When you’re running a global business, it can be challenging to know which domain name is right for you or best represents your presence online. Even when you’re operating or headquartered in one place, like the UK, you may have a shop that ships products across Europe or a company with satellite offices around the world. Often, a domain name that better represents the widespread reach of your company is a great way to show what your business is all about.
First off – if you’re thinking “how do I even find a domain name?” then WHSR has tips for you. It can seem overwhelming to know where to start in your domain search and there are a lot of options for sourcing and managing your domain name.
Questions to Ask
To start, let’s focus on the actual name itself. It’s best to consider the following items when choosing a domain name that will represent your company online (perhaps indefinitely!):
1. What is your company or brand name?
Your brand name and domain name should reflect one another so that customers have an easy ability to find you! If your brand name is completely different from your domain name, this could impact your searchability online. Make sure to secure a domain name that is closely tied to your company’s name.
2. Where is your company or brand located?
Your location can impact your domain name if you choose to get a Country-Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) that represents your company’s region. This will assist your success in ranking in local searches based on the country or region you own the domain name for. This helps build brand awareness and rank with local consumers.
3. Where are your customers located?
Your customers may be across the world and want to find your products or services. Owning a domain name extension for their location may be an intelligent decision to build brand trust and assist in search, as with the above location-based ccTLD advice.
4. What does your company do?
Whether your company is in technology or fitness or travel or really any type of vertical, there are often domain name extensions that represent these industries. They can be fun to use as your main domain name or to forward to your main domain. For example, your main brand may be helensdanceyoga.uk, and you may also own helensdanceyoga.fit and helensdance.yoga to cover all your bases and protect your brand name.
Using these points acts as a great jumping off point for finding a domain name. If your brand is a popular word, phrase, or name it may already be in use at more popular extensions. Many companies opt for more general approaches to domain names, such as owning the broad-representing .EU or .COM.
.EU Domain Name and Brexit
While these extensions are great, it can be difficult to find your ideal domain name due to their popularity – .EU is the 9th most popular Top-Level Domain (TLD) and .COM has the most registrations. Thankfully, if your ideal domain name is taken, there are many others that suit European companies. You can use an extension that represents your exact location, such as .UK, an extension that represents your startup vibes, such as .IO, or a domain that says you’re a company, like .CO.
The .EU domain name has caused a bit of a stir in light of Brexit. There is uncertainty surrounding whether or not registrants who are based out of the UK will be able to keep their .EU domain names. While no final decisions have been made the general recommendation is against renewal and to pursue an alternative domain name option.
Country Code Top-Level Domains for Business Outside UK
If you’re based out of the UK and on the domain name hunt, there are plenty of Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) that can reflect your location, your global-reach, or your industry such as the following:
1. Domain Name for Your Startup – .IO
The .IO domain name is hugely popular amongst the startup and tech communities. Despite being a ccTLD, it’s often associated with the “Input/Output” terminology, which is why it has been so popular in the tech and startup scene. This extension is open to registration by anyone and is a fun and memorable option.
2. Domain Name for Your Company – .CO
The .CO ccTLD has taken the world by storm. Almost like a short version of .COM, companies, corporations, and communities like this domain name extension to represent what they do. The owners of .CO domain names also get access to member perks and freebies!
3. For UK Headquartered Businesses – .UK
If you’re headquartered in the UK, a place that is home to over 5.6 million small businesses as of 2018, why not grab the domain name to represent where it all began? The .UK domain name is a great option for those headquartered in the UK.
4. Use a General Word like .BIZ
Running a business online can be summed up easily with the .BIZ domain name. This is a popular gLTD that is perfect for any business’s website or online component.
5. Be Precise with .INFO
If your company is an informational hub, such as Wikipedia, why not own the domain name that represents what you offer your website visitors? With over five million brands and individuals using the .INFO extension, it’s a trusted domain name to put your brand on.
6. Business that Gives Back with .CHARITY
The .CHARITY domain name extension is a new one, released in 2018, which means the odds of finding the exact one you want is high. Having a .CHARITY domain name is great for your charitable organization. It can play host to a website that can collect donations, inform people about what you’re accomplishing, and rally people to your cause.
7. For UK Private Limited Company (LLC) – the .LLC Domain
Launching your new LLC is an exciting time! Often, these businesses exist under common words or names, and that means your first choice domain name isn’t always available. The .LLC domain name was released in 2018 and therefore still has plenty of availability. This domain name is a great option as it’s short, describes your business as an LLC, and let’s you be a bit more creative with your domain name.
8. Go .GLOBAL for Your Global Enterprise
If you have offices and customers across the globe, there’s no reason to limit your domain name to a single location. A domain name that makes a statement about your global impact is one like the .GLOBAL domain name.
There are plenty of interesting words that have been made into Top-Level Domains to help represent all verticals and industries. Don’t feel discouraged when your first choice domain name is taken or if you won’t be able to maintain your .EU domain. There are always options for you and your business. Happy domain hunting!
About the author: Samantha Lloyd
Samantha is a digital marketing expert, entrepreneur, and (soon-to-be!) podcaster. She works for Tucows, taking on content and organic digital marketing for their subsidiary, Hover. She loves filling you in on the booming tech industry of Toronto, and beyond. When she’s not working, she lives for travel and the ocean and is always looking for a chance to dive, snorkel, and paddleboard.