When a company advertises in media that requires the viewer to visit the company’s website subsequent to seeing the advertisement (like television, radio, newspaper, billboards…etc), it’s important that the company own potential typo domain names. People have a short memory, especially when they are doing other things, and there is strong potential for them to type-in the wrong domain name.
In the middle of writing an article, I happened to hear a commercial for Stanley Steemer, a carpet cleaning company. Because I have been thinking about getting a 8×10 rug cleaned, I visited the website a few minutes after the commercial. When I typed in StanleySteamer.com (assuming it was “steamer” for steam cleaning), I was redirected to StanleySteemer.com, the correct domain name.
It goes without saying, but it’s smart to forward the typo to the proper address. I have seen a few companies not do this (or own the generic name and not forward that to their brand), and I have also seen companies who don’t forward the non-www to their correct address. It’s even a smarter move by Stanley Steemer to own this obvious typo, because Google’s Keyword Tool shows a significant amount of searches. Many companies don’t think about buying the typo until it’s too late, and the company was smart to do it (although I would have recommended to spend a few dollars extra on StanlySteamer.com and StanlySteemer.com despite just a few searches for those terms).
When a visitor intends to visit a particular company and types in the domain name, this is high value traffic because the visitor knows what he wants and where to get it. Should the company not own the typo and a cybersquatter has it (in the case of a trademark typo), the company will have to pay to get this traffic forwarded via PPC link. The company will usually end up paying much more in PPC advertising than they would for the domain name.
This is an important subject that most businesses do not practice as part of their marketing strategy. I’m sometimes baffled at the corporate mentality, they just don’t get it and/or dismiss it as a petty issue. The point being, they’re missing on the sale, possibly to the competition. Always happy to see the few companies who do.
Excellent post, Elliot.
“I would have recommended to spend a few dollars extra on StanlySteamer.com and StanlySteemer.com despite just a few searches for those terms”
Just as defensive registrations it would be worth spending the $16.
“It’s even a smarter move by Stanley Steemer to own this obvious typo
Its quite amusing and ironic that in this case Steamer is a typo of Steemer.
Good point Elliot and one that is not brought-up nearly enough. This happened to me just the other day. I heard an ad on a local LA station and immediately went to the site on my iPhone.
Unfortunately the site I went to was a car dealer somewhere in the Caribbean. I tried a few more spellings but was never able to find the actual site they advertised.
I doubt I’m the only person that made this mistake so I’m sure they’re losing a lot of potential customers from this.
Excellent article. Now push this article to marketing firms and corporate marketing directors. It’s a no brainer, which means if a company doesn’t follow your advice, they have no brains.
Just like your marketing move on elliotblog.com
Again, great suggestion
This is a bit like naming your child… His name may be “Robert”…but, everyone will call him “Bob”.. so, get both domain names.
I’d place this issue on the same level of importance as having (if you are lucky to own them) your industry’s generic term(s), in this case maybe :
If you happen to NOT own the generic term(s), and this is the case most companies will probably be in, then having a well planned naming and “referencing” strategy for your company is even more critical.
I have been asked before: Well, How many of them (domains)?
At the end it probably gets to a budget issue but it ALSO has to be accompanied with making / having and executing a GREAT “Internet Presence Strategic Plan” for your company which contemplates most of the different scenarios on how people will reach you, either on purpose or by “mis-haps”.
Bear in mind that this plan not only should reference the web itself, but also e-mail addresses , your Twitter nickname, your LinkedIn page, your Facebook page… and the list may be endless!.. What do you want to use with your company?
It is not just getting a “nice sounding” name anymore.
Kind regards from Mexico City.