Are domain extensions a big deal? If so, how do they affect your business website SEO?
What is the best domain extension for your business? Also, what should you consider when choosing a domain extension for your business?
Read on to find out as we discuss everything about business domain extensions.
When building a business website, the first thing you want to get right is the website domain, sometimes referred to as the web site’s name. This is easy for most people since the web site’s domain is adopted from the business name.
Next, you have to decide what extension to use with the domain. This is where things get a bit sticky. There are so many domains to choose from (There are over 500 domains).
Despite all these extensions, “.net” and “.com” are the two most popular domain extensions used by business websites.
Website owners prefer these two domains because they’re easy to remember. Potential clients don’t have to think hard to remember if the business website ended with a “.business” or “.coffee.”
What are Domain Extensions?
Domain extensions are also known as Top-Level Domains. They are the words that make the last part of your web site’s URL and come after the dot.
You can’t randomly pick a domain extension and use it in your business website. Each domain extension says something about your website.
1. For organizations
This domain extension is used by networking websites that are community-based and involve sharing a lot of information.
Social media websites are good examples of such.
However, you might have noticed that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn tend to use “.com”.
It’s a standout domain extension for non-profit organizations.
2. For businesses
Anyone can use this one. It’s the most sought after domain extension.
It’s mostly used by corporations.
A domain extension for informational websites that mainly post business-related information and news.
It’s a standout extension for gaming websites. It’s also the location code for business operating in British Indian Ocean Territory.
3. Country code domains
This extension is used by us-based businesses. Initially, the domain extension was set aside for government sites.
However, businesses are now adopting this extension as a show of patriotism.
Specifically reserved for businesses operating in the United Kingdom.
Originally used by sites based in Libya. However, the extension is now creatively used by websites with names that go well with it. For example, bit.ly.
4. Creative domains
These are customs domains used by businesses operating in specific industries. They are quite rare and are usually used by industry giants.
What to consider when choosing a Domain Extension for your business
1. Business location
Your business’s primary base of operation should be factored when choosing the best domain extension for your business website. If the majority of your clients are in the United States, then you should consider using the country code domain extension “.us.”
Country code domain extensions will help boost your website’s ranking in local searches.
Your business’s industry can also give you a hint on the best domain extension for your website. The most popular unconventional domain extension is “.food.”
Just as the name suggests, the “.food” domain extension is the best for businesses in the catering industry.
From your URL address, people will be able to tell what your site is all about.
The .com extension
Without a doubt, the most popular domain extension out there (more than 75% of business websites use it). Unlike the geo-specific and industry-specific domain extensions, you can’t go wrong with “.com.” It’s always relevant.
.com Domain Extension Pros and Cons
Did you know that there are 144 million “.com” registrations as of September 30, 2019? “.net” is the second runner up with 13.4 million registrations- This information was collected by Verisign, a global domain registrar.
It’s true that “.com” is the most preferred domain extension in the world. However, this doesn’t mean it’s free from flaws.
1. Domain Pricing
Domain extensions are priced differently. You’ll not see that much of a difference when you’re registering a new “.com” domain. However, you’ll notice the difference in prices if you want to buy an existing “.com” domain. For example, “jumbo.com” will be priced at around $10,000, whereas, “jumbo.xyz” will be priced at around $10.
According to research done by GrowthBadger, the registration prices for popular URLs with .net, .org, .biz, .co, .blog, and .io domain extensions averaged from $12-$30 a year.
On the other hand, the same domain names, but with “.com” extensions required the businesses to pay $4,250 more.
High pricing is one of the main disadvantages of the “.com” extension. However, people have been able to go around this by using alternative, but popular domain extensions.
For example, instead of buying “jumbo.com,” you can go for “jumbo.net”. It’s still a popular domain extension, but with a significantly cheaper price tag.
We’d also like to advise you to stay away from domain names that are closely related to other copyrighted domains.
For example, you might find “Amazon.net” to be available. Registering your business under such a domain can bring about copyright wars that will cost you a lot of money.
However, in some fortunate circumstances, the existing company might come around and buy the domain from you for a lot of money.
Another one of “.coms'” disadvantages. It’s hard to find unregistered “.com” domains. Almost all the domain extensions with popular keywords have been taken and registered.
To get a good “.com” domain, you’ll have to buy it from someone. It might cost you a lot of money.
3. Easy to remember and trustworthy
This is where the “.com” domain extension has a massive advantage over the others.
The “.com” extension is preferred because it’s the most popular domain extension. Second in line is the “.co” domain extension because it appears to be a variant of “.com” without the “m.”
In addition to that, people are also likely to trust websites with “.com” extensions. For most people, other domain extensions seem a little off. Other trusted domains include .co, .net, .org, and .us.
How do Domain Extensions Affect Website SEO?
Domain names and extensions can indeed affect your website’s SEO. However, it’s also important to note that there are almost 200 algorithms that Google looks at when ranking a website.
Therefore, don’t expect a massive SEO improvement from a change in domain name or extension.
There are other ways a domain name and extension can affect your website.
1. They can tarnish your website’s reputation
Some critics might cross the line and claim your domain name with “.sucks” and “.bad” extensions to tarnish your business’s reputation.
You’re advised to claim those domains earlier on and safeguard your website’s and business reputation.
2. Improve your website’s local ranking
As mentioned earlier, the use of geo-specific extensions can massively improve your website’s ranking in local searches.
The “.com” is the best domain extension for your business. It’s easy to remember and most people feel comfortable dealing with websites using it. However, it can also be expensive to register, especially if you want to use it with popular domain names.
There are other domain extensions you can use like .net, .co, and .org, among many others. It’s up to you to find out which domain extension works best for your website.