Business December 27, 2019 Last updated February 18th, 2020 59 Reads share

How Your Domain Extension Impacts Your Business

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

It’s common for any business today to have an online presence in the form of a website. Businesses often choose a name carefully but put in less thought when selecting their domain extension.

A domain extension i.e the .com, or the .org, or other extensions can impact your business in a powerful way.

Choosing the right domain extension or Top-Level Domain (TLD) needs to be done with care.

Your domain address is the way people find your business online. It represents your brand and all your marketing activities lead back to your domain or your site.

Choosing your domain extension is a serious investment that can affect the success of your business.

  • It affects brand awareness and your website recall
  • You can convey authenticity and legitimacy through the domain extension
  • A domain extension can inform people what your business is about even before visiting your site
  • People feel more secure and trust your business when you use a familiar extension

Once you have chosen your web address and begun your marketing activities, it becomes unfeasible to change it. It will be expensive and require a lot of marketing to brand yourself again.

You need to understand and choose the best domain extension for your business purposes. It impacts traffic, conversions, and your ability to make money online.

Let’s dive into finding out the best domain extension for your business and how it can impact your success.

Common TLDs and their Relevance

There are an estimated 1530 top-level domains in use today. However, generic top-level domains (gTLD) like .com, .org, and others remain popular.

Should You Use a .com Extension?

The .com extension is the most commonly used TLD. It’s also the most familiar. When users think of a brand and look for it online they are most likely to enter the brand’s name and assume that its address is a .com address.

A .com domain also immediately conveys trust and reliability. This is simply a matter of perception, but it’s so ingrained that it’s important to consider using a .com extension.

Other longer TLDs can sound spammy or untrustworthy. They are also harder to recall. If a user tried to guess your brand’s address and it’s not a .com domain, you’re likely to lose a potential customer.

It’s also easy for a person to remember a .com address because it’s so familiar. They are less likely to remember something like .co.in even if it’s a legitimate business or site.

However, there are certain situations in which you can apply for a less familiar extension. It all depends on your audience. If you have an audience where people are tech-savvy then a less familiar extension is suitable.

You may also cater to a very niche audience and have no need for the general public to find your business. You can opt for a unique and interesting TLD and market it extensively to your target audience.

In such cases, an extension like .xyz or .how can serve you better than a common extension like .info or .org.

Using Other Common Extensions

There are many other domain extensions that you can consider for your business. We’re going to look at more common extensions and where to use them.

A .org domain is generally associated with non-profit organizations. It immediately conveys a sense of integrity and trust. Today, commercial businesses can get a .org domain if needed.

However, it has a powerful association with charitable organizations and it’s best to conform to that. Use a .org TLD if you want to get support for meaningful causes. You can also use this for the charitable branch of your brand and protect your brand name.

Extensions like .edu are for educational bodies and they are only available to accredited institutions. You can also use industry-specific TLDs if you serve in such spaces. There are extensions like .academy and .business that clearly convey the nature of an organization.

If you’ve started an online membership site for bringing people together, then your TLD can reflect that. Use a .club or a .community to make it obvious that it’s a site for groups and clubs.

When to Use Country Level Domains

Country-level domains, as the name indicates, is for businesses in specific locations. It can be useful to have a country-level domain extension if you want to convey that you work locally.

This can have a positive impact on your brand’s image. People will feel more secure about using your site. They feel certain that your business caters to their location.

If you have a global brand, you can use country-specific domain extensions for different countries.  For example, Amazon has a .com extension for its US site. Likewise, they have other local extensions. It’s a helpful way to prevent confusion and you can use it to create separate operations.

Google has said that newer extensions won’t have an impact on SEO. However, having a country-specific TLD can signal that your site is relevant for a certain region. Search engines will try to give local results for certain queries, and the right site extension can impact your site’s visibility.

Leverage Domain Extensions for Business Success

Your domain extension affects your business in many ways. It tells your audience what you do and whether you’re a legitimate business. There are many malicious websites out there and unfamiliar extensions can signal their presence.

Your budget can also impact your choice of TLDs. Unique web addresses are generally affordable. You can also come across web addresses that are already purchased for which you have to pay a considerable amount to get. Your only option may be to get an alternative extension. 

Whether you’re starting a blog or an eCommerce site, you can choose the right extension based on what you do and who your audience is. You can find hosting packages that give you a free domain name and set up a WordPress or other site with a single click.

Your web address is the path people take to find your business and interact with you. You can use a tool like Google Analytics for WordPress to get data-backed information about how your extension is working.

Take the time to understand and select the right domain extension for your site, and you’ll lay the foundation for your business’s success.

 

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Syed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

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