What is the Entrepreneur's Zone, you ask? It is our new series that will cover the basics of Digital Marketing. This series aims to provide the basic information that new business owners need to start marketing their business.
Starting off our series for new entrepreneurs, today we begin your digital marketing journey with your website domain extension.
What Is A Domain Extension?
A domain extension is the .com, .net, .org, etc., that ends your website name. The extension .com is by far the most common, and, because of this, is often the hardest extension to get today.
The first step to building your business website is to purchase your domain name. New business owners are often at a loss when the domain name they want is not available with .com. There are 100s of other domain extensions available that are less used, and, due to this, the name you want is often available.
Are There Restrictions On What Domains I Choose?
There are two types of Top Level Domains, open and closed. Open Domains are unrestricted; they do not require verification to use that extension. Closed Domains require that you verify your business or non-profit meets the extension guidelines. For example, to utilize .museum, you must verify that your organization is an actual museum. Other good examples of closed extensions are .gov (US government bodies only), .mil (US Military branches only), .edu (US educational Institutions only).
What Are The Most Common Domain Extensions?
The Domain Extensions you are most familiar with, the original top three, .com, .net., and .org, are today all open extensions. These three were originally geared towards specific business types; .com was developed for commercial businesses, .net was designed specifically for network-related firms, and .org was intended for non-profits (.org was originally a closed domain but opened to everyone in 2019). As .com availability decreased, additional generic extensions, such as .info, .xyz, and more, came into play.
There also are country-specific domains .uk (United Kingdom), .ca (Canada), .ly (Libya). In the case of country codes, many are closed, but a few are open like .ly, which has seen a growth in popularity due to the trend of short domain names. Be aware that even some open country codes do have some restrictions on the type of content that can use that code.
.com is the most common extension, with more than half of websites utilizing it. The top three most used outside of country codes are the original three, .com, .net, and .org. Traditional wisdom states that when .com is not an option, .net is the next best choice.
Trending Domains That We Will See More Of In 2022
1) .me- created in 2018, used most often for personal blogs, freelance creative professionals, and photographers.
2) .live- this extension is geared towards sites that focus on podcasts, streaming videos, etc.
3) .eco- perfect for businesses whose mission is environmental
Be careful when choosing trendy domain extensions; your website is with you for the long haul, and, just like fashion, what is trending now can seem silly or outdated later.
Does My Domain Extension Affect How Google Sees And Ranks Me?
Domain Extension is not a ranking factor for Google. The only real effect your extension can have on your ranking is that, if your competitor has a similar name but has the .com extension, the general public is more biased and assumes .com is the norm and is more likely to click the .com option.
.Com bias can be an issue for any company that does not or is not able to choose .com. This can be overcome easily by ensuring that your marketing materials highlight your domain extension.
For those who are not interested in .com, because you want a more interesting or meaningful extension, it can be beneficial to purchase both .com and the other extension if available. Then direct the .com version to your main extension. This will allow you to ensure that a competitor will not be able to grab the more remembered .com, while taking advantage of the .com bias for yourself.
Are There Any Extensions That Should Be Avoided?
Unfortunately, a few domain extensions have become synonymous with ill intent over the years. When looking for the best domain extension for your new business, it is best to avoid the following: .gdn, .ooo, .work, .shop, .cf, .ml, .ga, .gq, .tk, .biz and more. Malicious players can and have used all of these domain extensions; it is not ideal for your site to use one known for these types of issues.
Choosing the domain extension for your website is the most important first step in your digital marketing plan. If .com is not available for you, do not stress; several wonderful options are out there for you. Take a good look at the best options and what speaks to your business type, and avoid extensions known for bad players.
Do you feel lost when it comes to Digital Marketing? Well, that's why we're here!
YES. YOU GUESSED IT — It's time for the Sales Pitch! (I know you have been expecting it, so we won't disappoint).
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We believe this — If we don't earn your business every day, we don't deserve to keep you!
— Let us earn your business & assist your company with its Digital Marketing needs. You won't regret it. —
Contact the LZ team today, email@example.com, or (615) 235-3200.