New domain extensions have in recent years stolen the spotlight from the much-coveted .com websites. All through this struggle for supremacy, the often-ignored Country code domain extensions (ccTLD) continue to gain steady popularity in the shadows.
As the name suggests, country code TLDs are domain extensions specific to particular countries. For example, CA is unique to Canada, DE to Germany, .co.uk to the United Kingdom and so on.
They may not be hyped, but they offer real value. Whether you’re running a startup or an established business and looking to win a worldwide audience, the right ccTLD can gain you the online traction you covet.
Here are some reasons why using ccTLDs will take your business to the next level -
Customers are more inclined to go local
ccTLDs inspire local buyer’s confidence. Customers will trust an address they recognize more than a foreign address. When buyers see a local domain extension, they are confident that the site uses a language and currency they understand. In case of problems with their transaction, they feel that they can easily follow up and receive quick assistance. A .com TLD may have an international appeal and may rank well around the world, but it may not inspire buyer confidence that drives them to spend.
ccTLDs Enable local targeting – your website will rank higher in local search engine queries
ccTLDs enable you to target traffic from specific areas of the world. This is probably their most notable benefit. Search engines use the IP address of a user to deliver the most relevant local results. Since they recognize ccTLDs as the clearest sign of the country a website is targeting, that website will rank highly in the local search results. For example, a .CA website will rank higher in Canada than a .com website.
When using generic top-level domains like .com, you have to rely on Geotargeting – an international SEO tool whose job is to determine a web user’s location. ccTLDs eliminate this need since they allow you to target a particular country directly.
ccTLDs will give you a big chunk of the valuable internet real estate
To compete for the limited space on the web, you need a quality domain name. To get a quality .com, you can either buy the exorbitantly priced ones or try your luck on expired domains listings. Alternatively, you can register a quality domain name with a ccTLD. The chances are that your preferred name will be available and you will acquire it at a cheaper rate than a .com variation.
ccTLDs allow a Flexibility that nurtures creativity in generation of domain names
ccTLDs enable you to come up with creative domain hacks that build your brand and add your marketing value. This is done by combining both the domain name and ccTLD to create a call to action, catchy phrase or your company name. Examples of clever combinations include food.ie for business in Ireland, beach.es for business in Spain, check.in and many more combinations.
When should you use ccTLD?
- If you are launching a website for your local business, use a ccTLD not only to attract local buyers since they prefer local businesses
- If you have an international site with a generic TLD like .com and are looking to create multiple sites each targeting traffic from specific countries