The process of developing an online business together with a domain name for the web presence is a difficult and intricate one. How do you choose a top level domain (TLD) for your website?
Start by making sure that your brand identity stands out in your industry, that you’ve clearly emphasized your unique value proposition, and that your site perfectly reflects your business purpose. What’s more, every business leader continuously works to build up their brand’s reputation, which means that each detail that creates your brand image can make or break your business presence.
Part of that image is the web address you choose, as well as the extension that follows. In addition to your brand name, and the address of your site (and the two will hopefully be the same), you also need to make sure that you choose the most appropriate top-level domain – the extension that your site’s address comes with. Choosing this extension can contribute to your business success in many different ways, since we tend to choose websites we trust instinctively and based on our previous experience. Here’s how to pick the TLD that matches your purpose and your goals!
Generic, but trustworthy extensions such as .com, .org, and .net are considered the safest options for companies everywhere. However, when you have a business that operates strictly in one location and you want to target that specific audience, your TLD can help narrow down their options, as they’ll recognize the extension as a local one.
For example, more companies today, especially the ones with unique local identities also invest in multiple domain names with different extensions, such as .co.uk for the UK, and .ca for Canada. It helps your target demographic, but it also helps with your specific, localized SEO efforts. When you wish to expand your operations, you can invest in additional domains to build a memorable presence in those new locations.
Are you an influencer trying to make your way in the digital realm by creating a platform to share your thoughts and expand your affiliate relationships? Or are you a freelancer, an entrepreneur, a business owner, or a corporation? Do you sell products, services, or do you create content free of charge? Are you a non-profit organization with a need to grow its presence? There are myriads of business models and purposes your brand can match – and they will define the best TLD for your brand.
Take some time to define what your brand is all about, and most of all, what your brand’s purpose is. Then you can consider options such as .biz for companies, .io for digital agencies, .info for educational and information-focused platforms, and .org for charities. These are not in any way restricted to the purposes listed, but are commonly associated with them, which can help establish your purpose from that first encounter.
In a slew of business models and ideas, a single person trying to build a reputation for themselves can find it difficult to stand out in a sea of .com sites. This is where personalized .me domains help put your personal brand on the map and instantly inspire emotion from your audience. If you already have a strong presence in your industry as a professional, all the better! You can combine the extension with your first and last name, or a nickname you’re known by in your industry.
Personalization with the help of a TLD can allow your brand not just to stand out, but also to elicit trust. Just like .com, this personal extension helps people understand that they are about to get to know a person, not just a faceless business. It also adds authority to your site, helping people associate your digital presence with the image you’ve built in your niche.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that most of the websites that rank in those coveted top positions in the SERPs have a .com extension. Knowing what you know about this choice, you already understand that most customers inherently trust .com sites, but the extension itself doesn’t carry any SEO relevance by itself. What that means is that even by choosing a trusted domain extension, you cannot expect that alone to make a difference in your ranking.
Even if you choose a more recent domain name, or a less popular extension (but one that’s still not on a spam list), your site has every chance to rank high in the search results. Provided that you publish quality content, perfect your digital marketing strategy, perform regular SEO audits, and keep your optimization an ongoing effort, that is.
It might be tempting to choose the first available domain or the one that is most convenient, but take a moment before you rush into this decision. Just like all other aspects of your business identity and your standing in your industry, the right TLD can propel your brand to success. Give yourself enough time to choose the extension that reflects your values and describes what your business stands for, and you’ll help your customers realize why they should trust you, and slowly establish a worthy image in your community.