Small Business Websites
Benefits of Country Specific Domain Names
Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures
Most new websites have a tendency to go for domain names with a .net or .com TLD (Top Level Domain). They believe this will make their sites appear more professional and will have an international appeal. In many cases, this is true. However, it may be beneficial to consider buying a domain name with a country-specific TLD.
Many entrepreneurs overlook the great opportunity of bringing in extra customers by choosing a country-specific domain name.
There are several benefits that can result from selecting a domain name with a country-specific TLD, more so if your business is primarily conducted in one country.
Search Engine Benefits
Most large search engines give you higher search ranking for sites that have the searcher's country TLD. For instance, if someone from the United Kingdom is conducting a search for widgets, widgets.co.uk will be ranked higher than other websites with a .com TLD selling the same product.
Having a country-specific TLD allows your inclusion into many country directories that require that your domain name has a particular TLD. Being listed in such directories is a great way of enhancing your search engine ranking since these are one-way links from authoritative sites. These kinds of links are rated higher than reciprocal linking.
Having a country-specific domain TLD is likely to give a buyer more confidence when buying since they view the site as local, and hence governed by the same laws. This simplifies the process of sales and follow-up if any problems arise during purchase. It also gives the buyer peace of mind when they see a familiar street address, rather than a foreign one.
Sometimes, the best approach is to purchase both a country TLD and a .com. This enables you to attract both national and international customers. The potential sales you can generate with a country-specific domain TLD should not be ignored, as a minimal investment in an extra domain can result in big returns for your business.
Another advantage of having a country-specific domain name is that you already have an idea of where your customer could be from. This means list products from that customer's region without finding out from the customer their geographical location. When a customer indicates their country domain, you could direct them to your main domain but display only items that they would be interested in, with prices indicated in their own local currency. This gives the website a local feel, which will generate buying confidence that is vital when trying to make a sale.
Charles Mburugu writes for us from his home in Nairobi. He has a graduate degree in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. He is interested in writing about branding, CSR and intellectual property.
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