When you’re just setting up your website (there are a number of great website templates out there), it can be confusing what’s the right domain extension to choose.
Should you pick the (common) .com, or maybe a .net or a .org? Why not something funky like del.icio.us or cool like .ninja?
How does choosing an extension affect (or not) your online business? Let’s talk about that today.
What are domain extensions?
Simply put, domain extensions are just the last name of your domain, like .com, .net, or .org.
It used to be that the address of your website looks something like http://184.108.40.206. Would you remember that? More importantly, would your readers?
Thankfully, somebody had the brilliant idea of using domain name extensions, which is a lot easier to remember. So what’s the best one?
What’s the right domain to choose?
As a general rule of thumb, you would want to stick to a .com. It is your safest bet because most people would assume that a website would be a .com and a .com is also highly beneficial for SEO purposes.
For example, if someone asks what’s your website, you would say XYZ.org. Later on, when they remember to look for your site, the first thing that most people do is type in XYZ.com, instead of the .org that you mentioned. This could be very bad for your business.
If a competitor owns the .com, then you just sent a visitor to a rival business. This is one of the reasons why you should opt for a .com as much as possible.
How about other domain extensions?
If you are thinking of .org, most people would assume that you are running a non-profit organization. This is because that extension is mostly used by non-profits.
A .net could be a possibility if you are running a tech website, because people associate a .net with technology.
If you are thinking of a funky combination like del.icio.us, it’s a hit or miss. Most people would simply remember the word Delicious, and forget where to place the dot or dots.
However, if you are successful at branding your domain name, like iama.ninja, you could end up with a very cool domain name that is totally associated with your company or website. (That said, you should choose your website templates well so the overall look and feel fits your company.)
The bottom line in choosing the right domain
The bottom line? Always go for a .com whenever possible to maximize its SEO and SMM (social media marketing) potential.
Sure, you could get creative with your domain name in case your desired .com is already taken, but be prepared for lost visitors.
You could also choose to get a funky domain name, but be sure to allocate a good amount of budget for brand marketing for your domain name, otherwise yours could get lost in the internet jungle out there.