Fact: your domain name will impact the success of your business online.
Choosing a domain name is a two-part process. The first step is the actual address (or domain name) which will become the online identity of your business. Ideally, your domain name needs to be short, memorable and an accurate representation of your brand.
The second part of a domain name is the extension, which for Australian businesses is most often a choice between .com and .com.au
However, it is common for a business to be running for several months, or even years, before they realise another business (often a competitor) is trading under the same name in another country.
This situation happens all the time and in some cases, it can be a nightmare. However, this is really easy to prevent in the early stages of your business.
What is a .com.au domain?
In simple terms, a .com.au domain is a signal to Google that you are an Australian business operating in Australia.
To register a .com.au domain, you will need to prove you are an Australian business by providing your Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN). By contrast, anyone can register a .com domain.
Will a .com.au domain improve my google rankings?
Yes. Google wants to provide the most relevant information to users. So, if someone in Australia is searching for a plumber, Google will recognise their geographic location and prioritize plumbing businesses with a .com.au ending.
If you are an Australian business, only wanting to target an Australian audience, a .com.au domain will help Google direct traffic to your site.
Should I get a .com domain as well?
If you plan on marketing your products or services to a global market, a .com domain may be a better option. .com domains are not only easier to remember, they are also the most recognised and more likely to attract international users.
We recommend registering both the .com and the .com.au extension and have them point to the same website. This also avoids potential problems in the future should someone else choose to register either the .com or .com.au domain version.
Which domain names will protect my brand?
In Australia, it’s not a great idea to trade under a name for which you cannot secure the following domain extensions:
If you have the budget, you might also consider purchasing the .net and the .net.au extensions, but it’s not really necessary.
Whenever you have an idea for a business name, a Google search and domain name check should be the first two things on your mind rather than logo design or registering your trading name.
Is it worth buying non .com top-level domains (TLDs)?
In our opinion, no. There are over 1500 top-level domains, many of which are associated with spammy sites. Low-quality top-level domains include:
Not only might these TLD’s damage your brand, but they will receive less traffic because they are not as well known.
What is the best thing to do with all of my Domain Names?
The best option is to create 301 redirects so that when a user types in an extension which is not the domain name on which your website exists, they are automatically taken to your website.
For example, visit www.webics.com or www.webics.net and notice that you are taken straight to webics.com.au which is the domain name on which our website exists.
Does a domain name really matter?
Yes, a domain name will influence the amount and the relevance of traffic coming to your website. However, it’s not the only factor. User experience, mobile-friendliness, optimized content and page speed are just some of the other key components of an effective SEO strategy. Read more about search engine optimisation, or contact Webics for advice on your domain name.