Whether you like it or not, your name is, in fact, a brand. It’s what people use to identify you when deciding to business, at least when it comes to doing business online, and it’s what they will use in order to search out positive or negative Reviews about your online Business. Therefore the very definition of a brand.
So your name falls under brand protection for sure. It’s something you should be taking care of from day one. So let me ask you this. Do you own your name online?
By that I mean, are you doing whatever you can do own every aspect of your personal name and company name online?
Let me go over a few points here and you’ll understand a little more clearly.
First, do you own all the domain names that are associated with you and your company? The ‘www’ for your personal name and your company name, as well as common misspellings? How about nicknames and product names associated with you and your company? Do people call you Josh instead of Joshua, yet you don’t own the “Josh” version domain of your first and last name?
Brand Protection in the Online World: What’s the best domain for a business
The reason I ask this particular question is that it’s super important. Even if you never intend to build these into real websites, you really don’t want someone else owning the names and someday building them into a website. What if you were a consultant and someone that disliked you decided to register the .net version of your name, only to put horrible negative information about you on the pages? Even worse, what if they decided to build it into a hate site so that those things were associated with your name when potential clients did a search for your name. Ugly, huh?
But real world, and it’s happening all the time. Owning every possible variation of your domains is simply some insurance to stop others from building damaging websites on those domains.
Now, if you take it a step further, you can actually build those sites out and go a step further in regard to actually owning your name online. What I mean by that is, if done correctly, you can build a slew of mini websites on those domains and rank individually for each one. That way, when anyone does a search for your name or your company name, they see a results page at Google filled with results that were generated by you. In essence, you control what they see when it comes to the search results surrounding you and your company.
This is proactive web reputation management at it’s best. Owning the results before there is ever a problem. There may never actually be a problem, but if there ever was, you would already be prepared for the attacks by owning most of the search results surrounding your names.
Now, let’s get even more into this theme, and see if you are really protecting what’s yours. How about other names you hold near and dear? Like your wife, your husband, or your children’s names. Do you own those domains as well? If you don’t, you should.
We had a client not too far back that had this very problem. An angry ex-customer had actually built a horribly malicious website on a domain that contained his daughter’s name. Her friends at school had found the website, as well as super nasty stuff about her, her dad, and her whole family. All in an effort to lash out against her father who happened to own a business.
Ugly stuff. But again, real world and happening every day around you.
Ultimately, you need to own your names in the search engine result pages. If you are not sure how to go about building a web reputation management plan contact me.