What’s In This Episode of the Website Wednesday Podcast?
Have you ever wondered how to choose the ending, known as the domain name extension or top level domain (TLD) for your website url? With more than 1,500 available options from .com to .pizza (yes, that’s an available option) it can be confusing to know which one is right for your small business website – especially if the .com of your business name isn’t available.
It can be frustrating if the .com isn’t available for the website url you want to use, but it doesn’t mean you necessarily need to change the name of your small business.
In this episode of the Website Wednesday podcast, Liz will walk you through different kinds of domain name extensions and how to choose the best option for your small business, including which ones you should probably avoid.
#1. Your domain name extension is not a ranking factor for Google and won’t have a huge impact on your SEO
** However, it can effect SEO for international sites
#2. Choose a domain name extension that makes sense for your business and industry.
#3. There are some domain name extensions that you definitely want to avoid.
Links & Resources
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Website Wednesday Email List – Join the weekly newsletter and never miss another episode!
Free File Naming Guide – Never lose your files again using Liz’s file naming strategy.
The Website Workshop in Waco, Texas – January 16-19. Join Liz for a 3.5 day workshop focused on making the website you have right now better.
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Episode Original Publish Date
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Liz at britelime
Have you ever wondered what’s really the difference between a.com.co.biz.us.net.org website extension? And which one should I choose? You’re not alone.
Welcome to the Website Wednesday podcast. I’m your host, Liz Langford-Cobo of britelime Creative. I’m a website template designer and coach focused on teaching farmers, ranchers and rural entrepreneurs how to build better websites for their small businesses. Every day, you work hard and your small business, your website should work hard to in each 15 minutes or less episode, I’ll teach you a tip, trick or element of website design, management or growth. So whether you’re on the tractor, fixing fence, or folding laundry, this episode is designed to help you make your small business website better. Let’s get to it friend.
If you already have a domain name for your small business, then you’ve already gone through this exercise of choosing what that domain name is going to be and what that extension is going to be. And that domain name extension is that little suffix that comes at the end of your domain name, so.com.co.biz.net.org. You can go on and on and on. If you can’t buy the.com, for your small business name, you can buy an alternative domain name extension. For example, when I started britelime, I couldn’t buy britelime.com. And I would joke with people, well, I can’t afford the M, somebody else already owned britelime.com. They’re not doing anything with it. And I checked to make sure that britelime was not trademarked. And at the time, it wasn’t. It is now.
I’ve just recently completed the trademark so that I now own britelime within the area of website design and marketing consultation. But I couldn’t buy britelime.com. So instead, I purchased britelime.co and that works just fine for my small business, and it can work just fine for yours. So don’t panic, if you’re in this process right now. Or if you’ve already gone through this process, and you weren’t able to get the.com for your small business, it’s not really a big deal anymore.
Back in the 1980s. There were really six different original domain name extensions that were available. And actually, the very first.com was registered in 1985, to Symbolics, and it was symbolics.com. And then later on in that year, nordu.net was the first dot net. And it wasn’t until 1992 that the White House actually had their own website and it was registered to whitehouse.gov, where it lives today.
So in the early days of the Internet, those domain name extensions were considered really important because they signaled what the site was about. And to a certain extent, that still exists. Today Dot Coms are clearly the commerce websites on the internet. Dot edu is the universities. Dot org were clearly the nonprofits. Dot gov was the government and so on and so on. So dot com was really the big deal back then. But now fast forward to today, and there are over 1500 different extensions. Now you can have a website that is ATT dot shop or dot pizza. There’s all sorts of different domain name extensions, and you need to just choose what works best for your brand that has synergy with what it is that you do. If you are not a pizza shop, you are not going to want to have dot pizza. And if you’re not a nonprofit organization, you might not want to be a.org because.org would indicate to a reader to a user that sees that domain name extension that you are a nonprofit organization, not that you are an organized business. So there are some guidelines that you are going to want to follow when you go and actually choose your domain name extension, but it is a lot looser and a lot easier than it was back in in the early days of the internet.
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Now you might be curious to know does the domain name extension affect my SEO at all? And if you’re wondering what SEO is, that is search engine optimization. Your domain name extension is not going to have an effect on the SEO of your site and another reason that your domain name extension isn’t going to have that same weight or that same effect that it would have back in the 80s and the 90s. And even the early 2000s is the way that people come upon your site. Now, it used to be that people were often directly typing in URLs. And we still do that sometimes we still type in the URL directly, because we know where we’re going. We know what the extension is. But often users are using a search engine, like Google to find the website that they’re looking for, or they’re coming through a hyperlink, they’re coming from a hyperlink that is on another website, they’re coming from a hyperlink that’s in an email, they’re coming from a hyperlink that is on a social media platform. And in those situations, your domain name extension doesn’t matter as much. And in fact, your domain name doesn’t necessarily matter as much, it still can your domain name, have some effect on your search engine optimization. But it’s not the most important thing, Google and the other search engine companies, those algorithms are looking for high quality content that is relevant to what a user is searching for. And they’re not going to put all of their eggs in the basket of what is the domain name.
Now I remember back when I was in college, and a little bit after I graduated from college in 2001. From the University of Oregon, there were a lot of people in the couple of classes ahead of me, my friends who were a year or two older than me, who went off to go work for dot coms. And by the time I had graduated, the.com bubble had burst, they had lost their jobs. And they were back living with mom and dad, which was super frustrating. But an interesting thing to kind of witness back then to see, these companies are not invincible, and a lot of companies had raised a lot of funds really, really quickly and grown really, really fast, because they had the right.com name, but they didn’t have any structure behind their business, there wasn’t really a business there for them. And I remember there was kind of like an Oklahoma land race for different.com names. cars.com, pets.com, houses.com, those sorts of names. But if you didn’t end up having the content behind it, and an actual structured business, your business didn’t go anywhere. And it’s kind of the same thing today, you could have a great domain name and nothing on your domain, that is great. And you’re not going to get traffic to your website, you could have a not so great domain name, but you’ve got great relevant content that is often updated. Maybe you’re running a blog on your site, and you’re blogging on a consistent basis, which is signaling to Google and to visitors that you are alive and well that your business is functioning well. And those are the elements that are really going to affect your search engine optimization, not so much your domain name and your extension.
Are you constantly looking for files on your computer, you’re sure you created it or downloaded it, but now you can’t find it. The time you spend looking for your small business assets, like your logo, headshot, business cards, or other digital files adds up, you can stop wasting your precious time looking for files by using my free file naming system. I’ve got a downloadable guide that will teach you how to properly name your files, so you never have to spend time looking for them again. And in this free guide, I’ll teach you my system for knowing what files were used for print products, and what files were shared on the web. To get the free guide, visit britelime.co/files
So while your domain name extension isn’t going to affect your search engine optimization, it can affect the perception that users have of your small business before they ever even get to your website. So it’s important that you do choose wisely. And it’s not critical, like I mentioned earlier that you own the.com but that you choose an extension that does make sense for your small business. So for brightline.co I felt like.co made sense. I used to work for a company called show it and we couldn’t afford show att.com At the time, and so we had show att.co And it worked really well for what we were we were a company brightline was a company so that.co extension made sense. It wouldn’t make sense for me to have an extension like.org because.org indicates that I am a nonprofit organization which I am not so it is important that you think through which extension works for you and there are some that you actually should avoid.
Now, there are over 1500. Like I mentioned earlier, over 1500, domain name extensions. But there are some that tend to get lumped in with really bad actors, bad shady sites. So domain extensions, like dot zip dot review dot country, this is actually a list that I found from a company that I follow a lot. They’re semrush.com, S E, M rush.com. And you can find so much helpful information about search engine optimization on their website. And this is actually a list that they they had shared in one of their blog posts from another source called bluecoat.com. And they kind of went through these top 10 extensions that you should avoid. So there are extensions out there that you should be avoiding that you don’t want to use as your domain name extension.
So when you go to whatever hosting company it is, or domain name, registration company that you purchase your domain names from, you want to be thinking through this and be smart about which ones you choose to buy.
That brings up another question, Should you buy all of the domain name extensions for your small business? You certainly can. But you don’t have to, you don’t need to. And we’ll talk about this in another episode. But you don’t want to have copies of your website on other domains that actually is going to negatively affect your search engine optimization, which is a little counterintuitive, right? You might think, oh, I should just copy my website and have it on the dot biz and the.co and the.us. Extension. But you don’t want to do that. You want to have one website domain, you can forward other URLs if you want to, with different extensions to your main site, but you want to have one main site where you are focusing all of your effort. And it might make sense, you know, if you were that pizza parlor, you it might make sense that you buy, you know, California dot pizza, if you’re the California Pizza Company, that might make sense. And then forward that to California Pizza company.com. You want to use the domain name that makes the most sense to the users and has the best synergy with your brand name. But you don’t need to worry about going out and buying all of the other domains.
Do you know your website needs work, but you keep putting it off till tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year? Could you use some direction on how to make the website you have right now better? Do you prefer hands on in person learning? The Website Workshop is coming up in January 2023 in Waco, Texas, and if you answered yes to any of those questions, friend, you might want to join me for the workshop. The Website Workshop is a hands on all inclusive, small in person only workshop hosted by me, Liz of britelime.co. At this working workshop, you’ll learn how to make the website you have right now better. You’re gonna head home with a better homepage, a strong About page – and did you know that your about page is probably the second most popular page of your website? It is for most small business websites. So it’s got to be good! And you’ll head home with a plan for growth for your small business website. This is a relaxed, small group workshop designed for female entrepreneurs who want to walk away from our time together with a better website and a framework to grow that site. Space is limited and seats are filling up. But I hope you’ll go take a look and think about joining me. You can learn more by going to britelime.co/workshop. That’s B r i t e l i m e.co forward slash workshop.
Now one final note on domain name extensions. They are also referred to as top level domains or TLDs. So if you hear or see TLD, top level domain, that’s the same thing we’ve been talking about in this episode. That’s the extension the.com, dot co, dot biz, dotnet, dot org, so on and so forth. And that’s just a little insider information for you to know in case you decide that you want to Google this further you want to understand it even better. You can either call this a domain name extension or a top level domain.
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That’s it for this episode of the Website Wednesday podcast. Remember, your website should work as hard as you do in your small business. For more tools, resources and to connect directly with me, visit britelime.co and follow me on Instagram @britelimeCreative. I know you can build a better website for your farm, ranch or rural small town business. All you need is a little help. See you next time friends.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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Choosing the Right Domain Name Extension for Your Website – Episode 004
October 19, 2022