Think of a popular brand. Perhaps, it’s Google, Amazon, Sony, Disney, or even Nike. What do all of these brands have in common? Their domain ending! All companies choose to use a .com domain ending like www.google.com or www.amazon.com or even www.disney.com.
Those .com endings work well for established brands and industry leaders. However, there is a sweeping trend taking over the “dot-com” era and turning it into the “dot-CO” (.CO) era. Companies are making the switch from .com to .co endings to separate themselves from the saturated internet market.
Well, it’s because dot-com has been around since the day the internet was launched, and there are too many dot-com domains being utilized. .com endings are the traditional domain ending that comes to mind for most people and has been most coveted over the years. This leaves the newest innovators and startup companies with limited domain choices that most likely won’t come to people’s minds when they are searching process for a specific company.
Brands need to find ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. They can do this by demonstrating the best values provided by their company but a good domain name is the first step in doing so. A good domain name goes along ways, check out our blog on domain options and its importance for more information.
Using a shorter domain is not only easier on the brain, it is also better for SEO according to go.co and because Google has listed .Co as a gccTLD, the searches will be measured evenly on SEO’s against dot-com’s. This huge opportunity for newly introduced domains will grab the attention and the rank companies are seeking and give the website owners the satisfaction they are looking for.
It’s important that you remember, we are not bashing on the .Com era, but trying to help you understand that as technology advances, certain aspects change and this is just one of them.
Now, of course, there are pros to sticking with the original domain of “.Com” but not everyone has that pleasure. For the companies that are fortunate enough to have grabbed the name of their company and pasted it right into the search engine bar with .Com at the end, do considerably well because that is the norm for a majority of us internet searchers. You can see that some companies such as Facebook are going to such lengths to keep consistency with .Com in their domain; even going as far as purchasing the second domain “FB.com” from the company America Farm Bureau Federation.
Claiming FB.com as their second domain, Facebook spent a whopping $8.5 million in 2011, compared to their original domain Facebook.com for $200,000 back in 2005.
Ultimately I think it comes down to whether your audience is more tech savvy or not as well as the cost savings or alternative disadvantages of having a longer .Com verse your actual brand .Co domain. So for instance, if you can get furniture.co but you would have to get furniturestoreboston.com, instead or some other long .Com name than the .Co might make more sense. However, it really depends on the audience and whether you think they will get the .Co extension quickly enough as opposed to being confused by it.
The other option that many companies do is to buy the .Co and a .Com and route one or the other to whichever you want to use as your main domain giving you more options as to how you might want to market your domain.
Lastly I would like to discuss the other up and coming domain, “.IO”. Used by a mass of tech start-ups, the admissible acronym to Input/Output has existed since 1997. Just like the using of .Co, .IO is shorter than a more common domain such as .Com, it’s on the rise and becoming more recognized by larger companies, and it’s easy to grab the name that you want to choose for your company’s personal domain.
.IO seems to be a great domain for high tech companies such as platforms or software that other developers or tech savvy marketers might be using. For instance Recon.io is for tech savvy Twitter marketers. At this juncture I would not suggest a .IO domain for a non heavily tech oriented startup or company as most people familiar with .IO are much more entrenched in the tech world.
Now that we’ve made it here, please feel free to share this post so that others that are indecisive about switching over to a .Co or .IO will now see the bigger picture and can plan what steps to take in the future! Thanks!.