Next time you’re in the market for a domain name for your business, for your boss, or just to create your very own website, fight your instinct to search for WhateverNameYouAreLookingFor.COM and call it a day. Don’t get me wrong, .COM is a great domain, a king some might even say and a great starting place for new users, but there are also a whole bunch (like hundreds) of new domain name brands out there that might be a better fit for you.
1. End users know about the new domains, they just don’t want them
I think as an industry we tend to assume customers in the domain market are more educated about our products than they really are. When I started working at 101domain I had no idea what a domain was. Most people like me (the ones we are trying to introduce the new domains to) just want a website and learning what a domain is, is an afterthought to them.
For the holidays I bought my best friend a domain name. Contrary to popular belief that domains don’t make good gifts she was STOKED! Now I didn’t actually purchase the domain name without consulting her, but after my research, I found that HerName.COM and HerName.BLOG were both available. I wanted to let her choose, so I had to explain all of the new domain names like .BLOG to her. This is the part where I get some “OOOOH and WOOOOWs” from her “I didn’t know about any of these!” and where I go “Yeah! Domains are really cool – my job is really cool!”. Long story short, my friend now has a .BLOG domain name and website she is happily sharing her adventures on. Take that skeptics!
2. They are spam
We were taught from a young age to be cautious when proceeding online. Anything foreign automatically raises an eyebrow and questions. For generations of consumers raised with .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO and .BIZ, being asked to click on links and receiving emails from unfamiliar domain endings is seen as suspicious. The new domains are not spam, they actually have to go through a rigorous validation process with ICANN in order to become valid domain extensions. With time and adoption of the new gTLDs by powerhouse brands, consumers will begin to trust and use the new domains themselves.
3. They don’t help you rank in search results
Since the beginning, there has been a debate on whether having a keyword to the right of the dot influences social media rank. While Google states that keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search, the new gTLDs present an obvious advantage for certain keywords and localization tactics. It’s no doubt that someone is more likely to click on a link that has the keyword they were searching for in the URL and as we know every click on organic search results means dollars saved in paid marketing – and that’s a big win!
4. They are expensive
Although some of the new domains will be raising their prices over the course of the next year, there are still a ton of them that are more affordable than your traditional domain extensions and country code domains. This is a great time to be a buyer and an early adopter in the new domain market, with brands offering incredible sales and promotions to entice new users.
5. The new brands are not as trustworthy
It’s a known fact that .COM is what people know and trust, I mean it’s been around since 1985 when the internet began. The first round of new domains on the other hand, only launched in 2012 with more being added every week. Like I’ve mentioned a few times here, there are a massive amount of new domain extensions – some very similar such as .SHOP, .SHOPPING, .STORE & .TIENDA. Critics say this can lead to a confusing experience for consumers, but just like any other industry or product, customers are drawn to different brands selling similar products based on individual preferences including brand messaging, price point, friend referrals, etc. so the fact that there is both a .CAR and a .CARS domain doesn’t negatively impact the consumer experience with new domains. Just because a brand is new and unknown does not also make it untrustworthy and unestablished just ask the top players new gTLDs!
Let me ask you this, how are consumers expected to want something they don’t know about? The new domains are something consumers will be excited to get behind once we figure out a way to eliminate the stigma surrounding them and highlight the many benefits. It’s our job to match our customers with a domain that suits them best anywhere from .ART to .COM and .XYZ.