With all the issues you have to think about regarding internet marketing, sometimes it is the smallest of details that turns into the biggest problem. One of those small details is website typosquatting, which occurs when someone registers a domain name with similarities to your domain name for the sole purpose of confusing internet users and getting your traffic to come to them. For example, if you own the .com suffix of a website, someone else would register the .net suffix for that same website or a very similar domain that is different than your domain only by a letter or two. In other words, website sniping is an indirect form of stealing your name and clients if the intent to do so is present.
Typosquatting is a very real problem for websites and something you should be very aware of. Many websites and even brick and mortar businesses have fallen victim to typosquatting, failing to register domain names similar to what they have registered.
Fortunately, preventing website sniping is not very difficult. Lawfully, you can register your website name as a trademark in order to prevent other people from registering the same domain name with different suffixes.
However, a cheaper way to prevent website sniping is to register the similar domain names yourself. Registering a domain name is only a few dollars, and it is likely well worth the money in order to prevent someone from stealing your visitors. Be sure to register the .net form of your domain name at the very least, and also brainstorm other ways in which potential customers could confuse your domain such as adding an “s” at the end or replacing one of the words in your domain with another word that sounds similar.
This whole process seems unimportant, but it can prevent future headaches.
Seth Trachtman is a Web Marketing Account Manager for The Net Impact Web Design St. Louis.