Apr 28

Secure Your .au Domain Before It’s Too Late!

Don’t let someone else steal you brand

Australian website addresses have now gotten shorter with a new option to buy a ‘.au’ domain address.  This means that you can drop off the ‘.com’ and shorten your overall website address.   For example ‘r6digital.com.au’ can now become ‘r6digital.au’.  These domains are exclusively available to people who already own the equivalent .com.au domain until 20th September, but after that date they will be freely available for anyone to purchase.

For some businesses there will be some benefits to using the slightly shorter domain name but to be brutally honest – in most cases it won’t make a lot of difference for you.  Having just said that what I am saying next might seem like I am contradicting myself…

You MUST purchase your .au domain!

Wait … didn’t I just say there is limited benefit in having it?  Yes I did!

The reason you must purchase your .au domain is simple:

You may not need it but you need to be sure that no-one else has it!

Purchasing your .au domain is a defensive strategy.  

Not owning the .au domain for your website address will pose real risks to your business and for a relatively small cost it simply doesn’t make sense not to secure it.

We have all heard stories of people being charged exorbitant amounts of money trying to buy a domain name for their brand when someone else already owns it.   This could be you if you don’t secure your .au domain before anyone else can.

It’s not just that though – think about what impact it could have if your competitors got a hold of your brands .au domain?   There would be nothing stopping them from capturing traffic that goes to that domain and sending it to their website – stealing your loyal customers!   Even though these are new domains it won’t be long before people are used to the new convention and will be just as likely to type in your website address as a .au as a .com.au.

These domains are exclusively available to people who already own the equivalent .com.au domain until 20th September. 

Don’t wait on this – make sure you secure yours now.   If you are not sure how to do this please get in touch and let us help you.  

Once I have purchased my .au domain – what do I do with it?

Congratulations on securing your .au domain and keeping it out of anyone else’s hands!  The obvious question now is – what is the best thing to do with it?  The most important thing is that you do something – don’t just leave it dormant.  Anyone going to that domain is looking for you and you don’t want to lose potential customers because they think that your site is not working.

There are a few options for what you might want to do with the domain to make the most of it.

1. Redirect traffic to your current .com.au website 

You can set up your .au website address to send all traffic from there to your .com.au, making it easy for potential customers who are looking for you to find your correct domain.  This takes a bit of work to set up but is definitely worth doing.   As consumers become more accustomed to these new .au domains they will be just as likely to type your brands website address without the .com as with it and either way you want to make sure they end up in your desired location.

If this is something you are not sure on how to do, please reach out to the R6 Digital team and we will make sure it is all set up properly for you.

2. Choose to use your new domain as your main website address

If you prefer how your domain sounds without the .com you might consider moving over to that new domain.  There are a few thing that you need to consider for this change however.

Consider any integrations that you have with your website which are reliant on the domains for authentication and/or need to be reconfigured when moving over to a new domain.   For most smaller websites this might not be a problem but if you do have more complex integrations the cost of this type of move might not be worth spending.   There can also be challenges with inter-linking between pages on a website when migrated over.  This is not insurmountable but needs to be done carefully.

Secondly you must consider the search engine optimisation (SEO) impacts of moving to a new domain.  SEO strategy can be quite complex and it definitely takes an expert to effectively optimise a website to rank on Google.   There are a few key elements of this that would be negatively impacted by changing your domain and cause your website to be ranked lower in organic search (at least for a while).

A couple of the biggest ones are: 

1. Backlink profile – every relevant site that links through to your website helps you rank higher in search on Google.  If you have lots of great sites linking to your .com.au domain you will lose this when you move to a .au.

2. Domain age – Google cares about how established your website is.   There is a concept that SEO experts call the ‘Google Sandbox effect’.  It has been observed that new domains often take 6-12 months of Google indexing them before they reach their full search ranking potential.  Because of this if you intend to move your domain then it is best to do it gradually to give the new domain time to warm up.

Ultimately – if you decide that you want to make this change you need to be confident that the benefits of doing so would outweigh the potential detriment.

The bottom line

You really need to protect your brand, your customers and current website, so you MUST buy your .au domain before it gets into the hands of someone else.

To do this you can use most of your usual domain providers or have a chat with us and we can arrange to purchase it for you.

What you will need to have handy is some kind of proof that you are the owner of the business name that corresponds with the domain you want to purchase.  Using your ABN or ACN will likely be the easiest for this and should be something you have on hand.  This information is then reviewed and the domain purchase approved.

As always – if you need any assistance with this please reach out to the R6 Digital team.

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