Ensuring you have a future-proof strategy in place while simultaneously reassuring your customers that your business is a commercially sound and trustworthy enterprise are crucial to navigating the choppy waters ahead. Choosing the right domain name — or digital calling card — for your business is a simple, effective, and inexpensive way to accomplish both tasks.
Why an optimal domain name is so important
The UK is the ‘most Internet-based major economy,’ with the latest statistics indicating that the internet contributes to between 10 and 12% of GDP — more than double the G-20 average. With 78% of adults in Great Britain using the Internet every day or almost every day, and an overwhelming majority of consumers looking to the internet to find businesses, your customers want — and need — to find you online.
The way they do so is via your domain name. Domain names, or web addresses, were invented to make it easier for people to remember website locations. By converting long and confusing numerical IP addresses into words, domain names are the way consumers and search engines locate and identify your digital presence.
Following 30 years of internet usage expansion, it became more and more difficult for businesses to acquire their “first choice” online address. As a result, the industry regulator allowed the introduction of hundreds of new and meaningful keyword-rich domain endings to address this imbalance. Since 2014, these domain endings (which include choices such as .guru, .photography, .marketing, .media, and now .Ltd for Limited Companies) have allowed businesses to obtain the short, relevant, meaningful, memorable, and searchable addresses that are crucial to online success.
Today’s internet is mobile, global, and customer-driven
The expansion of the internet namespace coincides with a fundamental shift in the way people use, navigate, and rely on the internet. And the good news is, “not-com” domains are the ideal platform on which to future-proof your business and convey meaning and authenticity in this challenging new environment. Here’s why:
“Not-coms” are mobile-friendly:
The UK is a mobile-first society with 74% accessing the internet “on the go” (away from home or work). According to the Office of National Statistics, mobile browsing is primarily done on smartphones, which have small screens and difficult-to-use keyboards. As a result, owning a short, simple, memorable, and easy-to-type URL that appears at the top of search results is a non-negotiable when it comes to winning mobile traffic.
Because “not-com” domains offer a fresh landscape with a high availability of good, short, and memorable names conveying meaning to the left and right of the dot, they provide an optimal mobile platform. And because Google has recently confirmed that “not-coms” have no negative SEO impact vs. older legacy domains (and may even provide a boost according to some independent studies by GlobeRunner and Searchmetrics), there’s no risk of slipping down the search page.
“Not-coms” are global:
Now more than ever, the internet and your potential customer base are global — even if your business is small. In order to succeed on a global stage, your business needs a global domain name that isn’t self-limited to a specific market or country.
“Not-coms” provide an unrestricted platform on which to grow an international business. They are used all over the world and position your activity — rather than your geography — at the core of your digital identity.
“Not-coms” are customer-friendly:
Global leaders Accenture and Forrester have recently confirmed that “digital is at the heart of the customer experience.” Since your domain name is your virtual address, choosing one that accurately reflects your business is the first step toward creating a positive customer experience.
“Not-coms” are not only easy to remember and type, but they also add an extra mark of authenticity and credibility by clearly signposting who you are and what you do.
.Ltd: the domain that means businesses
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill
The recent launch of .Ltd comes at a crucial moment for British businesses. By combining the advantages of a “not-com” domain with the status and prestige of a Limited Company, adopting a .Ltd URL is an incredibly smart way to match your business name and prestigious status with a fantastic digital platform that both appeals to and reassures your customers.
There’s no time like the present to take stock of your web presence (or lack thereof) and seize the “not-com” opportunity.