As a company grows and expands on a global scale, many international needs must be addressed. How does your website evolve globally? Do you keep one website or do you create localized variations? How do you store your managed translations with your product information? How do you improve your global web presence? In this series, we will help you address these issues.
As your brand expands globally, determining your global web strategy is equally important as protecting your brand name through domain names.
One obstacle you might encounter is called domain squatting. Domain squatting is when someone registers domain names belonging to brands or companies for malicious reasons. In most cases, they will sit on the domain name and ransom it off. Many times, companies will pay in order to bypass a difficult legal process. Other times, these issues can be resolved through ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), but it tends to be a long and sometimes expensive process to take domains away from domain squatters.
Most companies immediately reserve their brand’s .com domain extension, but they often forget other country specific domains related to their brand. Some examples of global domain extensions include:
.au = Australia
.cn = China
.eu = European Union
.fr = France
.de = Germany
.mx / .com.mx = Mexico
.ru = Russia
.uk / .co.uk = United Kingdom / North Ireland
A high volume of global domain extensions can be registered through big-name registrars such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions. For some countries, you may have to use a local country specific option – for example, HostingIreland.ie, for Ireland. Make sure you do your research when choosing a registrar as you’ll want to make sure you find the best-priced solution for your business.
Another option to protect your brand online is to register your brand names with the Trademark Clearinghouse. The Trademark Clearinghouse allows you to register your brand or company name and gives you priority in registering top level domain extensions as they go through the early sunrise phase when they are first released. They will also notify you if any of your registered trademarks are registered domains. Your global strategy will dictate what domain extensions should be your priority.
To save yourself some grief, you should seriously consider making this a priority to stay ahead of your global expansion. If you don’t keep up with global domain extensions, you’ll likely be dealing with a long and expensive process to acquire the necessary domains as your brand grows globally.
To learn more about globalizing your website, download our E-Book, Expanding your Web Presence on an International Level, through the form below.