Whether you intend to compete for business, build a following, or run a community, trying to be seen and remembered in a busy world, your domain name really matters. The name is everything, to begin with. Domain name buyers seem to prefer generic Top Level Domains – .com, .net, and .org. But does a gTLD domain actually translate into greater success in terms of visibility, activity and engagement?
Over the past few years, there has been a veritable explosion of new domain name options. This one, Artful.Zone, an example. But how has that changed user interaction, brand recognition, and loyalty? As to value, the answer is made more complicated by the fact that the newer domains are frequently cheaper to buy, and also a less expensive platform for advertising.
However, as Bill Hartzer found, cost of advertising and the number of page impressions doesn’t necessarily add up to more success. In particular, when it comes to conversions, the old gTLDs do much better :
There were more conversions on the .com domain name for both the download of the PDF file and for clicks on the “Shop Diamond Rings” button on the site, and the total conversion rate was higher on the .Com domain name than it is on the .Diamonds domain name. So while the Google AdWords tends to favor the new gTLD domain name, consumers appear to favor the .Com (we saw nearly a 20 percent better conversion rate on the .Com domain name).
The reason for this could be simply that older domains are more established, dating back to the birth of the web. In web users’ minds, this equates with reliability, trustworthiness and other important psychological factors which occur when people are just plain used to things being a certain way.
Many of these domains have changed hands for large sums of money. There is an established market for top level domains – people hang on to the good ones as investments. gLTDs are more easily tradeable in the domain name marketplace. With the creation of many new top level domains markets have more options, but still good quality gLTDs continue to be sought after.
The best gTLDs by dint of their name are universally recognisable, inexorably destined to become associated with a household brand or well-known corporate badge. They may contain a key English word, like Five.org, or a twist on an established name like Unitedstate.com. Very occasionally a new word is coined which actually becomes ubiquitous across markets and sometimes languages. Whether as the market expands this prestige becomes a maintained advantage depends on the usage to which the domain is put. Industries still see clever internet as essential for emerging brands, and those brands with financial muscle will spend a lot on a standout domain.
Artful.Zone aren’t in the domain name business. We are raising money for projects and training in education and the arts- read more here. We do have a small number of premium domain names for sale. Once they are gone, they’re gone! Check them out.