First of all, let me tell you that I’m not focusing any particular keyword in this article. In fact, I’ve just left that space blank and filled out only meta title and meta description. Why? That’s because this particular article is not targeted at search engines. Rather, it is completely targeted at you. Yes! you and thousands others who are wondering whether they should go ahead with any other domain name extensions such as .net and .org (if .com is unavailable).
Last night, I was chatting with one of my friend and this is how it went.
… (some previous chat)
Friend: Hey buddy, I’m looking to buy a domain name. Can you please help me in finding a perfect domain name for my blog?
Me: What kind of blog you’re starting? Tell me the topics that will be covered on your blog.
(tells me some topics that will be covered on his blog)
Me: Ok! So, do you’ve any domain names in your mind?
Friend: Yes I do! But, the problem is that the .com extension is not available. Do you think it will be worth going for any other extension?
Me: Yes, definitely. Hold your nerves for a day or two and I’ll address this issue in my next blog post.
So, if you’re just like my friend who is finding it difficult to choose perfect domain name extension, this post is for you.
Blog? Business Website? What is it?
OK! I know you’re looking for a domain name but it’s important for me to know whether that domain name will be used for blog or will it be used for business website? Once you know the answer to this simple question, it’s time to find out the target audience.
Identify Target Audience
Most of your pressure would be out of your mind if you can identify the target audience. Yes, it’s simple but Oh no! wait. You find it hard to identify your target audience? Well, not anymore. Let’s take some quick examples.
- Suppose, you’re running a business website. You’re promoting your products which are limited to your locality (let’s say limited to India). Now, you’re sure that you’ll never go out of your locality to promote these products. Now, at this point in time, you’re well aware of where your customers are; so,it’s best to go ahead with .in extension provided .com is unavailable.
- That’s exactly the case when it comes to blogs.
- If you’re targeting global audience, it’s best to go for .com domain extension first. However, if it’s not available you can opt for .net.
- Let’s take our very own example. I’m targeting US as well as global audience with this blog (US to be more specific) but since I’m worldwide audience, it’s good for me to get a .com extension. And since, it was available at the time of purchase, I bought it.
Here are some quick tips to find the targeted audience.
- What are your products?
- Where do you wanna sell them?
- If you’re starting a blog, what type of articles you’re planning to write?
OK! Now, I know my target audience. What do I do now?
Great! Now, here are some quick possibilities and how to go after them.
- If you’ve identified that your target audience is going to be US but you also wanna target the other countries then you should probably get a .com domain name provided you’re running a business website. In case of a blog, your first priority should be a .com domain name but if it is unavailable and you’re pretty sure about branding(I’ll come to this shortly) a blog with domain extension, you can look after at options such as .net and .org. There is no point in getting a .biz, .info or any other TLD.
- If you think that you’re targeting a local traffic such as India, you should probably get a country specific TLD such as in this case it would be .in.
Now, coming back to branding a blog, it’s certainly a different subject and I won’t go in deep. However, I’ll give you a quick overview.
If you’re thinking about going after .net then you may need to start promoting your blog name with the domain extension. That’s because, if there exist another blog with the same .com domain extension, you don’t wanna give your traffic to them? right? So, when you promote your blog with domain extension, people know that you’ve .net in the domain.
Here is what Darren Rowse had to do when he started problogger.net.
As you know, the blog name has .net extension and because of that he was loosing good amount of visitors. Why? That’s because people used to enter problogger.com and back then Darren didn’t have this domain name with him. So, after couple of years, Darren bought the .com extension of his domain name for $5000. Finally, he redirected it to the main site.
That’s why having a .com domain name is so important. However, don’t get the wrong meaning out of this story. It doesn’t mean you should always look after .com domain extension. There are plenty of .net domain names which are doing pretty nice job.
You just need to know how to promote them.
You just need to know how to make a brand out of them.
So, do we have any conclusion?
Yes, definitely! It is clustered in the entire post.
First, identify your audience (target country).
Then, decide which TLD would work best i.e., if you’re targeting specific country, go for country specific TLD.
If you’re targeting the entire world (or you’re not targeting any specific country – that’s the other way around), look for .com extension.
If .com is unavailable and you’re pretty sure that you can make brand out of the blog so that people will remember the blog name with domain extension then go after .net or .org. However, I would still recommend you to go and stop at .com and .net. Why? That’s because .org is specifically aimed at organizations and it wouldn’t fit much. That’s my personal opinion though and there are various blogs out there which are popular with .net and other TLDs.
“You just need to create a brand out of it”
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