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.