Prospective domain buyers often ask if I’ve also got other relevant extensions, such as the .com version of a .com.au domain and vice versa.
For example, I’m currently negotiating a five figure sale for a bundle of four domains that include .com.au and .com domains for a particular term.
Being able to offer a ‘brand in a box’ is great, but of course it’s not practical or possible to secure all the relevant extensions or variations of terms across your whole domain portfolio. If you try to ‘cover your bases’ across hundreds or thousands of domains, your costs will quickly skyrocket.
I buy complementary domains very selectively. On rare occasions I also secure the Twitter handle, but I don’t bother with any other social media accounts. A recent example is ‘Aussie Cover’. I bought AussieCover.com.au, AussieCover.com and I also grabbed the Twitter handle. I’m a big fan of domains in the insurance space, so I think it was worth my time and money.
Another tactic that I often use is to acquire variations of a term, such as WhiskyBar.com.au and TheWhiskyBar.com.au or KitchenwareShop.com.au and KitchenwareStore.com.au. I reiterate though, it’s very important to be selective!
I don’t just buy supporting domains for investment purposes, this is something I’ve also been doing for my own businesses for a long time. I know first-hand how beneficial it is to have brand coverage across the key domain extensions. For example, I bought the .com version of my main business name (The Lucky Country) early this year. This means that I don’t have to worry about people ending up at the wrong place, as the .com version forwards to my website hosted on the .com.au domain. I’ve also got email forwarding setup, so if someone leaves the ‘.au’ bit off the end of the email address – the email will still get to my inbox. Having both the .com and .com.au domains also means that I can just say the name of my business, I don’t need to say “dot com dot au” at the end.
For .com.au domain investment, the only other extension worth securing is the .com equivalent; if it’s available and if it’s reasonably priced.
However, if you’re running a business on a .com.au domain, then in addition to securing the .com equivalent, you could also get other extensions such as .net and .org. If you’re planning to operate in overseas markets at some point, then you could also buy domains in other country extensions, such as .co.nz (and .nz) and .co.uk (and .uk). Locally, you can also cover your bases with a .net.au domain (and potentially .au in the future). I only have a very small number of .net.au domains and most of those are for brand protection – it’s not a great extension for investment.
I used to buy .net, .org and some other extensions for brand protection by default (when attainable), but my approach has changed and I don’t buy as many other extensions now. With all the ‘new gTLDs’ coming onto the market, the range of extensions has exploded – prompting many businesses to reassess their brand protection strategies.
There are lots of variations that could be covered depending on the term, such as: singular and plural; ‘shop’ and ‘store’; adding ‘the’ at the front; and common misspellings.
Variations should only be purchased if the main term/domain is a very good one and the variation domain(s) will add some value as part of a bundle or have value in their own right. Of course if you’re running a business, then variations can be also be important for brand protection.
I only buy misspellings if they’re very common (often for domains that fail ‘the radio test’) or for brand protection. I’ve only got a handful of these domains and would not recommend buying misspellings unless absolutely necessary.
Social media accounts
In my experience, it has been very rare for a buyer to ask about matching social media handles, so I don’t bother with this very often at all. The time required to manage my domain portfolio and marketplace is already quite significant, so I need to allocate my time to those activities that will provide the greatest return.