.com, .net, .biz, .mobi…

What to do about your domain TLD (short for top level domain) suffix.

I am often asked what kind of domain to get, and if it is important to purchase all of the available options for your chosen domain name or URL. There is often the feeling that it is important to have a spread to prevent competitors from taking your business. Thus, I could have catwingz.com, catwingz.net, catwingz.us, catwingz.biz, catwingz.co…

I spoke with Kent Lewis, a successful owner of two local businesses specializing in search optimization. His answer was to just get one and focus on promoting it. While there are businesses that do reserve all of the options and have them all redirect to one, his feeling was that unless you have a really major brand like Coca Cola, it just doesn’t give a good return on investment. Another source I queried felt that if your business is going to have an international presence choosing to have a spread would be advisable. In this case the top choices would be .com, .net, .biz and .mobi.

It’s really a matter of what you do to promote your site that is going to make the biggest difference. .Com is the oldest and always the best, but as names get taken and people get increasingly imaginative with their naming the other suffixes have gained acceptance. If you find that .com is taken for the name you have your heart set on, here are some guidelines and suggestions, some of which might be different enough to be memorable.

First, keep in mind that every country has it’s own suffix. The United States is .us, Canada is.ca… a perfectly respectable choice for a business, especially if you are going to have an international presence.
.co was created as an overflow option for .com.
.biz is for US business sites.
.info was originally for information sites, but businesses have been using it as well.
.mobi is specifically for mobile websites, smart if your business will be making use of mobile marketing.
.net was originally created for companies like internet service providers, but it is widely used as a substitute for .com.
.org was originally created for non profits, but it too has been overrun by businesses.
.pro is for professionals like accountants, lawyers and physicians.
.store is for retail business sites.
.tv is for domains that will be emphasizing video, but it is best to have a more mainstream option as well.
The one to avoid unless you really want to go there is .xxx for adult entertainment.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas to work with.

To your business success!

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