Today, every startup has a chance to become a global brand. The very nature of the internet enables you to easily connect with creators, manufacturers, financiers, shippers, and customers across the world. What you need is a good domain strategy, and this strategy should include the following elements.
Domain name must match brand name
Consumers are busy. A brand-matching domain name helps your customers easily remember your website address, thus saving you a lot of money in search engine marketing. For example, world brands such as Apple, Alibaba, and Baidu all use brand-matching domain names. As long as consumers remember a brand, they know the brand’s domain name. They can therefore visit its website directly, which means convenience to consumers.
Use .com for your corporate website
.com is the standard extension in the US, so is it in China. The “2016 Top 100 Internet Companies in China” and The “2016 Top 300 New Internet Companies in China” reports show that 88% and 76% respectively of the companies use .com. If .com is the mainstream extension in both China and the US, the two largest economies in the world, then .com will become the global standard as well. There is no longer the need to debate the importance of .com. Instead, any globally minded startup must build their corporate website on .com.
Use country extensions for local requirements
Each country is different in its consumer preference, government policies, tax requirements, and many other issues. So, a single .com website may not be able to cater to specific needs of some countries. Developing a local website using the domain extension of the host country makes it easy to meet local requirements. For example, MIIT in China is revising its regulations regarding domain names, which may compel global brands to keep .com outside China in order to serve the global audience, while setting up a .cn- based website within the country for the local market. Therefore, securing as many relevant country extensions as possible will give you the flexibility in the long run.
Use generic extensions for marketing
In the last few years, over 1,000 generic extensions have been released. Many of them have unique personality, for example .shop, .vip, and .news. They can be used to promote products and services. Although these extensions are not yet widely known to consumers, I think they have potential. For example, Amazon is using Amazon.shop, Amazon.vip, and Amazon.news to direct users to the corresponding page on Amazon.com. Therefore, extensions relevant to your business should be acquired as soon as possible. To find out what extensions you can use, visit: http://data.iana.org/TLD/tlds-alpha-by-domain.txt
In short, a basic domain strategy has a brand-matching .com at the center of your digital business and supported by the relevant country and generic extensions.
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