How important is the .com domain now and will it be important in the future?
How important is a .com now? And how important is it going to be in years to come?
I know people will generically answer that it is best to get a .com, .co and a .com.au
But where one already has the trade mark and branding for a given name/word but can’t get the .com – is that a good enough reason to rebrand? Or do you suck it up and call the website something else, add a hyphen etc. Thoughts.
1. Use a .com.au if you want to target the Australian market.
2. Use a .com if you want to go global (pick it up early if you can is my advice, what is $8 a year to the business?)
3. In my eyes .com.au and .com will still be popular in a few years, sure .anything domains have come out but the market perception is already strong for .com and .com.au
In business coach training the answer would have been 'no'. That not having the internationally recognised address is a limitation for your business growth.
On the other hand not having .com.au in Australia means that Google doesn't favour you as much.
My feeling then is that you do need to have both if you intend to grow in the future. A change of name or site now is easier than later with a locally established brand.
If you don't feel that ambitious and you're happy to keep to a local level then perhaps it is Ok to stay put with just the .com.au
The other options are to change the website search to a version of yourself - in fact I wanted www.ics.com and it wasn't free so I ended up with www.internationalcreativeservices.com and .com.au which is longer but on brand. I have been hoping to find some shorter version along the way when something comes to me.. I just had an idea as type this which I'll explore! This is around what I deliver rather than around the company name - say something like creative.com or creative services.com which would probably work well enough and easier for people to remember.
Thank you all for your comments. The question (in my case) I guess boils down to how important is SEO. This is the epiphany I had after reading your feedback and opinions, so thankyou. To answer some of the questions the issue is based around the fact that we have a trademark but can’t get the .com for it. It’s a global business so whilst .com.au would be great for local clientele, you’d definitely want a .com From a SEO point of you I really want to get the name of the service that it provides, not just the name of the trademark (which is taken anyway). It occurred to me that I was asking the wrong question because WE NEED .com no question about it. I guess the real question is: how can I get the .com? The easy answer is purchasing it off the current owner, but failing that what words can I add? Yes Anne, it is much easier addressing this now than years down the track. I agree James, perceptions for .com will always be strong, no matter what else hits the market. Kathie to answer your question the software/trademark that the website try’s to sell is a single word, but the function it performs could be described in many. For SEO purposes we considered having a slightly longer URL which incorporates all the important keywords and the trademark. However it’s looking like we may just take the trademark and add ‘your’ or ‘my’ to the front. Thanks again guys.
My thoughts are that domains should be less about SEO and more about branding. People are less likely to recall and indentify a .net or .biz as a leading product / service than a .com or .com.au. Hyphens can take away from recall and recognition in my opinion also.
If you can't get the .com can you get the others? If you already have a trademark and branding, perhaps it's best to look at options. Not knowing what domain name you're looking for, it's hard to know. Is it one word, or multiple words? If multiple, have you considered using hyphens between the words? Or perhaps a variation in the .com with another word might work?
You could always put the dot com on back order Dj Hodgson and you will be notified as soon as it becomes available. Just a thought and a long shot at that.
As far as alternatives for your url, I was in a similar situation to you when I discovered the dot com was already taken for my business. I simply put a hyphen between
online-business bla bla dot com and have had no problem ranking my site even though it is fairly new. I rank businesses on page one of the search engines and have been doing this for a few years now. As Google doesn't recognise the hyphen, they are only concerned about the keywords and in my case online business builder. I am very aware that self promotion isn't permitted here at SavvySME however I feel I have followed the rules to get my point across.
Even though I have very little content on my site I still rank on page one in the USA, top of page 2 in Australia and the UK and with a little extra content added will have no problem ranking my hyphenated url on page one in Australia too.
My solution would be to go with the dot com and slot in a hyphen as your keywords will stand out from a search engine perspective and not the hyphen.
Using a hyphen is not my ideal dot com however, in a world where the dom com is becoming extinct it works.