The internet space is constantly expanding in order to accommodate increasing users and in the same way, there has been an expansion in domain extension alternatives, giving new businesses and individuals a wider range of choices.
Top-level domains (TLDs) are also known as domain extensions. It is the part of your web address that appears to the right of the dot, after your domain name. A popular example is .com. Since .com has become synonymous with the internet and is the most popular and widely used extension, a lot of businesses have had to go for other domain extension alternatives, or have had to tweak their domain names when they realized that those names were unavailable.
In response to this, theInternational Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)began rolling out hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), a large number of domain name alternatives to the mostly .com web addresses have become available. From generic to branded and geographic gTLDs, there are now close to a thousand, the most popular of which is currently .xyz.
You have to consider that in the before these domain extensions were realised in the last few years, there was a much smaller number of possible versions of the same domain. So this change comes with an expansion of brand protection strategies that make it important for businesses to position their brand in such a way that it can benefit from a unique gTLD.
Understandably, a number of tech experts agree that .com is still king. However, the branding potential has led to a rise in the demand for different extensions beyond the more popular .com, .net, .org and so on in opting for a unique gTLD. A relevant extension that is industry-specific and that projects your niche, for example .health for a health care company, makes sense for your branding in the same way as registering a versatile extension such as .website.
Some brands have started to obtain branded Top-Level Domains, because they provide an opportunity to build customer trust and engage customers on a personal level. A brand TLD is like any other top-level domain. However, instead of a general term that can be used by anyone registering anything (such as .org or .net) or a term that only a group of people are eligible to use, it is the brand’s trade mark, for example, .google or .apple. Although it adds a significant cost to the business, it does a lot for the brand marketing and digital identity management of the business. It also helps brands to stand out in a crowded digital landscape.
With a domain extension that is your brand name, you are able to relate with your customers on a more familiar plane as they are likely to remember your brand. In the same way, a brand name extension helps customers build trust in your brand. This is because they can be sure that they are on an authentic site in the midst of phishing and scamming risks, and inauthentic lookalike websites. However, this is out of reach for many small businesses, but there are plenty of other ways you can use other generic TLDs.
Choosing to use a unique TLD doesn’t meant that you have to do away with your more traditional domain either. Make use ofdomain forwardingto redirect visitors to your unique TLD domain through to your website.
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