What is a Top Level Domain and Why Does it Matter?

top level domain

You’re in the process of getting a domain name, and you’ve been researching.

You come across the term ‘top-level domain.’ You find many tidbits about getting the right domain extensions, but you’re not quite sure what it means.

We’ll break it down for you in our article below.

What Is a Top Level Domain

It’s important to understand the top level domains definition. Every website has an extension or suffix usually in the form of .com, .net, .org, .edu, just to name a few. The extension is the top-level domain (TLD). If you’re to take the example of google.com, the .com is the TLD.

Types of Top Level Domains

While we have only mentioned a few above, you’ll find thousands of TLDs. You find different categories including;-

• Country-specific TLDs For example .us for America, .ru for Russia, .ir for Ireland
• Generic TLD’s- like .com, .net, .org, .biz, .edu, for educational institutions, among others.
• Sponsored top-level domains- which belong to private organisations
• Infrastructure top-level domains ‘arpa’ which belongs to the Internet Engineering Task Force, and is run by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), handles the coordination of domains and internet IP addresses.

The most popular TLD is .com, but you have the option of getting one that is specific to your industry. For example, if you are in education, consider getting a .edu extension. Many non-profit organisations use the .org suffix.

Be careful about the length of your domain name; shorter ones are easier to spell and remember.

TLDs with Restrictions

Certain TLDs may have restrictions on their use. You may, for example, not be able to use job-specific extension unless you are in that specific industry.

Different countries have different restrictions, so find out what applies in your area.

Searching For a Domain Name

You’ll find many tools online that can help you generate domain names with suggestions on extensions. The tools will also give you variations on the domain names, thus increasing your chances of getting the more popular extensions.

You can also brainstorm with people close to you for some unique names. And even as you look for one that will be memorable, you need to be careful about certain things.

Why Does a Top Level Domain Name Matter

Getting a suitable TLD is important for the success of your website. You can start from scratch where you search for a suitable name, run a check, and do the registration process. The other option is to buy a ready domain from someone else. You’ll find a robust market on the online platform because many people are in the business of buying and selling domains.

But why is a TLD important? Let’s explore the reasons below.

1. It Sets You Apart From Your Competitors

A TLD helps identify your business and will differentiate you from your competitors. Your customers will also be able to identify your company easily. It can be frustrating trying to get a top-level domain because you’ll find that many aren’t available. The .com extension is very popular, so if the name you prefer is not available on the extension, opt for a different TLD using the same name.

The only disadvantage of doing this is that someone else may already have a name that is almost similar to yours on the.com extension. You may, therefore, end up losing traffic, because most people will automatically type in the.com extension.

2. It Helps Build Trust and Familiarity

Getting a website domain Ireland registration will help verify to your customers that you are a trustworthy organisation. Some countries will not even allow a country-specific TLD for a business that has not undergone the registration process.

Be careful about your choice of the extension; some like .info have a bad reputation because many spam websites use them.

3. The TLD Will Have an Impact on Your Marketing Efforts

A domain name is your brand representative on the online platform. The whole idea of setting up a website for a business person is to market your brand and products. It is also the avenue through which you build credibility. It’ll also help the search engines find you thus more awareness for you. Proper use of SEO and keywords will draw in the traffic to your website.

Top-level domains like .com have a lot of marketing potential because of the trust factor. Domain names that are not very popular are easy to forget, and many people will not trust them. You, however, have the advantage of being different, but be careful about the decision, as it could hurt your business.

4. You Can Trademark the Domain Name

The act of setting up a website requires that you choose a domain name and TLD. You’ll have to register your website and remember to renew your subscriptions otherwise someone else can take your domain name. But sometimes you will find someone else using your name, and it can end up being a costly legal battle.

You, however, have the option of trademarking the name. You get to avoid copyright issues in the future. You also have a name that you can pass down from generation to generation. A strong brand that has trademarked names are a source of pride to you and your family.

5. It’ll Help You Communicate Your Brand Message

Choosing the right TLD will help you communicate your brand message. That is why it’s important that when you are choosing a domain name, you keep certain considerations in mind. These include:-

• It should match or compliment your brand name
• It should communicate how strong you are
• it should reflect the services you offer
• Make it meaningful to your brand promise
• Ensure it is unique, but not hard to remember
• You should communicate what your client’s needs are
• Simplicity is key

Your brand message is vital for the success of your business. A top-level domain will help you communicate with your target audience.

Time to Get a Good Domain Name

Getting a top level domain can be quite challenging, especially if you want to use your website for business. Getting the wrong name will hurt your business. The right one will help drive traffic to your website by making it easy for search engines to find you.

Contact us, and we’ll help you secure a good domain name, and help you with the registration process.