I’m always quite surprised by the question I have to admit. Usually people want to know if they should market their business as the .ie (Irish Country Code Top Level Domain – cctld) or the .com and which they should buy. Me being me I think to myself idiots the .com costs about six quid and the .ie costs about 20 quid. You’re talking 26 quid to have both and I mean if both are available I’ll always be saying to take them. So why are people so hesitant on grabbing both? Its something I never understand.
I personally would be telling any of my clients to go ahead and register .ie / .com / .co.uk / .eu / .me and also now the .co (though my verdict is out on it just at the moment but they are selling fast with a lot of good names available its the cctld for columbia but its being marketed as an international tld so hopefully like .tv and .me it’ll join the ranks of international domains read over about .co over on blacknight’s blog – Sick of .com? Meet .co! ). Hell I’d probably even say get the .net / .org / .biz
Why will I do that well rather simply its to protect your brand. Protect my brand but why do I need to do that? Well you’re thinking small at the moment and you’re thinking the Irish market? so the obvious choice is the .ie there in the past has been a certain level of well the .ie was difficult to get and if they are an irish company they have to have their legal details displayed on the website so it must be good and not just a random .com I’ve come across who may be a kid sitting in a basement somewhere. This is changing however .. Irish businesses go belly up .. and I personally hold less esteem for the dot ie anymore.
In the past I’ve put things very simply for a few clients who were humming and hawing wondering if they should buy the two or more domains. The simple question was so you get the .ie and what happens if people go to the .com and discover a porn site with a picture of a gigantic clock on it … ( yes I put it like that to them and let them work out the meaning ). Now if its a childrens clothes store or something like that and people put in xyz.com instead of xyz.ie .. people may be less likely to go back or searching for your store again wouldn’t they ?
Human nature is also weird people can have strange ideas in their heads … the amount of people I know that type urls into google and search for them that way is staggering. Do we ever really remember if a site is .ie / .com or .other ? I know I don’t I kinda expect going to one will take me to the correct site.
So I’ve got to ask why wouldn’t you register a couple of more domain extensions ? I’ve created a number of print adverts before you know the type of thing it goes into a local paper gets sent out and bang there goes 1000 euro with pretty much no way of tracking the return and believe me the return on some of them was rather poor … not that I’d put it down to my advert graphics mind you more so to the target audience they were trying to hit but by using traditional media for the purpose. So that was 1000 euro gone like that and people are complaining that they don’t know if they want to spend that extra fiver on the .com ? get real people.
Anyways just a small rant and a place I’m going to direct people to again … the population of Ireland is 4.5 million (.ie – 20€) … of the UK is 62 million (.co.uk 5€) … of europe is 830 million (.eu – 7€ ) … of the world is 6,700 million (.com 6€) .. if you’re going to be targeting your business at any of these well … you do the maths ?
Disclaimer: I do work for Blacknight and all figures are roughly correct at time of posting