Over the last few years we have seen yet another revolution in the domain name market which has prompted many start-up companies – shock horror – to consider changing their original choice of domain name. These are companies which have very strong brands that are traditionally based around the .com gTLDs. So, what are the options and how can you choose a new domain name which speaks volumes for your business?
Before we take a look at the new options now available let’s look at a more traditional gTLD. .COM, for instance, will always be among the more sought-after gTLD (Generic Top Level Domain). This particular gTLD gives an air of authority. It can also give an international feel and show potential customers the serious nature of your business. However, those who have tried to acquire a traditional gTLD extension to their company name/business type will likely find that all of the more recognisable domain names have gone.
Over the years these domains have been snapped up, sold and resold, hosted various different businesses and attracted significant backlinks. While some people choose to use hyphens and abbreviations to secure a .com domain name of their choice, this is not the same. Very few people remember to add the hyphens and abbreviations and those domains without such additions will likely receive a fair chunk of website traffic that was meant for you. These names have high visibility and more importantly give an air of authority. So, what are the options to make your start-up website stand out from the crowd?
There are literally hundreds of new gTLDs with more being added on a regular basis. If we just take a random look through the full list you will see the likes of:-
and many more. So, while these gTLDs are fairly easy on the eye how can they help your business and why would you ever think of changing your start-up domain name?
The key to any successful online business is traffic and the best way to get traffic is to get your domain name in front of as many potential customers as possible. Historically many people have gone for exact-match domains with one of the traditional gTLDs. However, now let us look at two example domain names using a traditional gTLD and one new variation:-
At first glance the .forsale gTLD is the one which stands out, it says exactly what it does on the tin and you won’t forget it. Let us take a look at two more examples:
Again, the .accountant gTLD is the one which stands out and because it is short and to the point it is the one you are more likely to remember. As Internet users become more aware of the new age in gTLDs they will be more likely to naturally use extensions such as .accountant, .forsale, etc thereby giving you additional free type-in traffic. However, there is still the matter of search engine optimisation (SEO) to improve your organic rankings.
If we now take a look at SEO, you may automatically assume that the search engines will always rank the traditional gTLDs such as .com towards the top of their listings. That may well have been the case in years gone by but the market has changed dramatically in recent times. The new range of gTLDs is attracting a new breed of online entrepreneur. These are individuals and companies who not only recognise the value of a domain name but also the additional value they can add with a professional functioning website.
Can you imagine how much it would cost to have your company listed on search engine pay per click adverts for the term “tax accountant”? The worldwide accountancy industry is huge, always in demand and attracts enormous revenues. However, if you owned the domain name tax.accountant and you spent time, money and effort on SEO what could you achieve? Not only might you appear towards the top of the rankings but the domain name and gTLD would catch the eye of visitors in a similar fashion to expensive pay per click adverts. You could potentially be grabbing expensive traffic free of charge!
While we have listed a number of the new gTLDs we have only just scratched the surface and there will be literally thousands more to follow in due course. When you consider that banking giants such as Barclays have introduced home.barclays as one of their main website domains this says everything. Even though the company has maintained its traditional .com and .co.uk extensions it has recognised the value of more descriptive domain names and helpful extensions.
In the above example we have focused on a brand name extension but business type extensions are just as important.
If you can purchase a domain name which promotes your brand, and shows people exactly what you do in a split second, this is marketing gold. The fact that there are so many different variations available today ensures that you are not forced to acquire potential expensive .com domain names. This pool of domain names has literally been sucked dry by large companies, entrepreneurs and domain name squatters. It may also be possible to cover your back on a number of levels. For example, if you have a particular brand and you are using one of the new gTLDs then the more traditional gTLDs may be available for a sensible price. Who else would be interested in buying it? You could take it or leave it?
If you had the choice between houses.forsale and housesforsale.com the .com version would probably seem a little generic while the houses.forsale version is concise, to the point and also easier to read. Immediately you can create a connection with customers which will give you the opportunity to build trust and loyalty going forward. A new gTLD domain name in its own right will not guarantee your riches but one which is host to a professional and informative website might just give you the edge over your competitors.
The simple answer is, no. Bear in mind that .com, .net and the other traditional gTLDs are still well-recognised today. They have not lost their attraction! It is fair to say that the new variation of gTLDs, including the likes of .store and ., are not only easier on the eye, and easier to remember, but they are part of a business description. Each element of a new gTLD domain name tells a story, promotes the business and is instantly recognisable. Visitors to your website will know exactly what you do and what you offer before they see your homepage.
In summary there are 4 main reasons to consider changing your start-up domain name, and integrating one of the new gTLDs, which are:-
When you consider that some of the world’s best-known brand names such as Barclays Bank introduced a new home.barclays domain this says everything. If these companies are willing to take an educated gamble by pushing their new domain names against the more traditional extensions, then surely your start-up online business would benefit in a similar manner?
If you can acquire a domain name which will not only promotes your brand name, but also the area of business in which you operate, this is literally marketing gold. In days gone by many people felt obliged to acquire a whole range of traditional gTLD variations of their domain name – often at great expense. Those days have gone, much to the annoyance of the domain name squatters!