Does Top Level Domains (URL Endings) matter in Digital Marketing?

So you have a great idea and want to start a new website. What do you do first? You check the availability of your .com. You find out that you have the option of choosing between .com.au and .sydney. (There is even the option of choosing .cars and .food.)

What will you purchase? Is one better than the other? Do Top Level Domains (TLDs) affect my site’s visibility? Which URL ending will make me get more visits and, ultimately, help my site become successful?

 

What is the fuss about URL endings?
A brief background

Since domain names can represent or misrepresent a person or organization, they are regulated by a private international organization called ICANN. Since 1998, there have ensured that are only a limited number of TLDS. The most popular ones are .com, .org, .edu and .gov.

But due to the growth of the internet, there has been a need to create more TLDs. According to a December 2013 report, the internet ran out of four-letter .com domains. The three-letter .coms ran out by 1997.

By 2014, ICANN has created more than a hundred generic TLDs. This is in line with ICANN key role of introducing and promoting competition in the registration of domain names, while ensuring the security and stability of the domain name system.

Thus, today anyone interested can have the option of choosing .com.au or .sydney.

 

Will .sydney give me more traffic than .com.au?

The short answer is: No.

In response to the announcement of new TLDS, Google’s Head of Webspam Matt Cuts posted this:

Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either. If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings

In the technical sense, your site whether it is a com.au or .sydney or not can and will have the same opportunity to rank as any other .com domain.

 

Should it matter what I choose?

The challenge of using new TLDs like .sydney is that people do not readily trust sites with unusual URL endings. There are more .com sites that are more popular than .biz domains.

Likewise, since .com.au has been a trusted TLD, it can connote a sense of trust-worthiness. Using a .sydney which indicates that it is a new site can be a disadvantage compared to other websites using the .com.au to serve customers for years.

 

The guiding principle in digital marketing is branding.

Your domain names (and your URL’s ending) is also part of your brand. They are more than just the human-readable internet addresses of websites. They give identity to individuals, organizations and businesses. They can help determine your success in the digital space.

In the technical aspect of digital marketing, your TLD should not matter. However, in terms of branding, it matters.

Before choosing between .com.au or .sydney, you need to ask the three following questions:

Is the address easy to read and remember?
Is it relevant to the content of your site?
Does it represent your brand?

Sources:
http://techland.time.com/2011/06/24/do-domain-names-even-matter-any-more/
https://moz.com/learn/seo/domain
http://mashable.com/2014/03/10/domain-names-history/
https://plus.google.com/+JohnMueller/posts/3wYuk1ca96z

A site is merely a site. What happens after all the codes have been written and each design drawn in? What comes next? If you build it, will they come? Unfortunately, while this is true in the Hollywood movie Field of Dreams, this is not always true in the reality of the internet. A thousand or more websites sit idle in there servers with little or no visitors everyday.

As digital marketing professionals, we believe that, not unlike any explorer or traveler, everyone needs a roadmap that will get you from point A to the next in an efficient manner. A site is like any product that requires marketing, advertising and other forms of promotion to get it to the right audience.

In this post, we will provide you an outline of how to get you in the right direction of marketing your website in the digital landscape.

Know yourself

Before you start strategy, it is critical to find out where you are, who you are, and how others perceive your brand or site. Finding out your place in the digital space will enable you to move forward with your plans. Audit your digital footprint; start with some questions like:

How does your search profile look like?
What Social Media Networks are you on?
Are your Social Media profiles consistent with your brand?
What networks provide you the best value?
How do your profiles stack up against your competitors?

Know your customers

As in any relationship, it is a 2 way-street. It is critical to be able to know who you want to create a business relationship with. Document specific attributes of the personas you would like your company/site to attract.

Define the following items about target audience:

Age:
Location:
Gender:
Job Title:
Business Interests or Pain points:

Document your mission statement

Before you embark on your quest for digital success, clearly define what you want to achieve and what your brand will be offer. If a digital marketing activity does not fit this mission (no matter who interesting or entertaining it is) ignore it.

A mission statement will help keep you on track. There can be so many new fads and technologies that are new and exciting at first but will only create noise rather than results – if they do not help you accomplish the bottom line of your mission.

 

Set your Benchmarks

Consider what your success metrics will be. Do not just choose vanity metrics like number of followers created or likes. It is critical that you are able to define your digital marketing success to key metrics that matter to your site’s and is consistent to your overall bottom line and mission.

Some metrics you can consider are:

Conversion rate (specific actions on your site)
Traffic Increase
Bounce rate decrease
Brand Mentions
Total shares of your content

 

Build a content plan

Once you know who you are in the digital space, what kind of your customers you are targeting, what you specifically aim to do, and what to measure to track your progress, you can then build a plan to create and curate content that is relevant to your customers.

Content can come in different forms but should either educate, entertain or inform. Relevant content is meaningful to customers; the most important content you can create should help solve their most important needs and concerns with your services. The practical rule with content is to always start from what matters most to your customers (before what matters most to you) and build out it out from there.

Putting it all together

There are a number of ways to skin a cat; the same saying applies with digital marketing. While there are going to be a number of ways one can achieve success on the internet, it is always important to start with understanding where you are at present before you move forward. We hope that the simple tips above will help you when you do not know where to start with digital marketing.

Logos can become more than just mere symbols of a company. Nike, Google, and Apple have reached an iconic status that most of everyone in the world recognize what their brands represent. A video from VOX explains what makes logos go from good to great.

They interview Michael Bierut, a well-known graphic designer who explains the 3 different types of logos “ the wordmark, pictorial and abstract iconography. He also introduces a fourth type which is called”logo system”.  This is the kind of logo that has different versions. One can see this in the ever-changing Google Doodles as well as in the famous MTV logo.

 

A logo is a face of a company and creating one is imperative even in web design and digital marketing. Quoting the video, Logos allows companies to create conversions beyond its name. Nevertheless, a logo is merely an empty vessel. No matter how big its splash is when it is released; Bieret believes that it is really the company and its performance in the long run that makes a logo’s success.

Watch the video here: