Back in 2014, Pull’s MD, Chris, predicted that all the excitement around the new top level domains, or TLDs, that ICANN (that’s The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) was in fact just simply something to talk about. A fad. Would things like ‘.skin’ or ‘.construction’ really replace ‘.com’?
Well, having looked at the top 10 TLD’s sold on NameBio – many for extortionate amounts of money - only one of those, autism.rocks, is actually in use now, demonstrating the lack of relevance for having a specific, brand related TLD.
So, why is there such a lack in use?
To put it bluntly, there’s no need! Search engines such as Google have improved vast amounts over the years in order to accommodate our instant lifestyle, to the point that we don’t even bother typing in a full URL. Certainly people in my generation would not even know the complete URL for their most visited site, making TLD’s irrelevant.
In terms of how TLD’s affect ecommerce, a study by Moz shows that consumers are so comfortable with the ‘.com’ that when asked if they were more likely to trust an insurance quote from ‘.insurance’, 62% of Americans, 53% of Australians and 67% of marketers said they were unlikely to trust the quote based on the domain alone. That suggests that not only are these TLD’s not beneficial and a waste of money, but can actually be harmful to a brand, rarely providing enough justification for their expense.
How do I decide the perfect domain strategy for my website?
To avoid any domain regret, keep in mind these 5 rules to consider when planning the perfect domain strategy for your website:
- Decide top keywords
- Make the domain unique
- Always try to own .com
- Keep it short – the recommended amount is around 15 characters
- Don’t use hyphens – they are associated with spam
As well as these firm rules, there are also more common sense rules to consider such as:
- Make it easy to remember
- Make it easy to type (certain letters have been tested to see which are considered hard to type, these are q, z, x, c!)
- Don’t go with the trend of words at the time, you’ll regret it in the long term!
- Create and fulfill expectations – your domain should be a hint as to what the user should be expecting
It is also worth pointing out that while there is an importance in the domain name, content and accessibility have much more influence than a hundred thousand pound TLD.
If you would like some suggestions of how to create a content strategy for your website, Chris’s blog outlines some important areas you need to think about, and is worth reading before you go splashing out that new TLD. .sorted
Keep an eye out for our social media predictions for 2017, in our next blog.