A TLD, or Top Level Domain is the bit that comes at the very end of a web address; for example, the TLD for digitalmedio.com is the .com suffix. The most common TLDs are .com, .net, and .org, but there are hundreds more available.
The primary objective of a domain name is to represent your brand with a name. This name is important since it will determine how many people will be persuaded to come closer and take a look at your website.
There was a time when TLDs were limited to classic extensions (.com). It took a long time for the TLD market to open up. Now, contrary to popular sentiment, the internet doesn’t end at .com. Just as the web grew and became part of people’s lives, the new TLDs became more common and accepted.
In the spirit of this, let’s move on to see how TLDs affect SEO, and how to choose the best TLD for your website and your users.
Do Top-Level Domains affect SEO?
The short answer is, No, the TLD you choose does not directly affect SEO. Google just tries to find the best content, regardless of TLD.
With that being said, the TLD you choose might have some indirect effects on SEO. For example, if you choose an odd, unknown TLD, visitors might have trouble remembering your site, which could lead to fewer inbound links.
While TLDs won’t directly impact your ranking on Google, they can affect how people perceive your brand.
It’s a matter of trust.
To users, some TLDs seem more legitimate than others.
A 2022 study shows, for example, .com and .org are among the most trustworthy TLDs to use for your website.
This means you could get more organic traffic with a generic top-level domain like .com than you could with a less common TLD.
If you use an unfamiliar TLD, visitors might be less likely to click on your site in the search results due to a perception of spam, which could lower your CTR rate.
For example, in a survey of 1,000 people in the UK, VARN found that 70% of respondents didn’t trust newer, less popular TLDs as much as well-known TLDs, like .co.uk.
So unless you have a good reason for choosing a lesser-known TLD, you’re probably better off sticking with one of the popular options. That’s why we use a .com domain at Digital Medio.
Can you get any Top-Level Domain you want?
Although today’s internet users and web developers have a lot of freedom regarding their top-level domain choices, you can’t actually choose any TLD you want.
As I mentioned in my Blog, What is a Top-Level Domain, some domains are
reserved for specific purposes like internal software testing or application-only registration.
However, beyond that, your options are really pretty wide open, especially when it comes to publicly available generic domain names types, like .com, .net, or .org.
Choose your TLD carefully, as your choice will affect the perception your future visitors have of you and your company.
The extension is just a piece of your web address, but it should
work together with your domain name to create a cohesive brand
for your website.
Tips for choosing the best TLD
Factor in your site’s purpose
Consider the purpose of your site. If your site represents a non-profit or charitable organization, .org is a good choice. If you are creating a straightforward commercial website, .com, and .biz are commonly used TLDs for online businesses. On the other hand, you may envisage a blog to keep a journal; in that case, .me would be a fitting solution.
Here’s a summary of some of the TLDs perfect for particular industries:
- .io, .ly, .software, .technology, .digital, .codes, .consulting, .build – All relevant for startups and tech sites
- .biz, .xyz – For businesses of all types
- .club, .football, .soccer – There are plenty of community-driven new gTLDs
- .bar, .pub, .cafe – Perfect for a bar or restaurant
- .film, .lol – These new TLDs are great if you are in a creative industry
- .wow, .rocks – These are ideal for the shameless self-promoter
- .travel – Good fit for the tourism industry, airlines, travel agents, and hoteliers
- .info – This is used for in-depth informational websites
- .pro – For professionals across the board, from teaching services to labouring companies
Consider new gTLDs
- The expanse of new TLDs provides businesses the chance to create a unique, distinctive, and memorable domain name that quickly communicates the purpose of what they can offer.
- Experts predict new TLDs will become as common as traditional domain endings. Many prominent businesses have adopted or switched to new TLDs, giving them more legitimacy for others to do the same.
- If you have a popular business with a traditional domain, you may want to futureproof your brand name and purchase a version of their domain name with a new TLD and point your old domain to the new address.
- When counting the domain hacks permissible with new TLDs, you have more options to choose from for the rest of your domain than you would with the classic .com.
Consider your target audience
The location of your business or the location of your target audience can be a major factor in your choice of a TLD. Think about whether you want to attract local visitors and if you need to consider the geographical location of your business before choosing your domain extension. Are you targeting a single country or town, or are you planning to go international? Country Code TLDs (ccTLDs) are the best choice if you need to market your site’s audience to a particular geographic region.
There are over 200 ccTLDs available, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding one in your desired area.
A distinct advantage of using ccTLD is that you can purchase them from anywhere in the world and your site will pop up more often in searches relevant to their location.
Consider the tips above on TLDs in this article before you decide on a domain extension for your business. Make sure to pay attention to how easy your TLD is to pronounce and remember when it is combined with your domain name.
If you are in a dilemma, here I am attaching the top-level domain list based on popularity, if your goal is to use well-known TLD that users are more familiar with.
|Rank||TLD||Percentage of Websites Using TLD|
Which top-level domain will you choose for your business?
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