A client recently asked us for advise on choosing the right top level domain name (TLD) for their new business. They had already chosen the business name (a combination of the 2 partners last names) and were disappointed to discover the .com TLD was unavailable. The only options left for them to choose were .net, .biz or .ca and they were unsure which one to pick.
This is a very common question we hear when working with businesses and agencies who are looking get the right domain name thats easy for users to find and remember.
The key thing to consider when choosing a domain name is what is the purpose of the domain name and who is the intended audience.
If you’re looking to target local audiences, then consider using something like .ca (for Canada) or if you’re in the UK .co.uk. Every country has it’s own TLD and are almost as common as .com for small and large brands.
If your focus is on sales or service then a .biz or some of the newer TLDs like .technology, .agency, .sales maybe more to your liking.
If your a non-profit or information based organization then you may want to consider a TLD like .info, .org or .net
Of course you’re not restricted on how many domain names can point to the same website and in many cases we even recommending securing ones key to our clients site. Just choose 1 as your primary domain and use that domain in your marketing and for the actual website. Any other domain name your register can then point to your primary domain.
In this specific case we recommended they register both the .ca and the .biz TLD and they decide later which one to use as their primary domain name.
Something else to Consider
We once worked with a client who had already developed their brand and marketing material. As we were in the process of developing their website, we discovered not only was the .com for their brand name unavailable but the site at that address was a porn site.
For some, accidentally ending up on a porn site rather than the site they had originally intended may be a welcome surprise, but i imagine for most this would be a highly undesirable result. Perhaps in some cases this may also result in an unwelcome visit form the IT department.
In the event you are unable register a common TLD like .com or a country TLD like .ca then you may want to check to see what type of sites are behind them. Probably 9 times out of 10 there won’t be an issue, but in the event there is you will want to consider using another domain name quite possibly a call to action for your products or services.