Domain selections

When considering your next domain purchase, especially for your company or a client you may need to consider more than the usual .com route, particularly if your intended audience is in Europe. British companies register .co.uk domains as an unthinking response to the need for a home for the corporate website.

If they do need to address customers in other countries there is a tendency to put up a country-specific web page on the .co.uk or .com website. This is also very common with large US companies.

But just how aware are consumers or clients in other Europe countries of the CCTLD of other countries, e.g. the United Kingdom, France; or even other TLD's such as .net, .org, .info or .biz?

It has long be a view that .net and .org domains are at least in the same ballpark as .com domains. In the UK it is universally accepted that .co.uk is the strong domain to go for, irrespective of where one's customers are located.

However, a study just released has brought much of this accepted wisdom into question. Even the almighty .com domain may have feet of clay with regards to some markets in Europe and its position is weakening not strengthening. The time is fast approaching when businesses need to be thinking about expanding their domain portfolio where they have clients outside their own geographic borders.

It is quite ironic when one thinks that the Internet is perceived to cross physical borders and boundaries and yet this study reveals that many Internet users are oblivious of domains outside that of their own country. Arrogance? Inexperience? Poor marketing? Whatever the reason, the report by EURid provides a great deal for marketers to consider about where they are investing their budget for domains and websites.

EURid administer the .eu domain name but before they are accused of bias against other domains such as .com or .net you need to know that their own TLD, .eu did not come out of the study in the best possible light.