Defensive domains. Sounds intense, doesn’t it? It’s a term you may have stumbled across when taking a look at your different domain name options, which has now led you here. Really, it's not as scary as it sounds and pretty much refers to making sure you cover all your bases by registering different versions of your domain, including typos.

So, what exactly does it all mean?

What is defensive domain registration?

Let's go back to that intense phrase – defensive domain registration. It's essentially the act of purchasing domain names similar to yours in order to protect your business. This may include different variations and any other domains which you believe could harm your business if occupied by someone other than yourself. To brush up your knowledge on the different types of domains, check out our previous blog post.

A big part of it also involves registering multiple domains that cover common misspellings.

Why would I need to register domain name typos?

Let’s say you’re about to launch your website – we’ll call it You purchase your domain name and off you go without giving it a second thought. But what if your customers mistype it and search for a typo like Where do they end up?

1. Even misspellers arrive at your site

People searching for typos could be taken to an error page saying the domain doesn't exist and that's not good. By registering multiple domain names that cover domain typos you make sure that even customers who mistype your name end up in the right place – your site!

2. Protect your site from typosquatters

Snapping up typo domains also stops anyone else from doing it for you. Imagine a few years down the line your business has grown and your daily traffic has greatly increased. What happens when other people are starting to notice? You could mistakenly type into your search bar and end up on a website that’s completely different. You might end up wondering, “what on earth’s going on”?

Congratulations, you’ve got yourself a typosquatter.

Wait, what’s typosquatting?

As you may be able to work out, typosquatting is when disingenuous sites ‘squat’ in typo-based domains in order to take advantage of incorrectly spelt search queries. This allows for other sites to effectively leech off of your site traffic by luring unwitting web users onto sites they didn’t intend to visit. Our past blog post tells you how to protect your domain from typosquatting.

What problems does typosquatting cause?

Typosquatters are able to make financial gain in several ways, like tricking visitors into giving financial details to what they believe is a trusted vendor, or simply selling the domain back to the business that it mimics for a higher price.

However, not all of them are trying to directly scam their visitors.

Watch out for competitors using a similar domain name

Sometimes defensive domain registration can protect against slightly less sinister yet still very notable threats. In a nutshell, your competitors could benefit from having a very similar name to you and may purchase variations of your domain in order to attract traffic to their site, piggy backing off your reputation.

Sinister or not, you don’t want this happening either. So what’s the upshot of all this?

Why registering multiple domains is important

When it comes to buying domain typos, the reward outweighs the cost. The amount of money you need to spend on acquired dormant domains is negligible compared to the time, money and effort it could save you down the line.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Buy before someone else does

Act sooner rather than later, before someone can register your domain name typos. If you leave it too long, you leave the door open to typosquatting and competitors trying to capture your potential traffic.

2. Capture typing error traffic

Register domains that cover any common misspellings. This could be a simple case of letters being switched or it could be something people search if they mishear your domain name. If you have a number in your business name it’s also a good idea to snap up domains with both the number spelt out and the digit.

3. Secure domains for longer

Locking in your domain names for longer than a year means that you have the security to know that you and you alone own your space. If you really want to commit, you can register your domains for up to 10 years and know your brand will be protected in the long run.

4. Think about extensions

We’ve talked a lot about typos in your domain name. But what about your domain extension? We all have a default one we search for when browsing the web and your potential visitors do too. So, if you’ve only registered a and they search for .com, they could end up on someone else’s site. Securing multiple domain extensions casts a wider net across the web, so you’ll be more likely to capture any users that might be searching for you.

How to find domain name typos

Even for the simplest of websites, there could potentially be dozens of variations. But how can you find domain name typos?

Catch type-in traffic

When registering domain name typos, you’ll need to put yourself in the shoes of the users searching for your site. The most common typos come from users typing too quickly and either missing letters, rearranging letters, or accidentally pressing neighbouring letters.

We recommend trialling this yourself, type as fast as possible – do any extra letters end up in there? This is a great way to see the sorts of domains you could potentially register.

To summarise, try out your current domain with the following to catch type-in traffic:

  • Remove letters from your current domain
  • Switch the order of letters in your domain
  • Replace existing letters with their keyboard neighbours

What are customers searching for?

What are customers searching for instead of your domain? Using a tool such as Keyword Planner, Ahrefs or Google Analytics can help you narrow this down.

Are there any alternative or regional spellings of your domain name? Americanisms or shortened versions are all good options to add to your roster, as each path you connect to your site is another way for people to end up there.

Include relevant extensions

With more and more TLDs gracing our search engines every week, it’s important to stay on top of the trend. For example, if you own a photography website, yes you may use .com or, but you may also want to register for .photography. Relevant extensions will help to increase your site’s traffic, with more users being directed to your domain.

Do I need to register every domain name typo?

Registering every single domain name typo that’s out there is probably impossible. As there are no limits to what users may search when attempting to reach your site, don’t worry if you aren’t able to catch them all. Not to worry, we’ve put together a few tips to help you make the most of registering domain name typos.

Find out what’s available

Unfortunately, not every domain typo is going to be available for you to buy. As there is not much you can do about this, registering for as many domain name typos as you can is the next best thing.

Define your budget

If you have a smaller budget, it’s very possible you’re not going to want to pay for multiple domains every month. And that makes complete sense. The best compromise is to find the most common typos that users are searching for, and to register those. This way you’re still catching the majority of type-in traffic but for a lower cost.

Still on the fence? Get in touch with us today for more information about how you can protect your business online. Want to learn more about domain names? We’ve got loads of interesting reads over on our blog – from the best extensions for UK businesses to how to easily renew a domain name.