You may or may not know that soon your choice of top-level-domains will dramatically increase. No longer are you limited to .co.uk, .com., .org and the like, but ICANN is in the process of releasing over 700 industry related, top level domains. The first 7; .bike., .venture, .clothing, .holdings, .plumbing, .guru and .singles were released on the 8th February with a further 7 being released this Wednesday, 12th February.
Whether or not these top level domains will increase your search engine rankings due to increased relevance or will gain the same acceptance and credibility as a .com or .co.uk domain any time soon remains to be seen. But either way, there are definite benefits to considering the new top level domains for your business. Here are 3 reasons:
- The Internet is now home to over 265 million domain names and climbing. If you’ve ever tried to buy a domain you’ll know that finding the exact one that you want is very difficult, especially if it’s a .com. Chances are that quite a few of your preferences will be gone before you find one that you’re willing to settle for. The new top-level domains open up a brand new range of domains to choose from that are even more relevant to your business.
- The new top-level domains are industry specific. This means that your domain name can be more specific to your business and the products and services that you offer. People will know exactly what business you’re in just from your domain. Chances are this will have some benefit in terms of search engine rankings but even if it doesn’t, it’s more helpful to your customers than a generic top-level domain which offers few clues in terms of the business you’re in.
- It’s an opportunity to diversify and differentiate your brand. It may be that you want to expand your business in to new areas but you still want to keep your brand identity across all divisions, the new domains could help you do this. For example if your company name was ‘evergreen’ you could keep your .com as your primary domain but use the new domains for sub-divisions e.g. www.evergreen.clothing, www.evergreen.guru, www.evergreen.shoes etc.
Not all the domains will go live at once; they will be released in batches over the next year. Here is the latest release schedule from one of the domain registries. This list includes .technology, .marketing, .education .florist and many more. As of the dates in the schedule you will be able to purchase these domains from a number of registrars including www.1and1.co.uk.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new top level domains, and whether or not you plan to take advantage of this new opportunity, so feel free to contact me or comment below.