Never heard about the Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) before? While you may not know the name, your eyes have actually witnessed a lot of them, for example, Last.fm, About.me, and even Hongki.at had been adopting country-based domain names to brilliantly express their business purpose or niche, and even improve their branding and reputation!
In this post, we will be discussing the pros and cons of the ccTLD, and how to use it in a series of creative and engaging ways.
We also provide you a list of ccTLDs with vital information such as official NIC for each domain, and their suggested price for comparison. Don’t miss this chance to grab a suitable one for your web business.
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Why Should I Use ccTLD?
For a higher SEO value for country-based search results. This is the greatest benefit of adopting ccTLD as the domain name for your website. Google has already stated that their search engine perceive ccTLD as a strong sign that your site is targeted to a certain country, thus it will rank higher in Google’s country-based result, or the country’s local search engine.
Be careful though as Google treats certain ccTLD as generic Top Level Domain (gTLD), such as .tv or .me, but they could vary over time.
(Image Source: Byte Level Research)
ccTLD is good for credibility and it raises the confidence of the users visiting your site, especially when they come from the country of your implemented ccTLD. It might be tricky to understand but in certain countries like China, the locals there have the tendency to visit a .cn brand site.
This may be because the preference for the language, the locality ensures that webmaster is reachable, and issues like expensive import duty or permanent ban do not often exist.
ccTLD also improves branding. With .com domain name, all you can do for branding is get a decent name, but with smart tricks applied on ccTLD branded sites, you could express your creativity, explain your site purpose and even encourage users to act upon the brand. The URL is also significantly shorter so it helps users to memorize it quickly.
How To Use ccTLD Creatively
The trick that most well-branded companies applied on their ccTLD is definitely the Domain Hack, in which the webmaster turns the ccTLD into part of its brand name. Some of the best examples are Hongki.at, Instagr.am, Youtu.be, and Redd.it. You could even think of one before you start establishing a brand, and here’s a list to help you squeeze out a creative domain hack!
(Image Source: Fotolia)
Promoting user actions is part of a site owner’s role and when used correctly, this is where ccTLD can really shine: Hire.me, Check.in, Help.us, Buy.tv, Sync.me and so on, you are only limited by your imagination.
Besides, you don’t have to limit yourself with domain extensions, names like BuyiPhoneCa.se or RateGa.me could work well as long as they signal user action.
With ccTLD you could inject more brand information inside the web address to educate visitors more about your brand. Take Last.fm and Blip.tv as example, the .fm and .tv domain name already informed users the niche of the site even before they visit the place.
How You Could Prevent The Cons of ccTLD
It’s always better to buy a .com domain before you register a ccTLD domain name for your website. This is the golden rule for every webmaster, and below are a few critical reasons explaining why failing to follow this rule will possibly cause you great harm or failure.
First of all, it’s about user-friendliness. Internet users are subconsciously trained to retrieve .com domain name every time they recall a sitename, so it’s more likely that they will tie in your site name with the .com extension first. If they do this and could not find your site then left, this amounts to a great loss of page views, conversion rates, and analytics data.
(Image Source: Fotolia)
And now the dark side of the Internet, a rival could just as easily take your name and build it on the .com domain to take advantage of the customers who come in looking for you. They could, brand their site with their own logos and products, which could mislead visitors to believe that you’re part of them. Also they could just throw in lots of virus-infected web pages, fraud, or scams to take advantage of your visitors, leading to a bruised reputation. You don’t really want to spend time meddling with this even if you could seek for law protection.
Once you have gotten the .com domain name for your website, the next check up you should perform is if the ccTLD has bad performance record, for instance the .cc domain name is famous for spam use. You should also be aware that certain ccTLDs are banned by certain countries. However, these cases are minor and things could change, so it shouldn’t really stop you from acquiring the ccTLD for all the benefits mentioned above.
ccTLDs Comparison Chart
Finally we have prepared a chart for you to recognize currently available ccTLDs, understand their represented country and know their official Domain Network Information Center (NIC). You can also compare their prices to find one that will fit your proposed budget.
And yes, ccTLD is always more expensive than the Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD), with some even costing up to $109.99.
In this case, don’t rush to purchase the ccTLD directly, and try to compare the price with other online domain registrars such as NameCheap, or consult your local registrar for a possibly cheaper deal, especially when you want to purchase the domain name that represents your country.
|Domain||Represented Country||Domain NIC / Registrar||Suggested Price (GoDaddy)|
|.me||Montenegro||.ME Domain Names||19.98|
|.us||United States of America||Neustar||19.98|
|.co||Colombia||.CO Internet S.A.S||29.99|
|.gs||South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands||CoCCA||34.99|
|.vg||British Virgin Islands||AdamsNames||44.99|
|.fm||Federated States of Micronesia||NIC.FM||79.99|
|.ag||Antigua & Barbuda||Nic AG||109.99|