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Clara Edberg — 10/02/21

Why you shouldn’t underestimate registering ccTLDs on local markets

Much has happened since the dawn of Internet, not least has the range of domain
extensions increased dramatically over the last couple of years. There are several advantages to registering your brand on local domain extensions, for example increased visibility and brand protection, compared to only owning the .com domain.

Most of us are probably acquainted to extensions such as .com, .net, and .org (also called top-level domains, TLDs). Extensions that have been popular since the very beginning. But, as more and more businesses choose to have a digital presence, the availability of good domain names has decreased into almost nothing. Therefore, during the last decade, around 1300 new, more communicative extensions have been launched, such as .sport, .club, and .top.

There is also another category of extensions, which also has been in use for a long time: country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). That is, country-specific top-level domains that are assigned to different countries based on their ISO country code. All countries have a two-letter combination, for example Sweden has .se, Norway has .no, and Denmark has .dk.

ccTLDs could be a good complement to your .com address in several ways. If you miss out on securing your domains in a country in which you plan on being active in the future, it could be difficult to argue for your right to that name in those countries later. Let us dive deeper into why it is a good idea to register ccTLDs.

 

  • The protection perspective

Imagine that you are starting up your business in a new country. One of the most vital assets for reaching new customers is your domain name. Then what do you do if yours is already taken? To avoid this situation, it is important to early on remember to register your domain names with the ccTLDs for the countries in which you are active or are planning to be active on in the future. When it comes to registration, and the right to a domain name, the “first come, first serve” principal applies – which is why it is important that you secure the domains on the markets you are or want to be active on.

 

  • The local perspective

In many countries, it is a “must-have” to register the country-code top-level domain. In countries such as Russia, Germany and Norway, the users are very keen on using a site on the local top-level domain.

A .com domain also needs to be manually targeting the specific market, but the country-specific domains are already set and ready to go!

CcTLDs are usually also indexing higher on Google than .com domains. So, if you want to be visible on local markets, it is a good idea to register a ccTLD for that specific market.

 

  • Greater range of available domains

There are roughly 137 million registered .com domains in the world, which makes it difficult to find good domain names using the .com extension.

ccTLDs, on the other hand, usually have less than a million registrations per domain. Of course, that results in more room for finding a good and available domain name using the country-code top-level domain instead of the .com domain.

 

  • Connotation

nTLDs (new top-level domains) are often much more descriptive compared to a .com or a .net domain. It could be anything from a gym using .health to a bank using .bank, already in the domain name describing what you can expect from the website.

ccTLDs can also be used for a descriptive purpose. Companies within the Artificial Intelligence field can for example use .AI, which is actually Anguilla’s country-code top-level domain.

 

Worth knowing when it comes to registering ccTLDs, is that it is possible that difficulties arise when you register the domain name. For example: unregulated pricing, different governments being involved in the registration rules, and different countries’ unique registration rules. Registration requirements for ccTLDs are managed by each country’s respective government authorities who are responsible for that country’s top-level domain. This means that the state itself can impose specific rules and regulations for how domains are registered. An example is the requirement of having Local Presence in the country in which you want to register your domain. At Dotkeeper we can help you navigate what you need in order to register a specific ccTLD.

 

We are happy to help you overview which ccTLDs you should prioritize registering for your business. We can also help overview what requisites there are for the registrations and how you can fulfill these in the best possible way. Get in touch with us at hello@dotkeeper.com and we will help you!