Anyone who has tried to find the right domain name for their business knows that it’s a challenge. You need to find something that’s just right, and hope no one beat you to it.
Even after you find the perfect domain, you might want to register alternates. Below we’ll look at some reasons why registering a typo of your domain could be a great business decision.
Type-in Traffic is still a Big Deal
Consumers visit your website in one of three ways. Search, Referral and Type-in.
Search traffic comes from search engines like Google and Bing. Referral traffic is when someone on another website clicks a link to your website. Type-in traffic is when people type your domain name in their browser’s address bar.
Type-in traffic can be big, especially for sites that people visit frequently or that become popular through word-of-mouth. Unfortunately, type-in traffic comes with a problem: typos.
People Sometimes Make Typos
Have you ever typed in a web address and your browser didn’t take you where you expected? It’s probably because you made a typo. You spelled the name wrong, transposed two letters, or just mistyped the domain name.
While typos have always been an issue, it’s an even bigger deal now that so much browsing is done on mobile phones. Raise your hand if you’ve never “fat fingered” something you’ve typed on a small mobile phone screen.
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
The Problem with Typo Traffic
A consumer that mistypes your domain name is a lost visitor. That’s the best case scenario.
Often, companies register the typos for competitors’ sites and forward the typos to their own website. Last year the company that makes Tile trackers sued rival TrackR, alleging that the CEO of TrackR registered ThTileApp.com and forwarded it to a site about TrackR.
Another issue is that some typos are forwarded to malware and phishing sites designed to dupe visitors looking for a known website, as well as other unwelcome content. You don’t want your brand associated with those types of online activities!
How to Find Typos
Thankfully, you can avoid losing typo traffic by investing just a little bit of time to investigate common typos of your domain name and registering them proactively. Then you can take advantage of free domain forwarding to send typo traffic back to your main website.
All of the biggest websites in the world use this tactic of registering typos and forwarding them to their websites. Visit Amazn.com or wwwApple.com and see what happens.
Missing dots, missing letters, transposed letters, “next letters” are the most common typos:
- Missing dots – as in the wwwApple.com example, a lot of people type www and forget to type a dot between it and the domain name. Namecheap owns wwwNameCheap.com and forwards it to NameCheap.com.
- Missing letters – The Amazn.com example is missing an ‘o’.
- Transposed letters – When people type fast they sometimes type letters out of order. Type Namechaep.com and see what happens.
- Next letters – This is when someone’s finger is off by one letter on the keyboard. It’s why Walmart owns Walmsrt.com–the s is one letter away from a on the keyboard.
While discovering typos is a somewhat manual process, Estibot has a tool to help you find possible typo combinations.
The annual price of domain name registrations isn’t much, so it’s worth spending a little bit extra to protect your site from lost typo traffic.
When you’re ready to register your next domain—and all the typos—be sure to check out Namecheap.com.
Andrew Allemann is editor of Domain Name Wire, the longest-running blog covering the business of domain names. Domain Name Wire has covered the business of domain name investing for over ten years.