New top level domain names

The release of one thousand new Top-Level-Domains in the coming years will offer a wide array of new addresses. For example, an eatery can use a .restaurant, .pizza, .pub or .coffee domain ending to specify their type of restaurant.

Local or location-specific websites and businesses can benefit from the geographical domains including .london, .wales, .nyc, .berlin to name a few. Currently, newly created businesses sometimes find limited options to register their desired name, as many have already been taken. The new gTLDs will create countless possibilities for unique and specific domain names for years to come.

What are the benefits to a small business?

The launch will mean a less crowded internet, as there will be a far greater range of options for an Internet address. For business owners, the result will be great new potential for capturing traffic and developing their digital branding. The new wider aspects of online identity that new gTLDs can deliver will be liberating – enhancements can be made with visibility, relevance to a subject, localisation, specialisation, and aspiration etc.

Plus, integrating such domain extensions into an online presence can improve business visibility on the web.  In recent months, search engines have begun to detail how their algorithms will be adapted so that new gTLDs will index as highly as regular domain endings. The largest have indicated that if a new domain is reflective of a website’s content, it will indeed become a key ingredient in their delivering of the most relevant search results.  

Does this mean firms need to buy lots of new domains to protect their online identity?

As with any new domain launch, many UK businesses will be motivated to purchase in order to protect themselves from cyber-squatting or infringement. The emerging domains will mean that businesses should consider their domain options carefully. However, there is no need to panic or be alarmed.  SMEs need only think about which domains could have the most value in building upon their online identity and make sensible, sustainable selections.

Get the right web address for your firm

A domain is not only a name for your website – it's a key marketing element for success.  However, domain names are often chosen in haste at the start of a business venture and are rarely changed.  But what should business owners now be considering?

New domains for your industry

As more new gTLDs launch in the coming months, small companies will have time to explore the possibilities, and build up online identity in ways that a traditional .co.uk or .com just cannot do for them. SMEs should focus on the huge new opportunities they have to make enhancements, however modest, to their web identity. For firms, the result is great new potential for capturing traffic and developing their digital branding. 

Reflect geographic location

For many firms, geographical identity is a powerful boon on the Internet.  1&1 is experiencing brisk demand for .LONDON, to be delivered this Summer, as well as .SCOT and .WALES.  In time, the majority of firms could benefit from reflecting both their local identity, such as their city or county name, as well as their trade identity such as .plumbing, .restaurant or .construction.  An example reflecting both is 1&1 customer www.surreyhills.construction . A small portfolio of carefully chosen domains covering these bases will be the ideal solution for most.

Consider people and search engines

Always aim for a catchy name, easy to remember and pass on verbally.  For longer names, use hyphens to improve readability. Website visitors often misspell words, switch or miss letters. Check how your domain name could be misspelled and consider securing these as additional domains. Local search engine listings are increasingly of high importance to small firms. The more keywords referenced in your domain name, the more search engines will rate your website and position it higher in results, meaning more visitors.

Protect your brand

Domain names are now valuable online real-estate. Always register your full company name, and also a clear abbreviation of it. It may also be wise to register names for your key products or services before your competitors do.

New domain name owners

Surrey Hills Construction van

The first new gTLDs are now being delivered.  As of last month, new domain options are being delivered to customers each and every month, most recently including .camera, .construction, .diamonds and .plumbing, and you can make binding pre-registrations for many more to be launched in the coming weeks and months. 

Speaking about his new domain, Jim Melting from Surrey Hill Constructions said:

“Although people within the area know who we are, what we would really like to achieve now is to use the website to raise awareness and generate business from further afield. This is what led to us securing the www.surreyhills.construction domain. We really like the sound of the name and could just envisage it on the side of our van. Our current domain is a bit of a mouthful with all the hyphens – at the time of domain registration the .co.uk we wanted had already been taken – but our new domain is great. It’s short, catchy and lets people know from the outset what we are all about.”

Allan Akers, from Tippers Ltd., was one of the first to secure a new TLD. Speaking about the impact he believes the new domain will have on Tippers, Allan commented:

Allan Akers Tippers

“Whilst we have a strong brand name, it’s great to have the term plumbing in our web identity. www.tippers.plumbing is simple to remem

ber, secures our brand name, strengthens our identity with the subject and is a great way to redirect visitors with our associated marketing projects. Now that we have the domain it will make it easier to spread the word about our projects – which should lead to more visitors and therefore more conversions. It’s great! We’re excited to see the results.”

You can find out more about the new domain names as well as suggestions of which new options could be relevant for your firm on 1&1's website