The .com domain extension has been the clear leader, and honestly, always will be. For new businesses, finding an exact-match .com domain that matches their business name often becomes a very difficult task. Many new startups will secure a domain prior to finalizing their name for this very reason.
Recently, there has been a flood of new TLDs (Top Level Domains) to hit the market, providing business owners with several options when looking for the perfect domain name. Here are five reasons to consider a new domain extension.
There is no shortage of new domain extensions -- according to GoDaddy, there are 347 available right now, four available for pre-register and 288 coming soon -- 639 in total. This provides you with almost-endless possibilities.
The new extensions aren't any more difficult to register than a traditional .com, and most large domain registrars have access to them. If you are struggling to find the perfect .com, spend some time exploring all of the available options. If you search for a .com and it's not available, most websites will kick back a bunch of suggestions -- often featuring the new TLD extensions.
2. Unlimited branding potential.
The new domain extensions provide businesses with excellent branding opportunity -- you can really get clever, especially if your business name happens also to share the extension name. "The .center extension was a perfect match for us, allowing us to create an easy-to-remember domain name that we felt could be well-branded," explains Alec Duncan, Director of Marketing for Transformations Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center, a South Florida alcoholism treatment center.
With so many extensions available, take some time to research everything available. Sometimes you will see one that just makes sense. If you are short on time, consider consulting with a domain brokerage to assist you in locating the perfect extension.
3. More affordable than .com's that are already registered.
Just because a .com is registered that doesn't necessarily mean it's being used. Domain investing is a huge business, and there are countless individuals and corporations that scoop up .com's and park them, waiting for someone that wants it to make them an offer.
In some cases, a business might really want the .com and be willing to spend some extra money to acquire it, but the majority of new businesses don't have extra money to toss around.
There are plenty of new extensions that can be registered at a very affordable price. For example, you can register a .store extension for $9.99 for the first year.
4. No SEO disadvantages.
When the new extensions began to surface, there were whispers of .com's having an SEO advantage, but Google has addressed how they treat new TLDs, and they are treated just like any other domain, including .com's.
So, don't worry about SEO -- instead, pick a domain extension that fits your business, has excellent branding potential and won't set you back a small fortune. We are already seeing more of these new TLDs being used, and it's a trend that will continue as the internet expands in size.
5. Large inventory of short URLs.
You want to have a domain name that's easy to remember, hence the reason why short URLs command so much money. It isn't uncommon to see three letter domains, regardless of the letters, sell for high $XX,XXX at auction.
Let me give you a completely made up example. Imagine your business name was "The Healthy Natural Super Food Superstore." Now, even if www.thehealthynaturalsuperfoodsuperstore.com was available, that would be a complete nightmare of a domain -- much too long. Instead, something like www.superfood.store could be used, which is not only shorter, but much easier to brand.
Jonathan Long is the Founder & CEO of Market Domination Media®, an online marketing agency that provides SEO coaching and online marketing consulting. Jonathan also created EBOC.co (Entrepreneurs & Business Owners Community), a private business forum. Follow him on Twitter.