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was going to write about marketing and customer retention when we had a meeting to discuss the number of our clients who leave their domain registrations very late, and almost too late.

Your domain for your website is a tremendous gift at only $44 for two years.

For that amount you can buy 12-13 cappuccinos, so it represents great value.

Remember your domain is used by Google to rank your site, and becomes known to clients and is a basis for advertising campaigns on letterhead, business cards, car signs, emails and other corporate image material. If you lose the right to that domain, which is only a lease for two years, and it is transferred to another person, you have lost a tremendous amount of investment and support for your company, brand and corporate image and referencing.

Why would you leave your domain registration so late after you have been notified about renewing it, if it packs such a high value in terms of investment, online presence, is the basis of recognized Google ranking, and costs so little?

To emphasise the point more strongly. What would Yahoo do if it lost its domain name? What would Car Sales do if they lost their domain name, and were unable to retrieve it for a further two-year lease?

When domain sites are sold for up to $800,000, and those associated with core businesses bring millions of dollars, those in SME organisations should take note and put the valuation of the domain site in our e-world as their highest priority after, or alongside their brand name. The truth is that most of them don’t, and it becomes a last minute item that we have to try to retrieve for them when the truth of what they will lose suddenly dawns on them.

Imagine having to re-brand your website in the e-world with a new domain name, re-brand and re-sign everything in your business, contact all your clients, suppliers etc., and relay a new domain name, go through the process of optimizing and gaining a ranking for your site with Google – all because you couldn’t get around to renewing a $44 domain fee for a whole two-year business period.

Remember, we have no rights as a hosting company, to the domain either. When it is gone, we are unable to retrieve it for you. This goes for support domains as well that play a major role in directing traffic, creating competitive space, and assisting through landing pages and fighting brand sites for alternative or discounted products or services.

We frankly can’t understand this attitude, given that we spend the “hard yards” assisting new excited clients to try to claim great domain names.

In the future, getting a good domain name will become as difficult as buying the best property in Melbourne or Sydney. Frankly, we are running out of good domain names, so if you have a good one, and you have invested in your domain, protect it and hang on to it at all costs. Welcome the reminder, and pay up quickly.

When you sell in our dynamic e-world in the future, the domain name will be an important part of your online presence that will create a good percentage of the value of your business. It is therefore part of your treasure chest or wealth creation for the future, especially if it also contains any brand names or corporate/ trading names which as far as possible, you should have encapsulated in at least one domain name.

David Higginbottom

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