Choosing a stand-out business name is difficult enough; now you also need to choose — and purchase — the domain where your business will live online.
But what if the .com domain name you want is already taken?
You don’t have to settle for an abbreviated version of your business name to make it work. There are plenty of non-traditional top-level domains (TLDs) to fit your business. They can even help you build a stronger online presence.
Not sure where to start? We’ll guide you through the process so it doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming.
Here we’ll cover:
- The most popular and newest TLDs
- How new and traditional TLDs affect SEO
- The benefits of using non-traditional TLDs vs. a standard .com or .org domain
- How to choose the best TLD for your business
What Is the Purpose of a TLD?
TLDs are part of your website’s address on the internet. TLDs help categorize domains based on the purpose, location, or owner of a website. TLDs also increased the number of available domains, since yourwebsite.com is different from yourwebsite.org.
New TLDs (nTLDs) have exponentially increased the number of available domains, and give domain buyers even more opportunity to communicate the point of their website. For instance, a .press domain lets visitors know your website involves some form of journalism.
The Most Popular and Newest TLDs
The .com TLD is used by 56% of all websites, which might make you wonder what TLDs other websites are using.
The most popular TLD by far is .com. Besides .org and .net, the next most popular TLDs are related to the countries those websites are based in, including .ru for Russia, .in for India, and .ir for Iran.
There are even more new TLDs in 2020 to choose from, with more being added regularly. Non-traditional TLDs like .tech, .fun, .online, and .space let businesses choose an entirely unique domain name.
The newest TLDs top ten list includes:
The best option for you depends on your industry, business goals, and preferences. You can use one of the newest TLDs to tell your website visitors what you offer
For instance, you can use a:
- .tech domain if you’re in the technology industry
- .fun domain if you’re in the event planning, sports, or entertainment industries
- .site domain or a .online domain if you build websites
How New and Traditional TLDs Affect SEO
If you’re afraid using one of the newest TLDs will hurt your search engine optimization (SEO), fear not. Many factors determine your website’s search rank, but the TLD is technically not one of them.
Google doesn’t rank .com domains any higher than other TLDs.
However, a .com website that’s been around for three years will usually rank higher than a brand-new website with similar content, and a non-traditional TLD. In this case, the higher rank isn’t due to the .com extension, but rather the brand’s longevity.
There is also the possibility that the newest TLDs could spook your visitors. A less familiar TLD might send up red flags for those concerned about your website’s security.
According to SEMRush, there are some TLDs that you should stay away from because of the high percentage of untrusted websites using them.
Use these extensions at your own risk:
Why You Might Choose an nTLD for Your Business
When building your online identity, there are several reasons you might choose to use a new TLD, like a .fun domain or a .space domain.
You Want to Set Yourself Apart From the Competition
If everyone in your industry is using a .com TLD, using an nTLD is a great way to differentiate your brand. For example, if your company sells technology products, you could use a .tech domain to stand out from the crowd.
Your Desired .com Domain Is Unavailable.
It can be a bummer if your dream domain is already taken. But just because your .com domain isn’t available, doesn’t mean your business can’t have an awesome domain name. There are still plenty of nTLDs to choose from, and you might end up finding an option that better suits your brand’s personality.
You Want a More Memorable Domain Name
Along with setting you apart from the competition, a non-traditional TLD can also make your website’s domain name more memorable. Maybe it rhymes with your business name, or maybe it just sounds cooler than a typical .com would.
You Want To Showcase Your Expertise
Are you exceptionally knowledgeable about your industry or field? Using an uncommon TLD that’s related to your area of expertise can help position your business as an authority on the subject and build trust with your audience.
For instance, if you run a financial advisory business, you could choose a .finance TLD.
You Want To Own Multiple URLs Associated with Your Brand.
If you already own a .com domain, it could be a good idea to purchase related non-traditional domains as well. This is especially important if your business has a desirable name in a competitive industry. You don’t want another company with a similar domain poaching your website’s visitors and potential customers.
Additional domains can also lead more individuals to your business. Make sure that you forward any and all of your extra domains to your .com or other primary domain.
New TLDs vs. Traditional TLDs
You may be wondering which is better: the newest TLD or a traditional TLD. Technically speaking, there isn’t one type of TLD that’s better across the board. It all depends on your business and goals.
For example, if you’re trying to stand out from your competition, then using a new TLD makes a lot of sense. If you run a unique or quirky business, a non-traditional TLD might be a better match for your brand personality.
On the other hand, if integrity and trustworthiness are pivotal to your business’s success it’s better to play it safe with a traditional .com domain.
Choosing the Best Non-Traditional TLD for Your Business
If you’re just beginning your search for the right TLD, start by determining if your ideal domain is available. You might have to come up with a few ideas. Here are a few tips for choosing the right domain for your business.
Do Your Research
For a full list of the newest TLDs and more traditional TLDs, you can visit the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority’s (IANA’s) database. The list is exhaustive, so make sure you have some time set aside to go through it.
Are you looking for an inexpensive TLD?
You can also find a list that compares pricing for all top-level domains.
Don’t Rush Into It
If you don’t see a TLD that speaks to you, there’s a chance your dream domain might be launching soon.
Looking for all of the best new domain extensions? Check the TLD Launch Schedule for a list of upcoming and recent TLD launches, and new TLDs for 2020.
Keep It Short
There are plenty of wacky, memorable TLDs that could set you apart in your industry. However, if your audience can’t pronounce it, it’s probably not the best choice for your brand. When possible, keep it simple.
Make It Memorable
If you decide to go with one of the newest TLDs for your brand, be sure to pick a domain that your audience will remember. If it’s too outside the box or doesn’t resonate with your customers, they aren’t going to remember it. If they don’t remember your domain, they may have trouble finding your website.
Make It Relative to Your Industry or Business
If you settle on a non-traditional TLD, make sure it’s directly related to your industry, expertise, or an aspect of your business. Otherwise, you risk creating confusion or distrust.
For those looking to build a strong online presence from day one, using a new TLD could be a great place to start. New TLDs are being launched almost daily, making it easy to find a domain that suits your brand.
Having a domain name that is directly related to the products or services you offer can be a creative way to get your brand top of mind with potential customers. It can also position you as an authority in your industry, which is great for your brand reputation.
For more traditional businesses, you can stick to the traditional TLDs, like .com, .net, or .org. There are still plenty of these to be had.
Whichever way you go with your TLD, there’s no shortage of options available. So, why not think outside the box? Happy hunting, and good luck finding the TLD that works for you.
Searching for the perfect non-traditional TLD for your business? Shop Bluehost domains today.