The first domain name was registered in 1985. Since then, industry experts estimate that over 270 million names have now been registered globally. The rapid increase in registered domain names tells us two things: 1) Internet usage is continuing to grow all over the world, even in areas where such services were historically not available; and 2) It is more important than ever to differentiate your company from the masses. A creative and innovative domain name can do just that. Generic or bland names are getting lost in the shuffle; skipped over as consumers look for that which is exciting and fresh. Giving yourself a quality and brandable domain name is the first step in getting your company off the ground.
.Com Domains: A Diamond in the Rough
Due to the demand for new domain names, new Internet extensions began popping up throughout the industry. Extensions like .guru, .services, .photography, .club, etc. are being introduced at a rapid pace. For the most part, these gTLDs (general top-level domains) are a dime a dozen. Although some may provide consumers with a specialized brand identity, they will likely go down in Internet history as another failed attempt to offer an alternative to the great .com. The .com Internet extension has proven to be successful in allowing companies to not only create a solid presence on the Internet, but also to carry that presence into the physical world.
New Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Better
.Com domain names are special for several reasons. As more and more TLDs flood the industry, .com names are going to become even more valuable. One of the biggest assets of securing a .com name is that customers know and trust the extension. Customers tend to remain close to that which is recognizable and comfortable. The younger generation that has grown up with the industry and the older generations who are now embracing the web have come to expect .com as a required part of their destination. It is what they know and what is comfortable to them. Personalized LTDs may be the newest fad, but that doesn’t mean they are effective. People stick with what they know.
Creating Brand Recognition
Another benefit of securing a .com extension is that such addresses are easy to remember. Customers instinctively add a .com to the end of URLs, regardless of whether or not it is correct. When Healthcare.gov was announced and marketed, traffic to Healthcare.com went through the roof. Giving your company a .com address will allow customers to create brand recognition connections from the very start. Successful internet marketing is all about making things easier for the customer. A .com name will do that.
In addition, the Internet has made global marketing available at the touch of a button. .Com names are recognized throughout the world and allows companies to successfully access international customers. In January of 2014, there were over 114.8 million .com domain names. That equates to 86% of the market share. The next closest extension came in at only 15 million. Anyone in business can tell you that it is not wise to break from success. Think about the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” .Com names have proven themselves successful over the life span of the Internet. Why turn to anything else now?
Securing Your Online Future
It is easy to think that domain extensions don’t have any effect on a business’s market brandability. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many reasons why .com names are, and will continue to be, the best choice for new and expanding businesses. As the Internet continues to be bombarded with new LTDs, having a .com name will be even more important. The time to secure your domain name is now, not later. By securing a brandable .com name, you will be giving your business a leg up on the competition from the very start. You owe it to your business to give it the very best opportunity to succeed.