To start an online business, you need to register a domain name for your website so as to make it simple and more convenient for your clients to communicate with you online. You must pick the correct top-level domain (TLD) for your company before registering for domain names.
What is a TLD, then? A TLD is the last bit of a domain name, including ‘com’, ‘.net’, ‘.org’, ‘.biz’ etc. Generally, there are two types of top-level domains – generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs).
So, how are the two TLD types different from the other? gTLDs are not limited to any region or country, just as the term ‘generic’ implies. Anybody on the internet anywhere in the world can register it. Examples of gTLDs include popular ones like ‘.com’, ‘.net’, ‘.biz’, ‘.edu’ and ‘.org.’
You should be clear on the purpose of your brand/website before settling for a specific gTLD. For example, ‘.com’ is suitable for any company or private organization, ‘.net’ is suitable for network operation, ‘.org’ is suitable for an organization/association, and ‘.edu’ is suitable for any educational institution. gTLDs are not tailored or targeted for any specific country or location.
Country code TLDs, or ccTLDs, are domain extensions unique to a particular region or country. Examples include ‘.co.uk’ (UK), ‘.ca’ (Canada), ‘.co.nz’ (New Zealand), and.com.au (Australia).
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the regulatory body that sets technical standard to help manage the Internet.
Now let’s take a look at some of the benefits ccTLDs offer.
ccTLDs allow you to target traffic from a specific country. So, let’s presume you want to attract New Zealand and neighbouring countries’ tourists to your restaurant business, you may want to consider using a ‘.co.nz’ as your domain name extension.
This means that you appear in the search results of those residing in New Zealand, rather than in the UK or Canada or some other country.
This also helps to boost your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. With a ccTLD used with your brand name for your website, your domain name will get better SEO points when matched country-specific search results.
This is because when web users type queries into the search bar of Google and other major search engines, it returns various results, including local ones, based on the IP of the searcher.
This means that if anyone in New Zealand is looking for restaurants to eat and relax, the website of your NZ-based restaurant might show higher in the search rankings than if you don’t have a ‘.co.nz’ ccTLD.
ccTLDs are fantastic for reputation and give more visitors more confidence to visit the website. Because they find the website to be local, tourists may believe it’s easier and faster to do business with the company, particularly if they know the physical address.
Besides, people usually prefer engaging or transacting with local and trusted businesses than foreign ones who offer the same or similar standards.
A cool technique some businesses have used to create a solid identity around their domain name is using what’s called a domain hack. That is where a word or name is created together, using both the domain name and ccTLD.
For example, ‘subscribe.be’ (ccTLD in Belgium), ‘food.ie’ (ccTLD in Ireland) and ‘beach.es’ (ccTLD in Spain). It can also be a word or call to action such as ‘check.in’ (India ccTLD) or help.us (US ccTLD). There’s almost no end to the number of variations you can combine!
Getting your domain names NZ through Discount Domains can give you good NZ ccTLDs, gTLDs, as well as other popular ccTLD options, and you can go on to create your own innovative hack for your domain easily.
But don’t forget that many ccTLDs have limitations on issues such as buying, renewing and transferring the country code domain.