Thanks to the development of the World Wide Web we can now connect with friends and family across the globe, share wacky videos with our friends and connect with businesses in a way we may never have thought possible.
A consumer’s desire to connect with brands and organisations online is a trend that is growing and therefore online brands need to define what they do in a very coherent way. In February 2014, something potentially revolutionary happened to the internet; the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) began the roll out of over 1,300 new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), which has seen businesses take up URL’s like "domainname.guru" and "businessname.plumbing".
This change is one that brands should certainly embrace, wherever possible. For as long as I can remember the internet has been dominated by the .com domain and whilst new gTLDs are not going to replace the world’s most popular domain name overnight or even ever, businesses that now have a choice of a more relevant domain name - focused on where they live (“.london”), or what they do (“.photographer”).
In the long run, new gTLDs will create a number of opportunities for businesses in relation to choice but seismic shifts in marketing trends mean that business, whatever their size, should give consideration to new domain names.
Take the growing trend in local search as a key example; consumers are now using local search to find information, make purchase decisions and search for local businesses. Furthermore, search engines are integrating local search into organic search results, so if your business is based in London, why not show that off and create an additional USP for your brand.
Additionally, we have certainly seen a movement towards shorter and more memorable domain names. Boutique retailer and 123-reg customer, oHo, wanted a domain name that offered exactly this and chose the new “.guru”, as they found it difficult to find the right address with many of the more traditional domains. Here is what Katie Dain, owner of oHo said;
“I am really happy to have an original and unusual domain, and it is far more in sync with what I do than the generic dot coms. I wanted the domain to be short, sweet and memorable given the business name is only three letters.”
The new gTLDs give businesses the freedom to choose a domain name that fits perfectly with their professions, specialties and ethos, but the benefits don’t stop there. In opting for an industry-specific domain, you can communicate to potential customers something about who you are and what you do – even before potential customers have clicked on your website.
The .com and country specific domains will undoubtedly remain prime internet real estate for years to come. New gTLDs will ultimately afford brands the opportunity to differentiate themselves and show cohesion in what they actually do.
If you are an affiliate or have a vested interest in affiliate marketing, new gTLDs will provide new opportunities. The expansion of new domains will open up the market, with more new domains to market and sell to individuals and brands that may be looking to secure new extensions and protect their existing domain name. The market is definitely widening and now is a great time for affiliates to take advantage.