Does .COM really matter?

Top Level Domains (TLDs) are the letters after the final dot of a domain name like .com, .org and .net, intended to explain the nature of the business. Not only choosing the right business name is important, but also the right TLD (or domain extension). With so many TLD options to choose from, one crucial goal when starting a new business or building a new product is to communicate and reach your audience over the internet. How you communicate and reach the intended audience is highly influenced by their expectations when it comes to the business web presence, and guess what, .COM is the first thing that comes to mind.

Should someone hear your company name and become curious, they would assume and type in CompanyName.com. If they don’t immediately land on your website, you have certainly missed potential direct online traffic i.e. visitors whom may not necessarily “Google” or search for you.  If you had to compromise and choose a domain extension other than .COM, you’ll likely have to force your web address in your online and offline marketing communication so you don’t miss visitors, which possibly not what you had in mind when you first envisioned your brand.

When in fact 52% of all websites end with .COM – it’s no coincidence that people refer to this domain extension as “the default” or “the king”. There is an embedded status in owning a .COM; not only does the domain extension convey high prestige, but it also means you were there first. Using .COM simplifies brand recall as visitors have more comfort with .COM. No domain extension has professionalism associated with it as much as .COM does.

Country-Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs), such as .ae for the United Arab Emirates, .sa for Saudi Arabia, and .qa for Qatar, are popular among residents of those countries. If you do significant business in a particular country and have no plans to expand the business to the MENA region or even the world, purchasing the corresponding ccTLD becomes a sensible option.

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