Don’t Gamble Away Your Brand Name: Buy Domain Names and Hold ‘Em

How valuable is your brand name?

You may think you’re not a gambling person, but if you don’t own all your brand’s top level domain names, you’re sitting at the table, and throwing away all your aces. You could take a bit of advice from The Gambler

If you’re gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right

Value can be fixed based on transactions, visits to your website and sales history. But a brand has value which extends beyond mere monetary transactions.

When you purchase your domain name for your brand, did you purchase every variable for it? If you only purchased one variant of it, you may be “out of aces” and leaving your business vulnerable to brand exploitation. As an example, no one would be better one than Ted Cruz*.

Don’t let your brand name be hijacked

Ted Cruz announced that he is running for President as a Republican candidate. His conservative stance upsets many on the left and in the middle. Opponents of his candidacy took advantage of available domain names related to the candidate’s brand/name. And It didn’t take them long to get busy with mischief. Because the Cruz campaign didn’t purchase these domains, there is now a bit of PR kerfuffle for the team to pay attention to when they probably would rather be working on other aspects of their candidate’s campaign.

The mischief makers redirected the domains they purchased (which should have been purchased by Cruz and his campaign long ago) to websites which are antithetical to Cruz’s platform and stated views.

  • readyforcruz.org is redirected to plannedparenthood.org
  • tedcruz.com has a message in support of President Obama
  • tedcruzforamerica.com is redirected to healthecare.gov

Anyone can purchase a domain name.

Back in the height of the housing bubble in 2006, homeowners who were disgusted with their homes constructed by a major national volume homebuilder, purchased a domain that was negative towards that homebuilder. They posted a website at that domain declaring for all the world how much they hated their homes and the builder. Even today,

  • www.kb-homesucks.com is still proclaiming for all to see how much these homeowners hate the builder.
  • www.kbhomesleak.com obviously states certain owner’s dissatisfaction.

Go beyond .com

When you purchase your brand’s domain name, purchase all available variants of it that you can afford. Include .com, .net, .org, .biz, .us and more. While you may never use these domain names to refer to a website, you don’t want to leave yourself vulnerable to pranksters or even competitors who decide to hijack your good brand and use it for their benefit.

As Kenny Rogers sang, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em.”


*We are not stating any partisanship nor support for any candidate by authoring this post. We are merely using this situation as a teachable moment for all business owners.

Go Mobile Now or Risk Google Search Rank

 

Go mobile now

According to MarketingCharts.com In the United States, “three of every four US mobile subscribers aged 13 and older owned a smartphone during the 3-month period ending in December 2014.” The data comes from a comScore study published February 9, 2015.

People are using mobile devices to search and interact with websites in increasing numbers. In 2014 Google announced that mobile friendly websites would be denoted in search results.

MobileSearchResults

On February 26, 2015, Google announced that as of April 21, 2015 the search engine will be, “expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.” It won’t be long before Google begins demoting sites which aren’t mobile friendly in rankings in favor of those sites which are mobile friendly.

Google will do this because the search dominator wants to serve consumers useful, helpful information that works for them. That is Google’s first and highest priority. Everything they do regarding search ranking is based on websites’ meeting this criteria. In the past sites which contained malware, or poor content have been demoted. We have seen the same for sites which have backlinks to poor quality websites. Now we will begin to see the same loss of rank for sites which aren’t mobile compatible.

Google’s tools

Google provides tools to use to determine if your site is mobile friendly. If a site is mobile compatible, the tool displays an emulation of how the site appears and a message that the site is mobile friendly.

Facebook-google mobile compatibility test

If the site is not mobile friendly, this is what you’ll see:

Not mobile friendly

The results of sites which aren’t mobile friendly are detailed in the results.

If your site is not mobile friendly, what should you do?

In order that your firm’s site rank well in Google search results after April, you must upgrade your site to one which is mobile compatible. That means you can update the site with a new responsive theme, or add a separate mobile only site. Of these solutions, we favor a responsive site which conforms to devices.

You can make your site mobile compatible with software, which is acceptable, but is not quite as good a solution as a site which is natively responsive and conforms to the device.

Learn more by reading Google’s guide to creating mobile friendly websites.

Need help creating a mobile friendly site? Contact us.

Holly Herrick’s Website Refresh Launched

Author launches new, fresh site

Over the last four years we’ve had the privilege of working with Charleston cookbook author, food writer and blogger Holly Herrick.

Holly has been extremely busy over the last years authoring a number of new cookbooks. In the past several months, she’s focused much of her writing on exploring Charleston with insider insights and things to see and do in our town.

Holly Herrick Cookbook Author Food Blogger and Writer

Responsive site focuses on content

To support her expanded writings, Holly wanted a more contemporary, responsive site that was as fresh as her inventive recipes. Working in conjunction with Holly, we reviewed what she liked and didn’t like in websites, discussed her hopes for the new site and got busy designing a new look and feel, using her brand identity previously created by Jay Fletcher.

The new site provides a magazine format home page which allows users to jump into the site’s content based on their interests. It also updates Holly’s brand with a new sassy tagline and approach.

We thank Holly for allowing us to support her on her professional journey. We’re looking forward to more tasty adventures as Holly leads us on new explorations of Charleston and the Lowcountry.


If you would like to see your website updated with a new, responsive theme, give us a call. You’ll find our facelifts are far less uncomfortable than those from a plastic surgeon and a whole lot more fun!