In a world where the internet permeates all aspects of life, having a website has become synonymous with having any kind of venture, whether business, social, or personal. The domain name itself is no longer just a web address. With over a billion websites worldwide, the domain name is more closely tied to an entity’s identity than ever before. Having your brand name in your domain name is almost a must. So is having a premium domain extension, which can put you in the league of smartly branded, digitally-savvy businesses who know and have what it takes to thrive in the competitive online world.
What does having a brandable domain name mean, and why is it so important? Moreover, which domain name is right for you? To answer these questions, let’s go right back to the beginning.
The Birth of Domain Extensions
For several decades, the .com extension reigned supreme among domains. It was the first ever domain extension introduced in 1985, hand in hand with the Domain Name System (DNS), which was implemented to simplify domain names.
If it wasn’t for the DNS, domain names would look like a series of numbers similar to IP addresses. The new format simplified them and made them easier to remember, type, and communicate. In a way, the link between a domain name and the organization’s identity was established just when the world was waking up to the internet.
As different categories of organizations began to create their web presence, a few more domain extensions were introduced. These were .org, .net, .gov, .edu, and .mil.
By February 1986, domain name registration became available to everyone. In a way, this was the first step in the massive growth of the internet.
The Introduction of New Domain Extensions
With the internet portals thrown open to the world, the number of registered domain names began to grow rapidly. After 2000, the internet went through quick cycles of evolution in terms of power and accessibility. Suddenly, everyone needed a website, which led to a new problem: the .com and .net domain spaces of the world were becoming saturated.
To combat this overcrowding of the internet namespace, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) began to introduce new domain extensions. While .com remained the most popular choice for a long time, these new extensions helped make domain registration more accessible.
This meant that the choice of domain extension does not affect a website’s SEO, laying to rest any skepticism about using new domain extensions.
Among the most popular new domain extensions are .Store, .Tech, .Online, .Site, and .Space. They are not just suitable alternatives to traditional extensions such as the .com, but are powerful domain extensions in their own right.
Several businesses will opt for them not because companyname.com was unavailable but because companyame.store or companyname.tech was more relevant and valuable.
Wondering which domain extension is the right choice for you? Let’s look at some of their advantages.
How to Use Your Domain Extension to Your Best Advantage?
Build an online presence
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that having a website is synonymous with any kind of venture. It implies that you are a digitally-savvy business, gives you access to a much wider audience, and helps you compete with other online businesses. Moreover, online searches play a big part in people’s decisions, and a website with a branded domain name makes it easy for potential customers to find you. This brings us to a key benefit of new domain extensions.
Find an exact match domain name
A website shows you are digitally savvy, but it is not enough. You want a domain name that looks professional, premium, and on brand. With thousands of websites being launched daily worldwide, your first choice of a domain name may be already taken. In such a case, instead of compromising the credibility of your brand name by modifying it to secure a .com domain, using a new, potentially more relevant domain extension is a more viable option. For instance, companyname.online, or companyname.store not only have a higher probability of being available, but they are exact-match domain names with a premium look and feel compared to companynam.com.
Stand out from your competition
Customers today are as aware of digital trends, if not more, as the businesses vying for their attention. Having a new domain extension in your brand name shows that you, too, have your finger on the pulse of the digital revolution. It positions you as a new, promising, and future-thinking business. After all, with the saturation of traditional extensions like the .com, new domain extensions are the future. They are also more unique and show your creative side, that you have taken that extra step to let people know that you are not just another .com business.
Secure a more meaningful domain name
The foremost quality of a strong brand is its power to communicate the nature of the business. As the first contact between you and your customers online, your domain name must also communicate something about your business.
A new and relevant domain extension will do just that. For instance, if you are an eCommerce venture, a .Store domain name will let people know you are a seller. If you are a tech blog, a .Tech domain name will establish that right from the get go.
A meaningful domain name with your brand name attached to a relevant domain extension can be a powerful branding tool. It can even help you save marketing dollars as you don’t have to spend time and money establishing your niche. It is all there in the (domain) name!
Brand your diverse ventures
You will want to expand your business and web presence as you make more money. You may launch new products or services, start a blog, or craft new marketing campaigns. With relevant domain names, you can ensure your new ventures get the right branding and importance they deserve. You don’t have to launch new websites for them. All you need to do is create memorable domain names for them with your brand name and the appropriate domain extensions.
This will help keep their branding consistent and help you do away with long, clunky domain names that are hard to remember, such as companyname.com. Instead, your blog can be companyname.press, your merch store can be companyname.store, the URL for your new online promotion can be companyname.fun, and so on.
Get Online with the Right Domain
Domain names have evolved hand in hand with the internet, both in importance and diversity. No longer can you attach your company name to a dot com and call it a day. You must focus on what best represents your brand and what is the most viable option in terms of quality and memorability. Your choice of domain extension plays an important part here. Which domain extension will allow you to secure your first choice of a domain name, one that is short, simple, and powerful? That is the right choice for you.
Rebecca Scott is a Sr. Content Marketing Specialist at Radix Web Services. A marketing enthusiast, she describes her role as one part creative explorer and one part strategic alchemist. Her contributions feature in publications related to social media and online marketing.