Recently one of my clients was confronted with a problem no business owner thinks of when their naming their company.

Problem: What to do when another company has your website name and you realize your competing online?

Here are the steps you can take to protect your brand equity when you find yourself in the similar predicament.

Step 1: First thing you need to do is breathe and relax. Just because their may be someone using your name or similar name online, they do not infringe on your rights unless you have already trademarked your name. If you have that’s another discussion, we’ll save for another article. But as you do own the .com I would suggest you see a lawyer and register the actual business name in as many jurisdictions as possible. Also bearing in mind that registering in the US, is different than Europe, the Caribbean and all other jurisdictions so rights typically begin and end where a border ends.

Step 2: Contact your hosting provider Secondly, you should contact your hosting provider and ensure you have the rights to your .com for at least 5 years or longer. Which protects you from having to re-register your .com name every year.

Also ensure you have your email notifications set to a valid email account you check regularly. As we’ve seen before where a client’s registration had expired, and they had lost their domain name and had to purchase it back from an auction for thousands of dollars. And nobody wants to be in that predicament, just because they didn’t have a dedicated person monitoring their domain name registrations.

Finally sign up for the privacy block, which typically only costs a few extra dollars per month. This will inhibit anybody from finding out who owns your domain name. This is important as it will reduce your chances of getting harassed or approached to sell your domain name or even potentially scammed.

Step 3: SEO Optimization Third once you do launch your website I would also suggest paying a little extra and getting some SEO optimization done. SEO optimization is an important step, as this helps your website to be found when potential customers are searching online for items you may sell, make or distribute. Also during the optimization don’t forget to give your SEO ninja, a listing of key words that your potential clients will be using to find your website.

Step 4: Social Media Links  If you have any social media channels that are directly related to your business, this is the time to add them. The more prevalent social media channels are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Don’t feel the pressure to have all, as part of your website.

If you have one channel that you manage really well, and it is pertinent to your business, I suggest linking that channel. Managing one channel well is much more important, than having many channels that haven’t been updated in ages. And don’t make the mistake, of mixing a personal account with business that a big faux pas.

Step 5:Why a blog is an important feature Lastly , after you publish your website, also let the designer attach a blog to it, as this allows your site to remain relevant as you publish new articles. If your website is built on a wordpress or squarespace platform adding a blog tab is very easy.

The blog is important as it keeps your site relevant for the search engines when new content is added frequently. Nonetheless, while blogging may not be your forte, don’t be afraid to enlist the aid of an awesome ghost writer, as you can commission them to write 3-4 articles at a time, for a relatively modest price.

Interested in learning more about protecting your brand equity and making your business come alive?

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About the Author : Fabian is a brand strategist with over 20 years of marketing and creative experience working with companies in a variety of industries such as liquor, retail, food, government and finance.  His strategy involves learning your business from the inside out and providing a bespoke plan to achieve your designated objectives. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business grow.

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