fact, cost you thousands in legal fees and damages.

To cite an example: DC Comics, creators of the Superman series previously filed a domain dispute against the party who had registered and owned the domain “ManofSteel.com”. “ManofSteel.com” had not been developed, and was likely a parked page (displaying ads and search links).

DC Comics trademarked “Man of Steel” in 1999. The trademarked status of “Man of Steel” was considered grounds to award DC Comics the domain. The domain owner did not dispute transfer of the domain to DC Comics. In a case where the domain is simply taken the infringing domain owner may be getting off lightly: courts have been known to award plaintiffs up to $100,000 per domain name violation.

The lesson? Conduct your due diligence before buying a domain name: ensure that the name you select does not infringe on any trademarks. Visit: www.uspto.gov/main/profiles/acadres.htm for more information.  Likewise, when starting a new business, explore trademark protection for your business and domain name(s)—register it through the US Patent and Trademark Office.

When you buy a premium domain from BuyDomains, you can be assured that we conduct due diligence with respect to trademarks before offering a name for sale. This process can help to alleviate concerns regarding potential trademark issues.

7 Steps to Buying the Best Available Domain Name

November 14th, 2014

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The first step in establishing an online business is to find the best available domain name to purchase.  In addition to being your online address, domains can also significantly impact your overall marketing success including SEO, PPC and direct website traffic, therefore one should be very carefully selected.

Here are some suggestions for finding and choosing the best available domain name.

Step 1: Choose a domain name that is easy to remember

Catchy. Short. Memorable. These are the characteristics of a high quality domain name.  If the domain is not easy to spell or remember, chances are that you will miss out on a lot of web traffic as many internet users type domains directly into their browsers to pull up websites.  Easy to recall means easy traffic to your site.

Step 2: Choose a keyword-rich domain name

Domains containing keywords tend to perform very well in search engine results. Try to incorporate one of your target keywords into your domain name for an SEO boost.  Also, a recent study indicates that domains with keywords enjoy a higher click through rate and lower costs in PPC ads. A keyword-rich domain can be an investment that pays off many times over.

Step 3: Consider including geo-terms in your domain name

Just like including a keyword in your domain helps your website perform better in organic and paid search results, including a location-based term in your domain increases the chance that you will appear in search results including the local qualifier.  Googling “boston pizza”, for example, brings up the domain bostonpizza.com as the #1 organic search result.

Step 4: Make sure there’s no copyright infringement

Avoid disappointment and potential monetary penalties from the get go– check the United States Patent and Trademark Office (http://www.uspto.gov/) to make sure no one else owns the rights to your preferred domain name.

Step 5: Search for your name!

Use a domain finder tool like the one here at BuyDomains.com. You can narrow your search by keyword, by domain extension, by location, and other parameters to find the domain that best suits you. The beauty of buying a domain is that it is a one time investment that is then yours for life (as long as you keep your registration active).

If you find that your perfect domain name is taken, consider looking for an alternate name that is similar or again search BuyDomains.com for keywords that are similar.

Step 6: Choose a .com Domain

.com will probably always be the first domain extension people type in when searching directly for a domain. It’s the original domain for commercial websites and is the most widely used and registered.

Step 7: Buy multiple domain extensions – protect your brand

If resources allow, it is important to purchase other extensions of your domain (.net, .org, etc.) to protect your brand. This way you own the online real estate associated with your brand/company and you can point all the different extensions right back to the site of your main domain.

3 Steps to Creating Loyal Customers

November 5th, 2014

How to ensure that your customers aren’t going anywhere.

Every business owner should know that the lifetime value of a returning customer is far greater than the value of a new customer. While acquiring new customers presents the opportunity for you to increase your lifetime customers, it’s important that you prioritize your energy appropriately. Of course you can pour resources into attracting new customers and working to make them happy, but you must not forget the customers that you have already won over.

Instead of focusing solely on new customer acquisition, take advantage of your current customers, who can be converted to lifetime customers in a few simple steps.

Justify Your Price

From the customer perspective, price is one of the most important variables in their purchasing decisions. If competitors all offer the same product, with no differentiating factor, their decision will come down to price, focusing their loyalty on whichever brand offers the best discount. Instead of relying on a price war to determine your customer’s loyalty, try justifying your price and differentiating your brand. Even if your price is higher than others, customers can be convinced to spend more on the right product.

Excel in Customer Service

The easiest way to drive a paying customer away is to treat them poorly when they are looking for help. Whether you are ignoring their requests, or avoiding their problems, you risk losing a customer if you aren’t available to solve their problems with your product. In order to keep your customers happy and coming back, it’s essential that you excel in your delivery of customer service.

Evolve With Your Customers

Having faithful product following is great, but what happens when your product becomes a thing of the past? Instead of giving up and letting your customers find the latest product, try evolving with your customers’ needs. If you know that your product has had its moment and customers are searching for the next great product, keep their business by offering a new product extension, or repackaging your product to encourage a new excitement.

Want a Four-Letter Dot-Com Name?

October 23rd, 2014

4 letter dot coms

According to research done by WhoAPI.com in 2013, there are no four letter .com domain names available to purchase under primary registration.  Also known as LLLL.com names, these domains are often sought out by business owners and domain investors, as the letters are typically used as short hand for business names, and provide owners with an easier way to be found online.

Some letter combinations are considered premium (a, b, d, and e, for example), while letters like q, z, and y and z are less valuable due to their popularity in the English language.   All in all there are 456,976 potential combinations of LLLL.com names, and all have been registered by individuals or investors.

The good news is that BuyDomains has over 35,000 4 letter .com names available for sale, including 20,000 .com names, 12,500 .net names, and more.  Four letter domain names have proven to hold their value over time, and pay for themselves many times over.

Contact us at 866-836-6791 (US) or +1 339-222-5147 (Worldwide) to secure yours today!

 

Top 5 Domain Buying Mistakes

October 17th, 2014

domain mistake blog

When starting a new business or venture, selecting a new domain name is a necessity. In fact, the right domain name has gone from being a nice-to-have, to an essential ingredient that can impact the success or failure of your marketing efforts.

Learn from these mistakes so that the name you choose for your domain is a successful one.

1. You’re trying to be too cool

Didn’t your mother ever tell you to “just be yourself”? Sure there are some very alluring naming trends out there today, such as dropping the “e” on names like Flickr or Tumblr.  A trendy domain name might sound cutting-edge today but in a few years’ time it will immediately sound dated. And, in the meantime, it can cause confusion. Even Flickr had to buy Flicker.com. Think about your naming selection like fashion and don’t brand your company with the acid-wash jean equivalent of domain names.

2. Your domain name is way too long

This one should be obvious but with a lot of factors at play it can be a challenge: you want your domain name to mirror your business name, but also provide insight into what your business does, to not be confused with competitors, etc.  This is the cardinal rule of domain name selection; the longer your domain name, the more likely a person is to forget the address, make a mistake when typing it in or give up and not even attempt to remember the name.

3. Your name has numbers or hyphens

Trying to get the perfect domain name can be a challenge, and it may seem like the addition of hyphens or numbers would be the solution, but picture this: you’re networking at a swanky cocktail party and telling a new colleague to go check out your business. If your domain name includes hyphens or irrelevant numbers, it can be a real mouthful to communicate. And it also sends a distinct message about the credibility (or lack thereof) of your business.

4. You chose words that are difficult to remember or spell

Even if your preferred domain name doesn’t include words that would classify them for a spelling bee final, think about the more common areas of confusion.  Words with “ie” or “ei” in them often get misspelled so avoid it if you can…also make sure to buy the domains of the most common misspellings.

5. You didn’t consider how it reads without spaces or capitalization

There are countless examples of how domain names can go wrong. Look at your perspective domain name without capitals, without those nice spaces that define each word to the next. Make sure you’re not accidentally sending a very embarrassing inappropriate message!  Here’s a PG-rated example of how this can go terribly wrong: a tourism company focusing on Spain called “Choose Spain”. If they purchase an exact-match of their domain name, it could easily be read as ChoosesPain.com. Needless to say, that website no longer exists.

Avoid these domain name pitfalls and you’ll set your new business up for online marketing success! BuyDomains has the largest inventory of high-quality, brandable domain names available for sale.  To find a domain that’s right for you, just search BuyDomains.com.

I Bought a Domain, Now What?…5 Tips for the Domain Owner Newbie!

September 25th, 2014

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Have you ever thought about purchasing a domain but are unsure about what to do once it’s in your ownership? Here, we are going to break down the top 5 next steps to domain ownership and development.

1)      Check your Domain Expiration Date: Every domain has to be registered from year to year; you can go ahead and buy multiple years of registration (up to 10 years) at any one time. You will want to ensure you keep your registration current otherwise you risk letting it lapse and losing the ownership rights to the domain, so we recommend buying registration in bulk!

 

2)      Find a Hosting Company: If you are planning to develop the domain into a website you will need a hosting provider. A hosting provider is the company that you use to get your domain online and populating to a website. Most often your registrar will have hosting options available to you and there are hundreds of hosting companies out there too.

 

3)      Setup Social Media Accounts: Secure the Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin handles for your new domain immediately.  In the long run this will help when you are ready to start your marketing efforts and it will enable opportunities to brand your new domain.

 

4)      Purchase other TLDs: Once you purchase your domain, you will want to purchase subsequent domains that are the same but with a different TLD. (Example: You purchase cats.com, you will then want to go out and purchase cats.net, .org, .biz, etc…) This will help you when your site is live because you can then use these other extensions to redirect traffic right back to your original domain purchase.  Also you will then be the sole owner of that domain name once you buy up all the other extensions, eliminating any competitors and ensuring your customers do not get confused.

 

5)      Park Your Domain: Maybe you buy the domain but are not able to use it right away; this is where parking would come in handy. You can park your domain at a parking company and potentially earn revenue just for pointing your domain to the parking DNS (Domain Name Servers).  This in turn will help you build traffic to your domain and develop an online existence.

Want to Own Your Domain Name for Life?

September 16th, 2014

domain for life

Our customers who are interested in owning their domain name for life are pleased to hear that when a premium domain is purchased, they own it forever.  However there is one very important caveat: the domain owner must maintain the domain’s registration.  Fortunately, domain registration is inexpensive and easy to keep up to date.  In fact, most registrars offer the option of multi-year registration, and also send automatic expiration alerts well before your domain registration expires, which makes maintaining registration easy.

Your premium domain purchase is an investment.  There are many attributes to names that BuyDomains sells every day that make it a valuable asset, including memorability, its short length, its strong TLD (like .com, or .net), and other characteristics that contribute to its value.

Domains have various registration status codes that range from “active” to “pending delete”.  It’s very important to maintain an active status. If you don’t maintain registration for your domain name, the registrars can change your domain’s status and eventually delete them.  For example, if your domain status has slipped to “registrar-hold”, it is possible to re-acquire your name, but much more costly and complicated than simply maintaining registration.

Here are the two most important things you can do to maintain your domain registration, and protect your investment by insuring ownership for life.

  • Select multi-year registration when you initially register your domain name, or when you review your domain name registration.
  • Make sure your contact information stays up to date with your registrar to insure you receive the renewal alerts.

Follow these easy guidelines and enjoy that domain name for a many years to come.

Domain Name Myths and Misconceptions

September 3rd, 2014

 

 

At BuyDomains.com, we talk to thousands of customers; from first time entrepreneurs to savvy web developers.  Over the years, we’ve noticed some common myths about the domain purchasing process and domain ownership. To help dispel these, we are clearing up the 4 most common misconceptions:

 

All the good domain names are taken

It’s true that hundreds of millions of domain names have already been registered: 276 million to be exact (as of March 2014). But don’t lose hope! Millions of the domains that have been previously registered are licensed one year at a time, so they are destined to expire and become available again. Or, like any other asset, a domain owner may decide to sell the domain name on the secondary market or through a domain broker.

 

I own the domain name so I have the legal rights to that name

While a domain name may be available for purchase, that doesn’t mean that the copyrights or brand trademark is purchased along with the domain name.  It is best to take precautions to ensuring that the name you choose does not infringe upon any existing trademark. If you are unsure, seeking legal advice is always recommended.

 

Since I bought the .com, I don’t have to worry about anyone being able to use the other extensions.

Not true.  As a rule of thumb, when you go to register a domain name, you can protect your brand by also purchasing domain names similar to your main name. For example, if abc.com is available, you should also consider purchasing abc.net and abc.org if you can.  In addition to brand protection this will also help to eliminate any confusion amongst your customers.

 

All I have to do is buy a domain name, and then I am ready to start posting on my website. 

Purchasing a domain name is a critical first step, but to begin your website, there are crucial steps to take:

  1. 1. Register the name with a registrar (think GoDaddy or Register.com). Purchasing the name itself is just one step, you must also submit the name to be registered with an ICANN accredited registrar.  Despite what a lot of people think, a domain reservation alone will not give you access to post web pages.
  2. 2. Select a hosting plan. A web host connects your new domain name to the internet, providing space for your website to operate.
  3. 3. Though not a necessity, you may also want to consider additional features such as a dedicated IP address and a private SSL certificate to help protect customer data and establish yourself as a trustworthy site.
  4. 4. Design your website.
  5. 5. Launch!

 

Your website is often the first and most important impression you’ll make with potential customers.  Acquiring a reputable, memorable domain name is the first and most important step to getting a business or organization online.

Search through our inventory to find the premium domain name of your dreams.

How does your domain name affect page rankings in today’s search landscape?

August 6th, 2014

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Did you know that Google uses more than 200 factors in their algorithm to help them evaluate your website for their rankings?  These factors play a key role as to how your website will be ranked, and ultimately appear in searches conducted by your customers.   It’s important to know what Google values today in websites, so that you can optimize your site and tailor your marketing strategies to attract more customers.

Your domain name plays a role in several of the 200 factors that Google considers.  Here are a few of the ways that a premium domain name may help your search rankings, and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.

Keyword in Domain Name- While keywords in the domain name don’t weigh as heavily as they have in the past when EMDs- or Exact Match Domains-  were popular, Google looks for words in your domain name that will give them clues as to how relevant your site is.

Exact Match Domains- While we are on the subject, EMDs are only beneficial if they are high quality exact matches. What is considered a high-quality Exact Match Domain?  Stay away from hyphenated, keyword-stuffed, spammy domains when you select your web address.

Public vs. Private WhoIs Information- A private WhoIs profile in itself is not an indication that your site is low quality.  There are many reasons why a company would want to privatize their information.  However several suspicious factors together may raise flags as to the type of site or business you run. If you don’t have a great reason to keep your WhoIs information private, then don’t.

Domain Name Length- Studies have shown a correlation between long length of domain name and lower search rankings for that site.   In general, shorter is better, not just to make Google happy but it’s easier for your customers to find you online.

Domain Age- It appears that, while there is not a huge difference in a domain that is six months old vs. a year, it is clear that Google does use domain age as a factor. 

 

For a list of more factors that may play a role in Google rankings, check out this article.  To find a premium domain that can propel your website in search rankings, search BuyDomains’ inventory of  high quality premium domains today.

BuyDomains has an inventory of over one million domain names, most of which are descriptive and keyword-focused.

 

5 Ways To Heat Up Your Online Marketing

July 17th, 2014

 

Often business slows down in the summer as customers and prospects take time off and go on vacation.  This slower seasonality is a great time for you to take a step back and think about ways you can improve your marketing, particularly your website, your largest digital marketing asset.  We’ve put together a list of the most impactful things you should be considering during the slower summer months that will help drive more traffic to your website, and convert this traffic into customers.

1. Secure Your Brand with Alternative TLDs: If you don’t already, it’s important to consider owning all of the domain extensions of your domain name.  For example, do you own the .com, .net, .org or any of the new TLDs that were released in 2013 and 2014?  If not, it’s a good idea to snap up as many of these variations as you can.  If you don’t own the .com yet, start researching what it would take to upgrade your domain.

Also consider buying the misspellings, alternate spellings, plural forms, and close variations of your primary domain name.  By doing this, you can be sure to retain any potentially confused visitor, as well as guard against other businesses buying and profiting from your name.

While you’re at it, do the same exercise for all social media platform handles.

2. Renew Your Domain Registration for Multiple Years: If you forget to register or re-register your premium domain name, you will most likely lose the name, and along with it the investment that you made.  Why not add years of registration to your domain name today, and protect your investment for years to come?

As an added bonus, search engines consider the length of site registration when determining a name’s domain authority and rankings in search results.

3. Verify Your Domain’s Security:  You want your customers to trust you, especially if you are collecting any personal or financial information.  Potential customers are savvy enough today to look for indications of a secure site prior to transacting.  Therefore you should make sure you have verified the following information:

  • DNS registration access rights and credentials
  • Correct and current Whois contact information
  • Registrar Locked domain status

4. Ensure Your Site is Visible in Search Results: While websites are in development, webmasters or developers often limit search engine spider access by blocking them in the robots.txt or .htaccess files, or with meta tags.  Make sure that once your site is developed and you are ready to launch, you remove these blocks so that each page on your domain can be indexed by search engines.

You should also be thinking about new ways to improve your keyword rankings, so that your website is more visible in search results.  Things like a site audit, new content, and earning quality links from other websites all contribute to your search engine optimization efforts.

5. Invest in a Premium Domain Name:  Your domain name is your first impression for both customers and search engines.  Make sure you are adhering to best practices when selecting a domain name.   It should be short and memorable, and easy for your customers to find you.

BuyDomains.com has over one million premium domains for sale.  Search our inventory today to find your perfect domain name and turn up the heat on your website marketing.